Delhi-style Matar Chola (with Kulcha)

It was yesterday when I and my husband were going about in the car with our kid to buy something, and I ended up watching these food carts selling Chola Kulcha. At one particular cart, I saw a school girl waiting for her turn, and the food seller was busy mixing his matar chola with some fresh veggies; the aroma was something that I could notice while sitting in the car. Now, given the current situation, we try not to indulge in roadside or restaurant food. And I knew I had to make it at home, come what may. So, late in the evening, we went to buy some white matar and kulcha for our Sunday lunch.

We have lived in Gurgaon for almost five years, and in our residential area, there was this famous Chola Kulcha guy by the name Pramod. There were always some SUVs parked near his food cart. For the nearby office people, this food cart was like a blessing. And it was the same for us. Every weekend, we tried to buy a plate of Chola Kulcha with a glass of buttermilk at his place. And with every plate, we became even more certain he makes it the best.

This is what you require to garnish your bowl of Matar Chola: ginger, green chilly (preferably a pickle), tomato, onion and lemon wedges. Pramod people also give their customers a salad that comprises beetroot, cucumber, carrot and onion–but I just went with the garnish.

Recipe: Matar Chola
Adaption from: Meenu Tomar’s Kitchen (thank God for her)

Ingredients:
White matar – 350 gms
Onions – 4 (two for the gravy, two for garnish)
Tomatoes – 4 (two for the gravy, two for garnish)
Green chillies – 2-4 (mild ones)
Ginger – 2 tsp finely chopped, 2 tbsp – sliced, length-wise
Lemon – 2 (juice of a lemon, and lemon wedges)
Spices:
Garam masala – ¾ tsp
Chola masala – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Rock salt – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Chat masala – 1 tsp
Raw mango powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp  
Other ingredients:
Tamarind chutney or tamarind water – ½ cup
Coriander leaves – ½ cup
For final garnish ingredients, refer to the image I shared above.

This is how the gravy looks, which has raw veggies and loads of spices in it.

Method:

  1. Soak the white matar overnight. Next morning, give it a boil in the pressure cooker. This will take a hell lot of time, so be patient. You can go for six whistles on low flame. When it comes to the quantity of water, I would say, make sure the matar is well-dipped in water. Then, you can add another cup, and it should be good.
  2. Once the matar is cooked, add in all the spices; ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves, tamarind water, etc. Keep a plate separate that includes all the stuff you need to garnish. Mix this well. Use a potato masher, mash a bit for a better consistency.
  3. Now, before serving, heat this mixture, and once hot, take a bowl of it in a plate. Add in the garnish materials as shown in the image: ginger, green chilly (you can use a homemade pickle as well), tomato and onion. Keep a lemon wedge in the plate as well.
  4. Serve this with roasted Kulchas.

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