Many Sindhis begin their Sundays with a visit to roadside food cart for a hot , king sized, breakfast, fit to celebrate the holiday mood. The breakfast served on a lazy Sunday morning, at almost every nook and corner of Sindhi localities, happens to be either Dal pakwan, Dal moong, or else Chola Dhabhal (Chola = Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans, and Dhabhal = Bread).
The cart selling this curry-bread, have a hot stove with a large Aluminum container, filled with Spicy garbanzo curry cooked in Indian style Onion and tomato curry, oozing with flavors of roasted Garam masala powder, arranged on the sides of the container. The center of container is intermittently filled with dilute version of the gravy, a portion of thick curry(with beans) is then mixed with dilute gravy, and allowed to simmer for a while. The Soft dinner rolls or Ladi pav is then torn into two, dunked in the simmering gravy , coated well with the curry and then carefully picked up and plated. Few spoons of tender chickpeas thrown over the juicy bread (generally Pav, but some vendors serve bread slices too), topped with tangy mint coriander chutney, sliced onions ( at times chopped tomatoes, boiled potatoes too), some trademark spices sprinkled like a magic powder, followed by the crunchy nylon sev, and finally garnished with chopped coriander leaves. Another version of this breakfast, called Dal Chola Dhabhal is also very popular where lentils are also used along with Chickpeas. But we will talk about that sometime later.
Lets talk about the Recipe :
- Chickpeas or kabuli chana ¼ kg
- Onion 2
- Tomatoes 2
- Garlic 8-10 cloves
- Bayleaf 1
- Green chillies 3 (or as per need)
- Garam masala powder 1tsp
- Chana Masala Powder 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder
- Red chilly powder
- Tamarind paste -1-2 tsp (depending upon the taste preferred)
- Oil 2 tsp or more
- Soft Dinner rolls (laadi pav) or Bread slices
- Mint coriander chutney for garnishing
- Nylon sev for garnishing
- Fresh Coriander leaves
- Wash and soak chickpeas for at least 7 hrs
- Boil them with salt, till almost cooked (Many people prefer to boil chana along with whole garam masala tied in muslin cloth and some even boil it along with dried tea leaves i.e chaipatti, again tied in a muslin cloth potli.Discard them after boiling, but reserve the water)
- In a deep pan, pour some oil and saute onion till brown in colour
- Cool and grind to make a paste.Add chillies along onions.
- Now in same pan take some oil and a bayleaf. After 4-5 seconds, add ginger garlic (paste or pounded). Cook for a while and add onion paste.
- Cook for 2 minutes and add tomato (either pureed or grated)
- Add some salt (remember there is already some amount of salt in chickpeas), the spices; turmeric, coriander powder, chana masala, and garam masala and fry it for 2-3 minutes
- Now add half boiled chana and fry it further for about 10 minutes, mixing gently so as not to mash the beans.If the mixture is dried up and sticking to the bottom of pan, just add few tsp of the reserved liquid.When the oil starts separating, add more of the reserved liquid to adjust the consistency (Note: we need to dunk bread in gravy, so the consistency should not be too thick)
- Add some tamarind paste and coriander leaves and simmer for 2 min
- For Serving, in a plate torn the pav or if using bread slices, lay one above the other 2-4 bread slices (as shown in picture), pour some curry, garnish with slices of onions and some coriander chutney (optional but highly recommended) and fresh coriander leaves.(You can use boiled and chopped potato, beetroot, chopped tomatoes etc). Garnish with Nylon sev and serve immediately
PS: I am pleased to share with you all that the Favorite pickle of Sindhis, Pariyan waari khatairn or Onion in Mustard water pickle, shared by me, was featured in Mumbai Mirror (Times Of India) Newspaper, 12th Feb 2012 Edition. You can view the paper online by visiting TImes Of India website.
For now, here is what the article looked like :