End Of The Garden Chole, and Meme

End of the gardenΒ chole
end of the garden chole, hot from the stove

Once more I am lagging in my blogging and blog-hopping.
It comes as something of a shock, how much I miss it.

I miss “making the rounds” and I can see by the few glances I have had over the past day or two, that I am missing ALOT of treats. I also miss the comment conversations; hopefully I will be back to something more like a routine soon.

When I pass quickly by your kitchens, I feel rather wistful; as if I have waved in passing to so many dear friends I can’t wait to meet up with again πŸ™‚


End of the garden chole. Is it chole? Is it channa masala? I don’t know what its name should be, I just know it was delicious. I had a mess of late-season tomatoes, ripe and semi-ripe, and a couple of precious brinjals looking for attention. For those who didn’t know my nana, “a mess” was her phrase for a bunch of veggies from one picking.

We never cooked a pot of anything, but we cooked “a mess” of swiss chard quite often when I was growing up. Nana would often pick “a mess” of rhubarb for sauce. Isn’t it amazing how something so simple as a word or two connects us to our yesteryears.

end of the gardenΒ veggies
a “mess” of juicy tomatoes and fresh brinjals, from the end of the garden

This recipe is mostly from Sri’s Chole Masala.
Wherever you are, Sri dear, I wish to thank you! πŸ™‚

(Fairly) Quick End of the Garden Chole
ingredients flexible and approximate — adjust to taste
note: I used semi-ripe green tomatoes and they provided the tartness in this dish. Lacking these, you can use dried amla as Sri calls for…

For seasoning:

1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds

1 small red onion, chopped
1 healthy TB ginger-garlic paste
2-3 green chiles, slit
1/2 – 1 tsp kashmiri chile powder
pinch turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 TB cumin-coriander powder
(yes, I love cumin)
pinch black salt (optional — I liked it the first time, omitted it the second)

In a small frying pan, heat oil and sizzle the cumin seeds. Add chopped onion, fry until golden. Add ginger-garlic paste and green chiles, saute a few minutes then add powders and 1-2 TB water to prevent burning the spices. Stir well to blend — when fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.

For the chole:

2 small cans chole/chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
(or soak 3/4 cup dried the night before)
1/2 tsp turmeric
few drops of canola oil

Pressure cook until soft but not mushy. Let pressure drop under cold running water. When safe, open the pan and add the seasoning above along with the following veggies, cut into small dice:

2 juicy ripe red tomatoes
2 semi-ripe green tomatoes
2 long brinjals

Stir everything together along with 1 c water. Seal the pressure cooker again and cook 10-15 minutes (I don’t know how many whistles ’cause I am still in search of a whistling pressure cooker here in Boston area — if anyone knows where I can get one… please do tell! πŸ™‚ )

Let the pressure fall on its own this time, and when safe to open, add a lump of jaggery and mix well to dissolve.

Add salt to taste and serve hot. Better yet, serve this the next day for even more delightful flavor. Actually the third day was the BEST. I don’t always pay attention to letting a dish sit for a day or two for improved flavor — now I shall.

end of the gardenΒ chole
end of the garden chole — doesn’t it look better the third day? πŸ˜‰

Lovely and talented Richa of the delicious As Dear As Salt has tagged me for this Fantastic Four Meme. Little did she know I was just in the mood to yak on and on about myself today! Thanks Richa πŸ™‚


Four places I’ve lived:

Cape Cod
Greater Boston
New York state


Four jobs I’ve had:

Domestic Engineer — when I was a younger stay-at-home mom, I took college classes part time. On the first evening of any given class, the professor would inevitably say, “Let’s go around the room. Introduce yourselves and tell us what you do for a living”. I was a little embarassed to be a stay-at-home mom without a career, amongst all the professionals. I always said I was a domestic engineer. That made them stop and think πŸ˜‰

Nurse — well, not in the professional sense! But I can draw up meds and give shots without a second thought, this from the person who used to be sick at the sight of a hospital. I can also calm the school nurse when my daughter is in her office with a high or low blood sugar! I wish I could cure those around me and quit this particular job.

Restaurant manager — the job I had before I quit school and had kids.

