Growing up we mainly ate food typical of the Western part of India where we are from and like most Indians, north Indian or Punjabi food, was something we ate when we went out to eat in restaurants. So chickpeas or channa or chole, as they are called, being “north Indian” or “Punjabi” did not feature in our diet at all.
For a long while my mother and her cook thought that chickpeas were called “Sholay” like the iconic Hindi movie that we are all familiar with. In fact, I still remember the first time my mother, after having decided to cook a chickpea curry, went to her grocer and asked for “Sholay”. The grocer did a double take and passed her the chole and thereafter has decided to call them “Sholay” as well – it probably brings back memories of how he has watched the movie at least 10 times.
Anyway, I like cooking Chole at home because this is a dish by itself – to be had with rice and yoghurt – and I do not have to trouble myself to cook vegetables or dal to go along with it.