Green Chutney Infused Punjabi Chole (Chickpea/ Garbanzo Bean Curry) - A blooper just became a creator

History has it that kitchen bloopers often gives way to new and improved dishes. A half baked cake became, what we know today as the gooey-ooey Lava Cake. And when the Archbishop was to visit a Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla, the nuns panicked and ransacked their pantry and added everything from spices to stale bread and even chocolate to the sauce and served it over roasted turkey. Thus creating the national dish of Mexico; the famous Mole Sauce!

Now my dear friend the Cocowind had a similar blooper and became the inspiration for this post. She pureed some cilantro, mint leaves, green chilies. salt and sugar for her "Green Chutney" and was too lazy to wash up. She used the same blender to make some onion paste for her Punjabi Chole (Chickpea/ Garbanzo bean curry) recipe. She called me up after dinner saying she just had the "most awesomest" (pardon! Wren & Martin!!) with a subtle hint of mint.

Fast forward two weeks... I am making my green marinade for my Lamb Chops for our cookout party. Put a big bunch of cilantro, a handful of fresh mint leaves, 2 cloves of garlic, 4 green chilies, a teaspoon of coarse salt and a cup of fat-free Greek Yogurt in a blender and puree to a smooth paste. The marinade is done.   And as usual, my proportion went for a toss and I was left with a little less than half cup of excess marinade. I poured the extra marinade in a small zip lock; labeled it, with date and tucked it neatly in the freezer, behind the bag of frozen broccoli and forgot all about it.

A zillion years later... actually six days later I re-discovered it and as luck would have had it, I had my big bowlful of plumped up Chole ready from the overnight soaking. I prepared it just the way we prepare our usual Punjabi Chole, with lots of onion, garlic, ginger and tomato. I just added a teaspoon of my marinade to the masala and it just took the dish to a whole new level. So unusual... so Summer-ey.... so wonderful. And you need not prepare the chutney fresh every time. A store brought Green Chutney or a Mint Chutney would do the trick as well. Here how I did it.

Recipe Snapshot: Green Chutney Infused Punjabi Chole (Chickpea/ Garbanzo Bean Curry)

Serves: 6 serving

What I used:
Dry Kabuli Channa/ Chickpea/ Garbanzo Bean - 2 cup
(you can use canned beans too. In that case it'll be two 12 oz can)

Onions - 1 large onion, finely chopped

Ginger - 2 tsp, grated

Garlic - 6 fat cloves, finely minced

Tomatoes - 2 plum tomatoes, chopped

Bay leaf - 1

Cardamom - 3-4

Cinnamon - 1 small stick

Cloves - 3-4

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Red Chili Powder/ Paprika - 1 tsp

Coriander Powder - 1 tsp

Cilantro-Mint Chutney - 1 tbsp

Green Chilies - 4-5 or to taste

Cilantro/ Coriander Leaves - for garnish


Canola/ Sunflower/ Veg Oil  - 2 tbsp

What I did:

1. Soak the dry beans in ample water, overnight and pressure cook till tender, drain and reserve. If using canned beans, drain and wash thoroughly and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a wok/ pan and temper with bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.

3.  Once the spices stop spluttering, add the finely chopped onions and fry till slightly golden.

4. Now add the grated ginger and garlic and fry till the rawness is gone.

5. Add the salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder and fry till the masala is cooked through.

6. Add the tomatoes and cover and cook till the tomatoes are pulpy and the oil has separated from the masala.

7. Now add the Green Chutney. I added my reserved marinade and mix well. You can use any store brought green chutney. However, use only a little, else it'll be very overpowering. We want a subtle hint of flavors.

8. Now add the reserved cooked beans and mix well. 

9. Add a cup of water (I used a cup of the cooking liquid, in which the beans were boiled) and add slit green chilies.

10. Once the water is reduces and you have the desired consistency of gravy, take it off the flame and garnish with fresh cilantro. I generally finish off the gravy with garam masala and a fat pinch of Kasoori Methi. But since the gravy has mint and cilantro chutney in it, I avoided it. I do not want to over spice the dish. 

2. Heat the oil in a wok/ pan and temper with bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.

This recipe is low on spices and huge on flavor. Just what you want in your summer months. This fabulous curry pairs well with any Indian bread like the roti, parathas, naan or kulchas. Its an awesome combination with big round Bhature. It goes equally well with rice or even Aloo Tikkis. But if you are a Carb-conscious Diabetic like me, consider eating a big bowl just by itself or with a light salad on the side. Yumm!

Diabetic Platter:
Chickpea or Garbanzo bean is a great option for a diabetics. It is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a excellent source of Dietary Fiber, Protein and Copper, and a good source of Folate and Manganese. However, it contains good amount of Carbohydrates as well. Hence when ever you are having this chickpea curry, do not add any side of rice, bread or rotis. Have it by itself accompanied by a light leafy salad. So all in all it is a very well rounded recipe with the right amount of Protein-Fiber-Carbs. A perfect lunch or dinner option.


  1. Wonderful and lovely chikpeas curry. Loved the look of it.

  2. I really love to read such insights (kitchen bloopers stories) :) and now you have created another one ! am sure green chutney has lend a different flavour to punjabi chole, will try it next time. salivating !!!



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