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Packet Chole

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Recipe by Route 79

Description Edit

Even in the Route79 household we occasionally cook from packet-mixes! Yep - when you just feel like throwing it all in a pot and letting it cook for itself - you can do so. I do this occasionally out of sheer curiosity - and last night was no exception.

I have noticed over the last year or so - the Indian shops on my High Street have been carrying "packet-mix" sachets of some of the most classic of Indian/Asian cuisine. I have always been tempted to try some out - and so I picked a packet called "Parampara Chole Gravy Mix". The company name is "Parampara" in this case (it seems to have been imported from Pune in India) - and the recipe is "Chole Gravy Mix" - "Chole" is pronounced "Cholay" - and refers to a classic NorthWestern/Punjabi dish made from Chickpeas (sometimes known in restaurants as "channa masala". This is classic Indian "street-food" or "comfort food" and is best served with rice, or better still, with a type of fried fluffy bread called "bhatura". Last night - we decided on having it with rice.

The whole idea of this packet-mix is that you just add the ready-boiled Chickpeas and water into a pot with the packet-mix and let it simmer on the stove until it's done! Fast food in an instant! (Well - in an hour anyway!) I am guessing that these packet-mixes will appeal to the younger, busier Indian generation who on occasions cannot be bothered to go to great lengths to stock or prepare all the necessary ingredients - as it's all in the packet" Including oil, salt and spices etc. (Yes - the packet is made of heavy, sealed foil and the contents feel slightly soft and squidgy.)

So I decided to give it a go. This is what you need:

Ingredients Edit

  • 1 packet of Parampara Chole Gravy Mix
  • 1 tin of boiled chickpeas (you can get this from any Indian shop or the "world foods" aisle of most major supermarkets
  • About 800 ml of water

Tin of boiled chickpeas



Directions Edit

Start by opening the tin of Chickpeas and washing it using the "sieve under the cold tap" method. Open up the packet-mix also:


Wash and drain the tin of boiled chickpeas


Then put the drained, boiled Chickpeas into a pot and add the packet-mix and water - and bring to boil. Reduce the heat so that it simmers - and keep it simmering with the lid off for around one hour. Yep - one hour. Stirring occasionally.


Add the water and let it simmer for an hour with lid-off until reduced


Then, when the "gravy" has reduced so that the Chickpeas are visible in a semi-thick consistency - have a taste and see what you think. In my case I think it needed a bit more salt - and I also added a few pieces of chopped fresh tomato - as well as half a finely-chopped Onion. (Toss in the Onion and the tomato raw - and let it simmer gently for a few more minutes.)

Put the lid back on and let it sit for around 15 mins whilst you prepare some fresh basmati rice - or heat up some pitta-bread or make some toast.

Serve with a chunky salad of cucumber, tomato and carrot - and/or some mint chutney on the side.

I was mildly surprised at how good it tasted. Ok - so it was slightly bland - and could have done with a bit of extra garam masala or ground red-chillie - but it wasn't bad for such a low-effort dish. Not bad at all ...

Recipe by Route 79 Edit

Route 79 From London: By a British, European, 2nd-Generation Indian. Probably confused - but proud to be them all! Half of my journey to and from work is a 20-30 minute bus ride: London Bus Route 79 - between Alperton in West London and Kingsbury in North West London. I very frequently get pissed-off and frustrated waiting around in the DARK, WET and COLD - waiting for the 79 to turn up. But I have to be eternally grateful for the quality thinking time I get to myself.

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