Chana Masala (Chickpea) Sandwich - Indian Bruschetta

indian-bruschetta-chhole sandwich"Chhole" or "Chana Masala" is a popular Indian recipe for curried chickpeas, boiled and cooked in a delicious tomato-onion sauce, and flavored with mild Indian spices. I love chickpeas, and I really really love Bruschetta, so its not hard to guess how this beautiful Chhole Sandwich aka "Indian Bruschetta" was born! It was a totally on-the-spur-of-the-moment appetizer that I cooked up one night, making use of some leftover chickpeas topped on grilled bread, with some tomatoes, basil, cilantro and parmesan cheese. But it was such a successful experiment that I am sure I'll be making this more often! I was actually quite surprised at how presentable it looked too! But looks apart, this is one of the tastiest open sandwiches one could eat, even if you don't have an Indian palate. In fact, I actually liked this Indian Chickpea Bruschetta version more than a traditional Italian Bruschetta!! now isn't that something?!!

4 slices of wheat or white bread
8 tbsp chhole (curried chickpeas) - recipe below
4 tbsp fresh firm tomatoes - chopped finely
2-3 tbsp shredded cheese (parmesan or mozarella)
salt & pepper - to taste
fresh or dried basil - to taste (optional)
some finely chopped cilantro

Chhole (Chana Masala - Curried Chickpeas)
2 cans boiled chickpeas
1/2 onion - chopped finely
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp tamarind sauce mixed with 1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp yogurt (optional)
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala or chhole masala
salt & lemon juice - to taste
water - if needed
3 tbsp oil

Drain the chickpeas from the can and wash them well. Heat a saucepan, add the oil, and saute the onions till they become soft. Add the ginger-garlic paste and the tomato puree.

Next, mix the tamarind paste in the yogurt and blend well. Add this to the tomato puree. Add all the spices and the drained chickpeas, then cover and let it cook for 10-15 mins, until the chickpeas are thoroughly cooked and become soft. Check for taste, adjust salt, lemon juice and spices, then remove from heat and keep aside to cool a little.

You can cook the Chhole ahead of time and preserve it refrigerated for upto 24 hours.

Garnish your Chana Masala with some onion rings and choped coriander, and you can serve it hot with Breads or Rice.

Assembling the Chhole Sandwich
Take each slice of bread; remove the edges and cut into desired shapes if you want. Toast the bread slices in a regular toaster or in an oven for 5-7 mins at 300 deg F, till they are lightly browned and crispy.

Mix the chopped tomatoes with salt, pepper, cilantro/basil, and toss to coat well. Set aside for 5 mins to let the flavors blend.

Take the curried chickpeas; put 2 tbsp each of this mixture onto the toasted bread(you can spread a little butter if you want). Top with a spoonful of tomato mixture, then sprinkle some shredded cheese on the top. Microwave each slice for 2 mins to let the cheese melt, or you can reheat the entire batch in an oven on a cookie sheet.

Serve these delicious and beautiful Chhole Sandwiches as an appetizer or a party snack. They look great and taste great, and are high in proteins and fiber, and I can bet your guests would love this Indian take on Bruschetta!

Related Recipes:
Shiitake Mushroom Crostini
Steamed Vegetable Timbales
Traditional Italian Bruschetta

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amna said...

what a clever idea! i make channa masala all the time and the next day, make like masala dosas with them :)

Manggy said...

That's very inventive Mansi! Sounds delicious! And best of all I can find all the ingredients very easily ;)

@the_whisk_affair said...

like u said, they really are presentable, and look elegant, colorful and appetizing! great creativity, mansi! :-)

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I love Chana Masala (and my wife has been asking me to make it lately--I never have). I'll have to give this a try and I love the bruschetta twist on it.

Nic said...

I'm a chickpea lover and this looks fantastic!

Rachel said...

Truly decadent..I like the indian twist!!!

Tee said...

loved it !!!! This is such a winner recipe :)

Anonymous said...

this looks brilliant! I love it, love it love it! I'm so making this tonight:)


Anonymous said...

Love the presentation and its really a very creative dish. channa masala is one of my fav dish.

glamah16 said...

What a great idea and very creative.

Anonymous said...

Hi mansi, my first time here, and i have to say, you are a great cook, and come up with some really innovative dishes, like this one, and the paneer tikka with mango dressing, and I esp loved your sweet n sour potatoes with mango!

I'd love to dine in your restaurant when you open it! hope you can fulfill your dream soon:) great job with this blog!!


Mansi said...

Thanks ppl! I'm really happy so many of you liked it, especially b'coz we REALLY liked it too! an elegant way to combine two favorite recipes:)

Nandita - welcome to my space, and thanks so much for your kind words! they do mean a lot to me, and yeah, i do hope I can fulfill my dream fast enough too!:) there's not much fun in the s/w job I'm doing:) hehehehee:D

Anonymous said...

Both recipes look great! I love your bruschetta:) basil is a great addition to it. yum!

Unknown said...

Love bread channa..Nice name for it Mansi

Dragon said...

What a great idea! It looks so delicious.

KALVA said...

Im gonne try it sooon nice one dear

Cakebrain said...

Nice blog! and your Indian Bruschetta looks yummy too!

Sujatha said...

I like the name! Sounds yummy! Wow, you came up with this recipe on the spur-of-the-moment! Very Creative.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That chickpea topping looks very all-purpose. I'll bet it would be great on more than just bruschetta.

Sunshinemom said...

I make this too, with left over veggies, but it tastes best with chhole or rajma! Yummy:)

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Lovely idea...I love italian bruschetta ..never heard indian cooool

Mallika said...

Very Mediterranean in style. I'm going to try and make your healthy eating event too.

Namratha said...

A very nice idea Mansi, I have channa masala sitting in my fridge from yday's cooking, will try this.

Lisa Turner said...

Very creative idea. I love chickpeas and I like Indian flavours, so this is a must try.

Kalai said...

Delicious idea!! Love bruschetta and this is just too good! :)

Shreya said...

This is amazing! looks delicious.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

how creative mANSI :) this would be such a hit at the indian parties !

Trupti said...

wow manasi very innovative idea ..nice and very tempting photos

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea and presentation. I still have a few pounds of black chickpeas that I'd love to try with this.

Padma said...

This looks inspiring, as we can eat it the Indian way! Very creative..

Anonymous said...

The Indian Bruschetta looks absolutely YUMMY! I love chickpeas and am always looking for new ways to serve them. Great idea!