Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Indian Street Food: Rice Plate Chole | Chickpeas with RIce

Now that's an unusual name for a recipe isn't it? Not if you've been to University in Delhi, Bombay, or many of the other metros in India. When I was completing my Masters in Delhi, I spent long long hours soaking up books in the library. Reading often gave way to a ravenous appetites and late after the local cafes and canteens closed doors, it was the corner shops and street stores that catered to the hunger of budding professionals. I remember stepping out of the library with some buddies, turning a quick corner, and ordering a steaming hot Rice Plate. Quite simply this comprised a plate heaped with rich and served with a deliciously simple curry, usually either chole (chickpeas) or rajma (red kidney beans). At what can only described as a nominal price, each plate served was always enough food for two!! Filling, satisfying, and nutritious, it was an excellent motivation to go back and hit the books.

This is my version of the very same chole made to go with rice. I add cinnamon, star anise, and nutmeg as they impart a delicately sweet flavour to this otherwise spicy curry. Here's to some great memories of Delhi, University, and the ubiquitous corner shop with a Rice Plate menu!!

1 1/2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight
2 onions, chopped fine
3 tomatoes, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1" piece ginger, minced
6-8 curry leaves
1" piece ginger, minced
1 black cardamom
2 points star anise (from 1 flower)
1/2 tsp cumin
6 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
A few shavings nutmeg
Small stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp oil

  1. Drain the chickpeas, and pressure cook with with some fresh water, the cinnamon stick, black cardamom, star anise, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, peppercorns, bay leaves, a few shavings nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and ginger.
  2. In a deep frying pan, add the oil. Once it is heated, add the cumin, the curry leaves, garlic, ginger and onions. Fry until the onions are golden brown, then add the tomatoes, salt to taste, turmeric, chilli powder, and 1/4 cup water. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and you have a semi liquid curry.
  3. Pour the chickpeas with the liquid they were cooked in into the tomato-onion paste. Stir, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Check for seasonings and adjust according to taste.
  4. Serve hot with plain rice, or for a treat enjoy with Zeera Chawal (Cumin Rice). Enjoy!!
I am sending this recipe out to Sri of Cooking for All Seasons for Curry Mela. This will be my very first entry to her Mela series :)

I am also sending this out to Aparna My Diverse Kitchen who is hosting this month's Think Spice, Think Nutmeg.

All text and photographs in this blog, unless otherwise noted, are Copyright of © Annarasa 2007-2013. All Rights Reserved. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.


  1. Annarasa you know this is always my weekend speacial food. Free from office extra work, just make chole and rice and have it. wow heavenly feeling it gives me :)

  2. Spicy chole with rice is an unbeatable combination. And your use of a different "garam masala" gives this dish an unusual twist.
    Thanks for participating.

  3. thats a great looking plate..I can still remember the plate of rice with chole made by my punju friends!

  4. I love chole-rice. Yummy recipe!!

  5. Chickpeas are awesome.. It's so satisfying and the texture is so comforting. Delicious looking recipe.


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