From Doolally – Holi-Special Recipes for Travel2Ireland Readers

Holi-special chickpea curry in pan alongside fried bread or puris

As Ireland gears closer to play host to the Indian festival of colours known as Holi, we have a special treat in place for you. Of course, we gave you the heads-up earlier on – where you could go if you wanted to be a part of this festival – the events are open to people of all nationalities and religions. But we have more. Two Holi-special recipes from none other than the Executive Chef of Doolally!

Doolally’s Executive Chef Shloke Chhabra shares the recipe of home-style Punjabi curry, created by his mother and enjoyed by his family every year around the festival of Holi. This recipe is available in Doolally as part of the Holi celebrations from March 6th to 9th.

They have generously shared it for Travel2Ireland readers so that you can recreate it at home.

The key ingredients of both recipes (the second one is a vegetarian one) are available aplenty in Ireland: Chicken and Chickpeas. Of course, you will need to invest in some Indian masalas, that is, if your pantry doesn’t already stock them.

In both the recipes below, Chef Shloke pays homage to his late mother. These recipes are a family favourite and were lovingly created and served by his mother. Now it’s time for these recipes to be tried and tested in your kitchens, and enjoyed by your family and friends.

Chole Masala

Ingredients: Serves 4

500 g boiled chickpeas                                   

4 no (medium) red onion, chopped fine                   

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 no green chilli, chopped fine

1” piece of ginger, chopped fine                   

1 clove black cardamom

1 clove green cardamom                   

2 tsp cumin powder   

2 tsp coriander powder                     

½ tsp red chilli powder                                   

½ tsp chaat masala

½ tsp channa masala

1 tsp salt                                             

1 no lemon (juice only)                                                                                   

½ bunch coriander leaves, chopped fine       

2 Tea bags (Lyons original blend tea)

2 clove garlic (paste)

Thumb size ginger (paste)

2 tbsp sunflower oil   


  1. In a stock pot, add the par boiled chickpeas, with enough water to cover it all the way up. Add in the tea bags, black cardamom, green cardamom and boil till the water reduces to a ¼.
  2. Strain the chickpeas and remove the tea bags, hold on to half a cup of the water for later use. Marinate the chickpeas with the dry spices by mixing cumin powder, ¼ red chilli powder, channa masala and coriander powder all in a mixing bowl and set aside
  3. In another pan, add in some oil on medium heat. Add the chopped red onions and cook till golden brown.
  4. Once golden brown, add in the ginger paste and garlic paste and cook further. Add some ¼ red chilli powder and the marinated chickpeas.
  5. Saute them well, and add in the tomato puree and cook further.
  6. Once the mix starts to dry and stick to the bottom of the pan, add in water and left-over stock from the chickpeas to deglaze and cook further. Make sure there is enough water in order for it to boil well and absorb all the flavor.
  7. Once it reaches a thick consistency, add in the chaat masala, chopped ginger, lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves to finish.
  8. In case the gravy is sour, that is due to the tomato puree not being cooked well, feel free to add in 1tsp of sugar to balance the sourness.

Home-Style Punjabi Chicken Curry

Serves 4


1kg of high quality chicken fillets

Half a thumb piece of ginger

6 peeled cloves of garlic

3 white onions

Salt to taste

3 pods of green cardamom

1 pod of black cardamom

2 bay leaves

15gm garam masala

20gm cumin powder

20gm coriander powder

2 whole dry red chilli

2 fresh green chilli, split and deseeded

150gm yoghurt

100ml ghee (or butter)

30gm freshly chopped coriander leaves

1 lemon


  1. Wash, pat dry and clean the chicken fillets. Dice into medium size pieces (1 fillet into 8 pieces).
  2. Add salt, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, yoghurt, slit green chilli & lemon juice and mix well. Leave to marinade preferably overnight or for a couple of hours refrigerated.
  3. In a stock pot, add the ghee, once hot, add all the dry whole spices in it (Bay leaf, dry red chilli, cardamom), once it crackles, add in thinly sliced onions.
  4. Sauté well till golden brown. While it is sauteing, make a paste with ginger, garlic and 20 ml of oil in a blender. Make sure it is smooth mix, strain and keep aside.
  5. Once the onions are brown, add in the ginger & garlic paste and cook further. Add the marinated chicken and sauté till all the water is released.
  6. Add in water, enough to cover the chicken, and let it simmer on medium low heat with a lid on.
  7. Once it reduces well and the chicken is cooked, finish with fresh coriander leaves.
  8. Best eaten with steamed basmati rice.

While these recipes are for Holi – the festival of colours – if you like more Indian recipes, do check out our article on Diwali special recipes here. You are of course, free to try out these recipes any time of the year, and don’t need to limit it to one particular festival or month. After all, food is the language of love. Cooking, and sharing the food we make is always a good way to create some really special times – be it with family or friends.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here