Travel consultant — what I do in real life πŸ™‚


Four favorite places I’ve holidayed:

Upper peninsula of Michigan
Lower peninsula of Michigan
Colorado Rockies
Did I mention Michigan? πŸ™‚

I’ve been to numerous Caribbean islands, Canada, Chicago, DC, New Orleans, NYC etc., and many places in between… but never overseas.
East or west home is best… Michigan for me any chance I get!


Four favorite foods —

I second Richa here, only four, not fair!!! πŸ˜‰

Sambhar made with ISG’s magic sambhar powder — any variety you can think of. Right now mine is simmering on the stove, with sambhar onions as the featured veggie. Thanks once more, ISG! πŸ™‚

Genuine U.P. pasties (say pass-tees).
I have been fortunate to make them with the expert!

My mom’s apple crisp — none of that healthy oatmeal topping, oh no. Pure butter, sugar and tiny bit of flour. Heaven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

My uncle’s quahog chowder (or chowdah, as we say here in New England). Nobody can make as he did. I miss the chowder on July 4, but I miss him more πŸ™‚


Four places I would rather be — other than right here with my kids, they are as follows:

canoeing: paddling outside traverse city

scarletΒ tanager
watching birds: spectacular scarlet tanager,
preening springtime plumes in northern michigan

lakeΒ superior
watching gulls and kittiwakes, swimming in vast Lake Superior

keweenaw eye candy
sitting on the Keweenaw Peninsula,
looking out on Lake Superior

In other words, home in Michigan! πŸ™‚


Four bloggers I would like to tag:

Forgive me here, as I have no idea who has already been tagged for this meme. If you’ve already played or don’t care to, please don’t worry! All in fun πŸ™‚

Shammi of Food In The Main

Latha of Masala Magic

(yes girls, your friendship starter IS forthcoming!) πŸ™‚

Nabeela of Trial and Error — one of my first blog-friends πŸ™‚

and since my meme was mostly about Michigan, my one-day will-be next-door neighbor from Wisconsin, Pel of Elaichi et Cetera πŸ˜‰


And last but certainly not least, look how well FAHC has done — surpassed their “Subscribe to Smiles” goal long before the deadline! Thanks again to dedicated kind souls VKN and Indira, et al… I am humbled by your efforts on behalf of children in need and happy to have had the opportunity to take part.



  1. Srivalli said

    Lnda…you are one rocking lady….your meme is wonderful to read…now you have made me want to visit Michigan..east or west Michigan is the best!…I liked that domestic engineer part the best!

    Oh Srivalli, you’re after my own heart — east or west Michigan is best! πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for your kind comment πŸ™‚

  2. Srivalli said

    oops forgive me…your i got missing somehow in your name!..

    Never a worry Sri πŸ™‚

  3. sushma said

    Hi Linda,

    Nice and tempting diush and very nice meme too… thnks for sharing..


    Thank you Sushma, so glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  4. shyam said

    Yay, I’ve been tagged! πŸ™‚ I’ve not done this one before, so double yay! Thanks, Linda πŸ™‚

    PS. How far is Boston from New York? I’ll be in Danbury, Connecticut this Saturday! πŸ™‚

    Shammi! You’ll be about halfway. Do you have relatives/friends in CT, then!? How exciting, a trip to New England in one of the lovliest autums we’ve had in years. You’ll get great leaf-peeping πŸ™‚

  5. Padmaja said

    hey linda!!! lovely recipe and that amazing meme, its wonderful to see what friends like n how they want to spend their time

    Thanks Padmaja — it *is* fun to learn more about one another isn’t it? Happy you stopped by πŸ™‚

  6. cinnamontrail said

    The Chole is lovely.. and it was nice reading the Meme.. esp the place u wish to be, i loved the pics!! I wish even I would be there πŸ™‚

    Thank you Cinnamon — I hope someday you can visit Michigan too πŸ™‚

  7. sra said

    The sit-out in that last photo looks like such a comforting nook, is that your home, Linda? Good for you!

