Chana Masala has many variants and many names. Amritsari chholey is one of them. This one is a unique recipe, too, and who better than chef Ranveer Brar to show us how to make this Punjabi classic.
Amritsari chholey is sometimes referred to as Punjabi chholey, which is generally correct. But the recipe traditionally used in Amritsar was a bit different, as you will see in the video.
There are a few interesting additions to the cooking process in this recipe. One is the use of “Potli.” At the time of boiling chana, the chef keeps a few dry spices in a piece of cloth, ties it into a ball (potli), and drops it into the water. While the chana boils, the spices in the potli gradually release their color and flavor into the water. That is why the chef repeatedly says not to discard the chana water but instead to use it all.
However, you must remember to remove the potli and discard it once the chana has boiled. The potli or the spices in it have no further use.
The other interesting addition is using two types of cooking fat, clarified butter (ghee) and mustard oil. If you want to make Amritsari chholey vegan, you absolutely can, and it will still be authentic. You can use any vegetable oil or mustard oil. If you are using mustard oil, allow the oil to heat well and release smoke before adding spices.
There is a special flavoring ingredient used in the recipe, which is actually essential if you want the real Punjabi flavor in chana. It is dried pomegranate seeds. These seeds are to be added at a precise time which you will see in the video.
You can buy dry pomegranate seeds, but the best option would be to dry them in the sun at home. Commercially produced pomegranate seeds are not very clean.
Well, the rest is in the video. Watch it to make Amritsari chholey like a pro.
Video credit: Chef Ranveer Brar Youtube channel.