Chholey or chickpea is a common food item in the subcontinent. In India various types of choley based delicious recipes are prepared and consumed. Bronze Age Greece and Italy, classical Greece to early Romans all consumed chickpeas in different forms. There exist two main varieties of chickpeas. Kabuli choley, as popularly known in India has been a native of regions like Southern Europe, Chile, Northern Africa and Afghanistan. It was introduced in the Indian subcontinent in 18th century. Kabuli choley is distinguishable by its big size, light color and smooth coat. The indigenous varieties of choley also known as 'desi' ones are smaller in size, have sturdy coats and are dark in color. These types of choley are less fleshy than their Kabuli counterpart. The coarser varieties of chickpeas are grown mostly in Iran, Ethiopia, Mexico and Indian subcontinent.
Chholey is used for preparing mouthwatering food items like Alu Chholey and Dhingri Chholey. It is also used in salad and stews. Gram flour or besan created from chickpeas is another popular edible item in India. Chholey preparations form an integral part of vegetarian diet in the Indian subcontinent. It may be noted that, Chickpeas contain around 23% protein, 3% ash, 64% total carbohydrates, 6% crude fiber and 5% fat. It also contains minerals like phosphorus, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium.
- Alu Chholey is a type of tasty Indian chickpea recipe. Ingredients required for preparing Alu Chholey are listed below.
- One large onion, which is finely chopped
- Around 1/4 cup of cooking oil or margarine or butter ( as a frying medium)
- Two cans of chickpeas, which have been rinsed well with cold water and drained thereafter
- Suitable amount of diced tomatoes or tomato paste or tomato sauce
- Two peeled potatoes, which have been either thinly sliced or cubed
First one needs to heat oil in a big pot. Then one needs to saute the onions till they attain a brown color. This can be done on high to med-high heat. After sauting of onions is over, the cooking pan is to be removed from heat and 1 tsp.of garam masala, tomato paste, 1/2 tsp. of chili powder, 1/2 - 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of turmeric are to be added. After adding these items the cooking pot has to be put back on to the burner. Now the sliced potatoes and chickpeas are to be added with a little water to cover it. This mixture needs to be cooked till the chickpeas and potatoes become soft. Cooking time can run up to an hour. Once completed Alu Chholey can be served hot with roti or samosas.