Monday, June 23, 2008

Catalan Chickpeas with Almonds and Tomatoes - Chole in a different Avataar?

First off, I would like to share this piece of good news with my dear friends! !
I just found out that Mascarpone Cheese is a health food* :) The article I just read mentioned that the calcium in this sweet cheese suppresses the release of calcitriol and parathyroid hormone which both inhibit the breakdown of fat.
So buddies, gorge away......;)
Feels good to be back with a chickpea recipe after a short break. I can never have enough chickpeas :) I'm forever looking for new ways to make chickpeas. My mom's chole of course remains my top favorite, but I don't mind experimenting with new recipes as well. On one such quest I chanced upon this beautiful creation of Melissa's, Catalan Chickpeas with Almonds and Tomatoes! Intrigued I was and the beautiful appetising picture made me want to try it even more. Here is my adapted version.
Catalan Chickpeas with Almonds and Tomatoes
1 heaped cup dry chickpeas soaked overnight
2T oil 1 onion finely chopped
1/2 cup tomato puree
a pinch sugar
a pinch saffron
3 garlic cloves chopped
1/3 cup almonds
2 T coriander/cilantro leaves
1.5 cups water
1 lime for the juice
salt, as per taste

1. Cook the soaked chickpeas till done. I pressure cook them, you may use your regular method or use canned as well.
2. Heat oil. Add chopped onion and saute till golden brown.
3. Add tomatoes, sugar and saute till it blends to form a paste. Melissa mentions that this is called 'sofregit' and is the base for many Catalan dishes.
4. Grind garlic, almonds, saffron & cilantro to a paste. I ground the almonds in a mixer first and then pounded all ingredients in a mortar/pestle.
5. Add the paste to the onion mixture along with cooked chickpeas and water.
6. Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes till it forms a thick sauce.
7. Season with salt and lime juice as per taste.
8. As with many dishes, the flavor develops the longer it sits.
1. I used the ingredients I had at hand. The original version calls for parsley, I substituted it with cilantro. Also, I used water instead of using stock.
2. This dish does not use any hot spices. For enjoying this dish on it's own use a lot of lime/lemon juice for a lovely flavor.
3. For serving it with naan/rice I added some chili powder and garam masala powder as well :)
I liked the addition of ground almonds & saffaron, makes it so rich and creamy.

My contribution to dear Sia's MBP-street food.
* - I just read the health claim on the net, to be taken with a pinch of

On another happy note, I received a bagful of masala's from my dear friend Meera. What with kolhapuri masala, goda masala, malvani masala, the list is endless. I think I'm set for a loooooooong time :) Thank You, Meera, you are so very generous and kind, it was the best gift for a foodie like me ;)


Happy cook said...

That chicke pea dish looks superb and the addition of almonds yummm

Asha said...

So good to see your post Richa, where are you these days? ;D
I know, we get too busy, take your time. I am ready to take a break in few weeks too.
Chana recipe is always welcome in my book, looks yum, creamy sauce.
I got the same packets too from Meera, don't they smell so good? :)
I love Tiramasu, can eat two portions now! Hahaa!

indosungod said...

Richa, nice to see you back. Enjoying the summer? Those are gorgeous looking chickpeas and with almonds I am sure taste rich and delicious.

sunita said...

Hey Richa,so nice to see you back in action...and what a gorgeous dish...we can never have enough of chickpeas...and yes,I can justify my adoration for mascarpone cheese even more now :-P

btw, wimbledon has started...just watched the crowd(queing since yesterday morning) entering the grounds, on the news...the weather, for a change, is very sunny today...I immediately thought of you :-)

Laavanya said...

Richa, good to have you back and that too with sweet sweet news about mascarpone being healthy too :)
The channa masala looks so good.. the first picture is just amazing.

Medhaa said...

Lovely dish, bookmarked it to try.

Richa said...

thanks hc!
yup, almonds add such a nice flavor :)

hi Asha, good to see you too :) so tiramasu it will
sure it gets busy sometimes, but glad to be back :) Yes, Meera's masala's smell groovy, absolutely mouth watering!

thanks isg!
nice to see u too!
it was rich creamy for sure!

thanks sunita, nice to see ya too!
justifiying that we needed any ;)
aah! wimbledon, will be so much fun, I was reading ana ivanovic's story just yest! so W reminded u of me :) that comment made me smile :)

thanks laav!
thanks for ur kind words, me too likey' that pic :)
and yes no more skimping on mascarpone

thanks medhaa!
do lemme' know if u try!

Mythreyee said...

Love the chole. It is a wonderful protein rich dish.

Cham said...

Good to see u back! The almond should give a creamy taste to the gravy. The pic is beautiful.
Masc cheese will be a guilt ingre :)

TheCooker said...

Good to see you back, after what seemed like a lamba sa break.
Another chickpea recipe to try. Can never have too many chickpea recipes.

evolvingtastes said...

Melissa's recipe is already on the list! Looks lovely.

musical said...

So good to see you back, girl! How have you been doing? Chhole look really yummy and guess this dish would allow the flavor of the beans to stand out.

Mascarpone doesn't need any justification :-D. Make some Tiramisu, like, now!


sra said...

The ground paste sounds different, tho' all the ingredients are familiar - I guess I've never come across saffron being ground into a paste!

Lisa said...

Gorgeous pictures and a mouthwatering recipe. Chickpeas are my very favorite. I can never get enough of them either.

Rajitha said...

nice to c u back richa! that chole looks delicious..almonds is something i would never think of adding to chole!! and i bet TBC would be jumping with joy when she hears about the health benefits of mascarpone cheese!!