    Oh Sra, home in my heart for now — although I have been to that comforting nook πŸ™‚ Ever looking toward the day when I do live there πŸ™‚

  8. Nupur said

    Love the idea of eggplant with the chana! And you are a travel consultant, eh? That sounds like a fun job…helping folks plan their vacations πŸ™‚

    I do business and leisure planning, Nupur — and it is a fun job. Part psychologist part financial advisor and I get to live vicariously through others’ travels πŸ˜‰

  9. Asha said

    Chole looks fabulous. I always cook Indian food a day or two early.It tstes best when it sits for 24hrs!:))
    Great MeMe! We have lot of similarities in where we would like to be. I did that at Aroma!!
    I always say proudly say I am stay at home mom!! My kids know that how lucky they are and keep telling me too! Being a mom is the hardest job as it is!:))

    Asha I’ll have to check out your meme! I agree, stay at home mom has the toughest job and most rewarding too, yes? I am proud to say it too, now — but back then I was young and foolish! πŸ˜‰ I always remember you saying “let this sit overnight” etc for best flavor. Well sometimes I am slow lto comply but I come around eventually! πŸ™‚

  10. Richa said

    chole looks so thick n yummy πŸ™‚
    what a fantastic read, ur meme was! about the 4 places u holidayed, love the way u stay true to ur roots, just beautiful πŸ™‚ i was looking forward to knowing more @ Michigan & Lake Superior & u definitely brought it out πŸ™‚
    Thanks for playing along……

    Thanks so much for the tag Richa, I really enjoyed playing πŸ™‚ Now we have to get you up to Lake Superior to see for yourself! πŸ™‚

  11. Laavanya said

    The chole looks lovely Linda. It was great to read your meme…. and what beautiful pictures.. I’d like to be there too! πŸ™‚

    Thank you Laavanya! I hope you can visit someday — it is truly beautiful πŸ™‚

  12. Linda…..Very interesting Meme……Enjoyed going thru it….Nice knowing u dear πŸ™‚

    Thanks so much Sirisha, it’s nice to be known πŸ™‚

  13. indosungod said

    Linda, sure missed having you at the table but you more than made up for that with this post. The lovely fresh mess from the garden you have is just lovely and the chole is slurping delicious. You have Michigan on your mind even when you sleep, those pictures are beautiful. “Domestic Engineer” love the term πŸ™‚

    Yes ISG, in my sleep I am dreaming of Michigan and sambhar! Thought you might get a chuckle from my old school-days label πŸ˜‰ Hope to be at the table more regularly now. If I am having extended garden you must be overloaded with veggies yet! πŸ™‚

  14. Latha said

    Lovely post Linda. Realy enjoyed u’re meme πŸ™‚ The chole looks yumm! And i will surely take u up on the meme soon. Thanks for thinking of me πŸ™‚
    And dont worry about the starter – take u’re time !

    Thank you Latha dear — I am home for the next few days so will surely get to the post office now. Appreciate your patience, and look forward to seeing your meme πŸ™‚

    Hugs to you!

  15. lakshmi said

    Sambar!!! Have you had tamilians sometime in your life? I have so far seen only people brought up on the soil of Tamil Nadu put Sambar on top of such a list πŸ˜€

    Hi Lakshmi — maybe I was Tamilian in another life — I am an admitted sambhar addict πŸ™‚

  16. Mishmash! said

    Domestic Engineer !!! How clever :)))))) I loved it dear :)))) chole looks quite rich and hearty.


    Glad you enjoyed, on both accounts, Shn — thanks! πŸ™‚

  17. Rajitha said

    chole looks great..it is up another notch on account of the veggies….

    Thank you Rajitha — the fresh veggies did make it special πŸ™‚

  18. meeso said

    The dish looks delicious…I’m thinking it would taste so good on a chilly day like today. Your making me appreciate my little Michigan space here…usually I do anything to get to Chicago and would LOVE to live there, but maybe I should appreciate my beautiful little space right here πŸ™‚

    Hi Meeso, and thanks! I think the chole would be yummy on a chilly day, too πŸ™‚ So are you telling me you are living in my dear home state!? Whereabouts, if I might ask? I love Chicago too, mostly for a visit though, beautiful city that it is. Give me the water and woods of MI for my permanent home πŸ™‚

  19. Suganya said

    Those are priceless shots, Linda. I wouldnt mind sitting on those chairs for hours. Nice one!

