On a low flame, in a large saucepan, put 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil and all the whole spices.
Let the oil on the lowest flame for about 10 minutes. Note: that the spices should not become dark, just golden, and release the aromas in the air. Once done, remove the whole spices from the pan.
Start preparing Punjabi chole
To the flavored oil add the ajwain, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic and sauté for a minute or so on a low flame, without allowing them to brown.
Once the smell of rawness from the ginger and garlic has gone, add the red onion and a pinch of salt. Mix well, increase to medium heat, and allow to lightly brown.
Once the onions are golden-brown in color, add the turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and chole masala; stir well and again allow to cook for about one minute, until the spices are cooked and the oil separates from them.
Add the fresh chopped tomato to the curry, mix well, and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and allow the tomatoes to soften for about 10 minutes.
Blend half the onion tomato gravy
Once the tomato is completely cooked, take half of the mixture and blend it; this will give the curry a nice creamy consistency. Return the blended mixture to the pan with the ‘non-blended’ half and bring back to the boil.
Next, put the dry fenugreek leaves on a plate or paper towel and microwave for about 10 seconds, then put in your palm and crush in the curry. At this stage, add the mango powder to the pan as well.
Lastly, add the chickpeas to the pan and half a cup of water, mix well and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Note: In this step, you can adjust the quantity of water you add to the pan as needed and preferred. To serve garnish with fresh cilantro [fresh coriander] and a slice of lemon or lime, if liked.
Should you like for your curry to be spicier (or less spicy) you can adjust the quantity of red chili powder you add to the recipe or use a different kind, such as Kashmiri Chili Powder. Slit fresh green chilies can be added too.
Fresh ginger and garlic can be swapped for a teaspoon of ginger garlic paste, although the taste may slightly change.
Serve with steamed rice, bhature, roti, chapati, naan, or parathas.
This can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.
Punjabi chole can be frozen in a suitable container for up to three months. Thoroughly reheat before serving.