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Chole masala refers to the blend of select spices which are available in packaged form for use in preparation of chick peas or kabuli chana. The spices included in chole masala range as per the brand but typically contain bayleaf, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander seeds, cloves, red chillies, peppercorn, and anaardana (pomegranate) seeds. Dry roast all the spices on low flame until fragrant, then grind in a spice/coffee grinder. Chole masala is used in a very popular punjabi dish made of chick peas(Garbanzo beans) to be had with nan or batura.
Many commercial mixtures may include more of other less expensive spices and may contain dried red chili peppers, dried garlic, ginger powder, sesame, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, bay leaves, star anise and fennel.
How to select
Check the expiry date before buying.
· As the name suggests the chole masala is used to prepare Punjabi chole preparations which are served with roti, naan, chapathi, basmati rice or any other way you desire.
· Chole masala can be added to season fish curry, chicken masala and in the marinade for mutton.
How to store
While commercial chole masala preparations can be bought ready ground, as with all ground spice, they do not keep well and soon lose their aroma Store masala in an airtight container in a cool dark place.
· Since the masala powder is added only in small quantities, it does not have substantial health benefits. However the use of cloves, and peppercorns are known to improve digestive complaints and immune functions.