Uma said...

wow, mouth-watering recipe with beautiful pics. Yummy!

Reg. your doubt about Millet Dosa: Millet means bajra in hindi. Yes, you can just spread it in a circle like a regular dosa or tilt the batter like ravadosa too, whatever suits your mood, he he! Thanks.

Kalai said...

Love the look of that curry, Richa! Ground almonds sounds delicious. Mascarpone healthy?? Good reason to eat more tiramisu, eh? :)

Nags said...

even i always look for new ways to cook chole. i only try two at the moment,will surely give urs a shot :)

Richa said...

thanks mythreyee! u r right, it is protein rich :)

thanks cham! so, u gonna' binge on masc :)

thanks tc! yup, break ke baad hajir hain seva may ;)

thanks et! u will enjoy it :)

Richa said...

thanks musy!
i'm good, thanks for asking! tussi sunao? yup a change in chole rcp was a good thing :)
ok then, tiramisu it will be for ya!

thanks sra!
yup the paste is diff & ususally i add the spices in oil, here the paste is added with chickpeas & water, diff flavor.

thanks lisa!
isn't there something so good about chickpes, can never tire of 'em.

thanks rajitha!
yup almonds in chole was very diff, made it so creamy.
what @ u, r u a masc fan too ;)

thanks uma!
appreciate ur response to my querry, i did google it, seems like jonna pindi is jowar, do chk it out! thanks anyway dear!

thanks kalai!
yup, looks like a lot mnay folks will be cooking tiramau soon ;)

thanks nags!
do lemme' know if u try.

zlamushka said...

THe chickpea dish loooks superb. I am so bookmarking it, with almonds? sounds like my kinds dish...

notyet100 said...

wow,,,first time here,..ur blog is oo good,..nice post nd recipe..willsure try,..thanks again..

bhagyashri said...

Hi Richa, I have been visiting your blog regularly. Nice to see a post from you after such a long time :)
The chole with a twist look great, will surely give it a try!

Tee said...

Chole is such a comforting food for me...i can have them at any time of the day. This recipe looks really yummy, Richa...will try it sometime.

Sig said...

Yay.... she is back... :) That too with a great recipe... Catalan anything gets my vote... :) Good to see you posting again sweetie...

srikars kitchen said...

Looks delicious ... fantastic click... yummy and mouth watering....

Archana said...

looks absolutely yummy.. slurrpppp. Its been a while I have blogged and blogged hopped feels good to be back. BTW Richa I am hosting a ONE DISH MEAL EVENT I would love for you to participate the details for the event are in my site. Would love to get a recipe from you. Thanks

Kribha said...

The dish looks awesome richa. All I need is a plate and two rotis. I'll be sooo happy. Thanks for the new version of chole.

Jyothsna said...

Good to see you back Richa! The chickpeas are always great, don't you love them?

Priyanka said...

Saffron and almonds....sounds interesting. I have gotten so tired of eating chole since i came to the US and dormed with students.The same goes for P. We havent had chole in the past 2 years. But i could give this a try. Its so different.

Hima said...

My goodness the pictures are so tempting richa. I will sure have to try this as early as possible.

Rajitha said...


TBC said...

After I read your "mascarpone is health food" bit, I was trying to look it up on the internet and found a lot of things, but not anything along those lines. And then I saw that you had a little note at the end.:D It's one of my favorites too and I have used it in a couple of different ways.

Your chole with a twist sounds good. These days I use it only in salads.

bee said...

this has got to taste lovely with the almonds, etc. and of course, you could add mascarpone to make it creamier.

Vaishali said...

This dish looks so beautiful, Richa. I agree with you- I cannot get enough of chickpeas either.

Susan said...

I can't get enough chickpeas, either. I can see the Spanish influence of almonds and saffron. I'd love this scooped up with naan.

A&N said...

Richa, a new version of choley! Yummy, it looks :)

Shivapriya said...

looks really yummy richa, I should try this sometime. Never thought of adding almonds to the dish

rucha said...

really yummy recipe.. will surely try it out

Cynthia said...

So it wonderful to see you again and what a delicious dish this is.

Thanks for the goods news on mascarpone, I've yet to try it but this makes me want it even more :)

Anonymous said...

that looks delicious Richa! Tried some of your recipes and they were awesome! will post about them soon!

TBC said...

Hey Richa,
Sorry I could not reply yest...
So u're off on a picnic while I'm gonna be stuck in the office over the weekend.:(
Have a good time!
That pasta dish (to me) does not taste as good cold as it does when it is hot off the stove. The cold pasta salad might be a better option...
BTW, where have u hidden your e-mail address? :-(

TBC said...

o.k. .. just found your address... feeling very silly now! :D

Bharathy said...

Chick pea with almonds!!Intersting combo, Richa :)..Have lots to catch up in your place..I know.. :)
Very professional shot! :)

White On Rice Couple said...

I just love chickpeas, this dish is just superb! I love your great, close up, droolworthy photo's too!

Mona said...

Looks absolutely delicious! Never tried adding ground almonds to Chole anytime..

Vani said...

With a few more ingredients, it'd be chole for sure! :) Pic looks great, Richa!

Meera said...

Wow, that picture makes me hungry. Looks so good.
Glad you liked your masalas. Sorry that chocolate melted, though!!:-(

Madhavi said...

WOW very nice recipe, looks awesome, mouth-drooling!!!

Pravs said...

chickpeas looks super delicious and i can indulge on mascarpone cheese now :)

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