Anyway her channa was a lot different, mild and not orangish at all but black. I tasted it 8 years ago to be precise when DD and her friend were in preschool. I have seen the black looking channa or chole as they were called only in restaurants. I wasted no time in finding out how it got its black color and was astonished when she said that it was tea bags that did the trick. Seemed like there was always a pot of this down home channa simmering in her kitchen as it is a kids favorite. If you are interested in the orange hued Channa Masala, the recipe is here.
It took me all these years to finally get the recipe and give it a try. If you are a pressure cooker person, it is tailor made for it.
For two cups of dry chick peas I used about 1 tbsp of tea. I should have used atleast 2 tbsp possibly more to get the black color that got me attracted to it in the first place. Without any of the usual spices this is very mild but nonetheless tasty. She prefers using tamarind pulp for aamchur powder which was a big surprise to me. My tomatoes were red and I did not use enough tea bags, hence the slightly reddish color.
Down home Punjabi style channa
1. 2 Cups white chick peas soaked overnight
2. 2 tbsp tea leaves + cheese cloth or 4 tea bags
3. 1/2 cup roughly chopped onions
4. 4 green chilies slit
5. 1/2 tbsp red chili powder (optional)
6. 1/2 cup tomatoes chopped
7. 1 tbsp grated ginger
8. seasoning: cumin seeds
9. Salt to taste + 1 tsp of oil
10. chopped mint leaves or coriander leaves(optional)
11. 1/4 cup Tamarind pulp from a small piece of tamarind (optional, if the tomatoes are sour leave this out)
1. In a pressure cooker add the soaked and washed channa with the tea leaves tied securely in a cheese cloth, onions, slit green chilies and ginger.
2. Pressure cook for 3 whistles till they are completed cooked and falling apart stage (if you like it whole cook for lesser time)
3. In a pan heat a tsp of oil and add the cumin seeds followed by the chopped tomatoes and saute it for 3-4 minutes till soft.
4. Place the cooker back on the burner, make sure the tea bags are removed add the sauteed tomatoes, salt, tamarind pulp (or just 1/2 cup of water) and let it boil for another 6-8 minutes.
Serve with chapatis or rice