    I was lucky to do just that, Suganya, couple summers ago πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you enjoyed the pics πŸ™‚

  20. Nabeela said

    The chana masala/chole/mess looks awfully delicious….something I wouldn’t mind eating for days and days!
    Thanks for tagging….as you can tell from my blog, I love yakking about myself a lot too πŸ˜‰

    Thanks Nabeela, glad you liked the ‘mess’ πŸ˜‰ Look forward to your meme! πŸ™‚

  21. shyam said

    Yep, my brother lives in Danbury… so it’s only halfway to Boston? Guess I’ll have to make a separate trip another time! πŸ™‚ My sister lived in Holland, MI for 2 years and loved it… I wish I could have visited while she was there, the photos she sent were AWESOME. πŸ™‚

    I’d love to visit Holland — both MI and the Netherlands! By all means make another trip; it would be fun to meet you πŸ™‚

  22. shyam said

    As are your photos, of course. That’s what reminded me of her pix!

    Aw, thanks Shammi πŸ™‚

  23. Nice meme! very realistic!:)) Ofcourse home makers are domestic engineers! What presence of mind!:)) I too fell somehow I am not able to bloghop as much as I would love to!

    Thank you Latha — I guess we could all use an extra day in the week just to play blogging πŸ™‚

  24. Menu Today said

    Hi Linda,
    Sorry for the late comment.
    Dish looks fabulous. Very interesting meme…

    Happy to see you anytime at all, MT, and thanks for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  25. mandira said

    great post linda πŸ™‚ loved the pics… hey I’ve sent you an e-mail… do take a look and let me know via e-mail. πŸ™‚

    I’m happy you liked the pics Mandira — just giving you a push to go “up north” πŸ˜‰ Will certainly check email πŸ™‚

  26. meeso said

    I live in Kalamazoo…been here all my life. Where in Michigan are you from?

    Have never been to Kalamazoo, Meeso — I was born in Detroit and really just started going back to MI about five years ago — mostly been around the northern part of the state. So it’s my “home state” because I was born there, and also plan to make it home again within the next few years πŸ™‚ You have some lovely farm country around there if I am not mistaken. Eventually I’ll get down to the south, too πŸ™‚

  27. Deepa said

    very nice write up on your self …i love the pics…..

    Thanks Deepa, I’m glad you enjoyed the pics πŸ™‚

  28. sandeepa said

    Loved reading your MeMe Linda. Do you need to travel as a travel consultant , or you have to advise others about where to travel πŸ˜‰ Loved your chole

    Thanks! I guess I do a little of both, Sandeepa — but not enough of my own traveling if you ask me πŸ˜‰

  29. sharmi said

    nice looking chole out of all those veggies. loved reading the meme too.

    Thanks so much, Sharmi πŸ™‚

  30. Cynthia said

    You’ve been missed.

    Likewise, Cynthia, thanks πŸ™‚

  31. Pelicano said

    Hey! Nice catch-all dish…and that’s a good idea to use green tomatoes to replace ripe ones plus a souring agent…hmmm. innovative.

    I think you can find the whistling pressure-cookers at some of the online Indian grocers, I believe I’ve seen them. I don’t own one of these musical ditties. But I think I’d like to…that sound probably brings warm, cozy, food connotations with it. Mine has a 3-choice weight on it. Pretty standard for us eh? So….we have the rattling sound! πŸ™‚ For kabuli channa soaked for a day, I cook it for 12-15 min at 15 lbs of pressure, allowing the pressure to fall.

    Thanks for tagging me for the meme…. whenever I see your lovely nature photos from the area I think to myself: I gotta get out more….. hehehehehe

    That’s about the size Pel, a catch-all. I don’t even have a 3-choice weight — it’s either on or off. Works well enough, just I like to spoil myself with kitchen gadgets. And you *should* get out more — you live in one of the most picturesque places around! πŸ™‚

  32. anusharaji said

    thats one tempting dish here
    nice pics of michigan too
    never been there

    Thank you Anusha — hope you get the chance to visit someday! πŸ™‚

  33. Padma said

    I cannot find the RSS feed links to ur post, pls help me

  34. sri said

    Chole looks yummy. Nice photographs.

    Thanks so much, Sri! πŸ™‚

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