Sukke chole

When I went to Britain in 2007, I picked up a cookbook I’d heard about on a (non-food) podcast I listen to.  It’s called Cooking Like Mummyji and I love it.  The author is a first-generation Brit whose family is Indian.  The book is full of her family’s relatively simple recipes that combine the Asian culture her parents grew up in with typical British ingredients (like baked beans and HP sauce).  It’s by far the best travel souvenir I’ve ever brought home with me.

Sukke chole means “dry chickpeas,” and while the recipe is very good, I always add extra tomatoes because I like a little sauce.  It’s easy to make and great with some plain brown rice; a perfect healthy, hearty weeknight meal.

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp oil (your choice of what kind; I’ve tried it with different varieties and makes no difference)

1 medium onion, halved and sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 cup canned tomatoes, whizzed in a blender (This is how much I like to use, but put in as much as you like.  The recipe is quite flexible.)

2 tsp grated fresh root ginger

2 tsp garam masala

2 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 red chili, finely chopped, or a large pinch of dried chili flakes

juice of 1 small or 1/2 large lime

  1. Sauté the onion slices in a large frying pan over med-high heat with the oil until soft.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Turn down the heat (to avoid splatter ) and add the tomatoes, garam masala, salt, turmeric, chili and ginger.  Cook for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the rinsed chickpeas, a splash of water and the lime juice.  Let simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes.  Add a little more water if the pan gets too dry.  The aim here is just to get the chickpeas nice and soft, but not so much that they start to go mushy.
  3. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped coriander or green onions.

I use the recipe mostly as a guideline.  Sometimes I use more garlic, sometimes less ginger.  Sometimes when I’m out of garam masala I use plain curry powder instead.  It’s always good, so matter which way you shake it.

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