Chole, a beloved Indian dish, has fans across the world, thanks to its delicious combination of chickpeas and aromatic spices. Often paired with rice or bread, chole is a household dish in the Indian subcontinent. Indian-American model, writer and activist Padma Lakshmi, known for hosting the reality cooking show Top Chef from 2006 to 2023, also recently shared her love for this classic Indian dish. Padma, who is known for her cookbooks like Easy Exotic and Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet, explored the delightful flavours of chole in a new video, showcasing her passion for diverse tastes and connection to her Indian roots.
Also Read: Padma Lakshmi's Company Drink Cocktail Will Be A Crowd-Pleaser At Your Christmas Party
Padma Lakshmi shared on Instagram, “Every time I cook this dish, I try to recreate the chole that I would find simmering all day on my Aunt Papu's stove when I visited Delhi as a kid.”
The video kicked off with Padma Lakshmi blending tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, bell pepper, and hot chilli in a large mixer to meld the flavours. After pouring oil into a hot pan, she added the puree, stirring it as it cooked. The next steps included adding salt, garam masala powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, amchur (mango powder), tamarind concentrate, and toasted black cumin, creating a flavourful concoction. She then introduced pre-soaked and pressure-cooked dark Indian chickpeas into the mix. Once it started boiling, she added a splash of lemon juice, garnished it with cilantro, and served the delicious chole in a bowl, taking a satisfying bite.
Also Read: Padma Lakshmi's Pasta Moment Is A Display Of Her Desi Foodie Side
Her caption further read, “Chole, a dish of spiced chickpeas (also called Chana or Chana Masala!) originates in the Indian subcontinent but can be found wherever people from the subcontinent went and settled due to colonialism. Every culture and family has their own variation, but this is mine.”
“What is your version of chole?” she asked in the end.
The sight of her preparing the beloved dish brought back fond memories for many people. One user commented under her post, “Chana masala was my gateway to Indian food. Still a fav!”
Another user wrote, “Mmmm kala chana makes me think of Navratri, or really cold winter nights when my MIL makes it this style. Her white chole is comfort in a bowl, too.”
Someone suggested a unique twist to the authentic chole recipe - adding “pomegranate seed powder” as a secret ingredient. Just “half a teaspoon”, they claim, can elevate the dish to a whole new level.|
One user expressed scepticism, commenting, "Amchur + Tamarind + Lemon. It will be too sour. But looks good,” to which Padma Lakshmi responded, saying, "It wasn't. All in small amounts to add dimension to the sourness so it's not one note."
Would you like to try making chole at home? Check out our recipe here!