Chhole da Lasagna
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Chhole da Lasagna

From Patiala to Pisa, with love!

Arun Subramanian

Ingredients

4-serving
  1. 500 grams chickpeas Cooked
  2. 2 nos Onions
  3. 2 nos Tomato
  4. 1 inch Ginger
  5. 3 cloves Garlic
  6. 2 Green chillies
  7. 2 teaspoons Red chilli powder
  8. pinch Turmeric a
  9. to taste Salt
  10. 1 teaspoon garam masala Ground
  11. 1/2 cup milk Full - fat
  12. 1 tablespoon Oil
  13. 200 grams Cream cheese
  14. 125 grams Mozzarella
  15. 1 Egg
  16. 2 teaspoons Lemon juice
  17. 2 teaspoons mint Dried
  18. 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
  19. 4 nos Lasagne sheets
  20. 100 grams Mozzarella
  21. 1/2 cup Pecorino / Parmeggiano / Grana Padano
  22. 1 teaspoon Ghee
  23. to taste black pepper Ground

Method

90 mins
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    Take all the ingredients for the cheese layer in a bowl and mash well with a fork until paste-like consistency. Wrap in cling wrap (with film touching the surface) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

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    To make the bhuna masala, saute the onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and tomato in oil over medium heat for at least 4-5 minutes. Once tomatoes are soft, add spices and cook with lid closed for another 5 minutes. Take off heat, cool down and blend in a mixer to a fine paste. (I didn't have pics for these steps as I usually prepare some bhuna masala and keep in my fridge for use over the week)

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    If you are using canned chickpeas, wash them thoroughly to get rid of the brine.

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    In a pan with oil over medium heat, dump the chickpeas, 1 cup of the bhuna masala and milk and cook for about 10 minutes with lid open until the gravy thickens. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

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    Prep the mozzarella for the assembly by cutting it into small cubes for ease of strewing on top of the casserole.

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    Get ready for assembly! Preheat your oven to 200'C or gas mark 6. (Note: Although my chickpeas look dry, there is gravy in the bottom of the bowl ;))

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    Grease the dish you're going to use with some ghee.

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    Next, place a layer of the lasagne sheets. Feel free to break the sheet to fit into the dimension of your dish. (Mine were non-bake lasagne sheets, so I did not have to pre-cook them. Check your package instructions if you need to cook them ahead of time. If yes, then boil them in salted water until al dente, drain them, wipe off any excess water with a kitchen paper and proceed with this step)

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    Ladle in one layer of the chhole with the gravy over the lasagne sheet and spread out evenly.

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    Spread over this, one thin layer of the cheese mixture and cover any visible nooks and crannies.

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    Repeat with this layering until you have 3 layers of pasta, 3 layers of chhole and 2 layers of the cheese mixture. Make sure the 3rd layer of chhole is on the top. Strew over the cubed mozzarella.

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    Finish the assembly by grating over a generous amount of your favourite nutty cheese (I had some Pecorino in hand. You can also use Parmeggiano Reggiano or Grana Padano). Season the top with some coarsely ground black pepper (optional).

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    This now goes into the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. After the 20-minute mark, crank the heat to 220'C (gas mark 7) and bake until the sides of the cheese topping develops a brown crust.

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    Remove from oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes before cutting into it. You may let it sit in the oven until the top darkens to your liking. I personally am not a fan of charred cheese. This is a fork and knife dish and serve with a warm bread to soak up any residual gravy from the plate. Enjoy! :)

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