Archive for the tag “punjabi”

Punjabi Samosa

Growing up in Dehradun, Punjabi Samosa used to be a treat during the monsoon and winter weekends. One person who remains in my memory is Sitap Singh, our house help, who also dished out scrumptious North Indian dishes. As my mom mostly cooked traditional South Indian, Sitap Singh’s Punjabi dishes were always a welcome change. From soft phulkas (thin wheat tortillas) with aloo gobhi (potato cauliflower dry curry) to his famous Punjabi Samosas, his dishes were delectable. Looking back, they were sadly taken for granted. As a 9 year old boy, I used to hang around Sitap Singh while he cooked and it amazes me that these are still etched in my memory.  I still remember his tips for making samosas, and the tip about rolling the dough to a thin,  transluscent disc (almost wonton like) which adds to the crispy flaky texture. We tried this for the first time ever last weekend and were quite proud of the results. Let’s just say this one was for Sitap Singh:)

Ingredients for Samosa Crust:

Olive oil – 3 tbsps
All purpose flour or maida – 1 cup
Carom seeds or ajwain – 1/2 tsp
Water – 1/4-1/2 cup as needed for dough consistency

Method for crust:

1. Mix the flour, carom seeds, salt and oil in a mixing bowl.
2. Add water little by little and knead to a stiff dough.
3. Cover with a damp paper towl and set aside for about 10 minutes

Ingredients for filling:

Potato, 1 inch cubes 4-5 medium
Green peas, boiled 1/2 cup
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Ginger, chopped 1 inch piece
Green chillies, chopped 3-4
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Dry mango powder (amchur) 1 tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Salt to taste


1. Take the coriander seeds, fennel, cumin seeds and crush in a mortar pestle into a coarse powder

2. Boil the potatoes and roughly chop or mash them into cubes; do not over mash the potatoes into a mushy paste.
3. Add the thawed frozen or boiled peas.
4. Add the ginger, green chilies , ground coarse powder of coriander, fennel and cumin, and the garam masala, chili powder and salt to taste.

5.Add some oil to a heavy bottomed vessel and when the oil is hot, add the potatoes peas mixture.
6. Saute for a few more minutes, then add the dry mango powder or amchur. Mix well.
7. Cool before making the samosas.
8. Divide the filling into sixteen equal portions.
9. Divide the dough into eight equal portions and roll them into balls.
10. Apply a little flour and roll them into round chapathi or small tortillas.
11. Cut into half, apply water on the edges. Shape each half into a cone and stuff it with the potato and peas filling. Seal the edges well.

12. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai (wok) and deep-fry the samosas in medium hot oil till crisp and golden brown. Drain and place on an absorbent paper.
13. Serve hot with sweet date and tamarind chutney.

Contributed by Girish Ratnam

Punjabi Chhole (Garbanzo Beans in Dry Curry Sauce)


This is probably quite a common recipe that you’ll find in many sites, but that’s exactly the specialty of this dish too. There are so many versatile ways that Indians make this dish and each one has it’s unique distinct taste. And it goes by so many names..Chana Masala, Chole Masala, Punjabi Chole. Punjabi Chhole is the name given to this dish as made in Punjab, a Northern state in India. The uniqueness of this type of Chhole is that it is usually drier than other gravy dishes, and it also has a darker color. It has an added tang to it from the amchur or dried raw mango powder that is the main ingredient in the chana masala.

Girish surprised us one weekend evening after mom and I  returned home after a long road trip. Mom and I were both exhausted, thinking of bringing take-out, only to get home to an apron-clad father and son in the kitchen dicing onions (something that’s despised by all of us) and grinding masala (spices). It was so cute! They served Punjabi Chhole and Potato/Egg curry with steaming hot rice and chapathis.

Here’s the recipe for the Punjabi Chhole that he made:

2 cups garbanzo beans or chick peas (he used 2 cans but you can also soak beans overnight and boil the next day).

2 tomatoes (chopped)

1 can chopped tomatoes

3 medium onions (finely chopped)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp minced ginger

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 1/2 tspn red chili pd

1 tsp coriander pd

4 tsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp garam masala pd

3 tsp chana masala pd

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

For garnishing – chopped cilantro, 2 onions sliced into rings, lemon wedge


1. If using fresh beans, soak them overnight, in warm water with 2 tea bags. This adds the dark color that is so typical of punjabi chole. Boil the beans in a pressure cooker with the 2 tea bags.

If using canned beans, drain the water from the can, and soak the beans in water with 2 tea bags, while you cook the remaining steps. This, again, adds the color.

2. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds when the oil gets hot. When it splutters, add the minced ginger and garlic.  Now add the chopped onions and saute until it becomes light brown.

3. Add turmeric powder, chili powder and salt to taste. Add garam masala, chana masala and fry a little more.

4. Take the chopped tomatoes and the canned diced tomatoes and puree them in a blender. Add this puree to the masalas and onion-garlic-ginger paste in the pan. Fry this mixture well, until you start to see oil leaving the sides of the paste. Add some chopped green chilies.


5. Now take the soaked/boiled chole, remove the tea bags and add the beans into the pan, add very little (1/4 cup)water and stir well. Cook this for about 8-10 minutes. It helps to mash the beans (chana) a little, so the mixture binds well.  Cook till it gets a little dry.

6. Garnish with onion rings, lemon wedges and chopped cialntro. Enjoy with hot chapathis/naan/puris.

Verdict: This Punjabi chhole was finger-licking good!

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