Punjabi Chole – Chickpeas Curry

4.96 from 62 votes
Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 248
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Punjabi chole masala or chana masala is one of the most popular curry dishes from India. In fact in north India no wedding or party is complete until you have chole masala on the menu. I remember whenever we would call someone over for lunch or dinner, mom would almost always make chole.

So what actually is chole masala? In this recipe, chickpeas are cooked with onions, tomatoes and lots of spices. A special blend of spices called “chole powder/masala” is easily available at every Indian store. One can make chole masala powder at home too by dry roasting ingredients like cumin, cloves, coriander, peppercorn, cardamom etc. But I usually get the masala from the store, saves me time and also tastes good.

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My husband loves chole, well that’s given since he is a punjabi. So after I got married I really tried to master making punjabi chole and after lots of trials and errors, I think I have now found the perfect recipe. Hubby feels that I make the best chole, maybe he’s just biased but at least that make me pretty confident about this recipe ; -)

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You will notice that I added 2 tea bags while cooking chickpeas in the pressure cooker, that’s because the tea bags help in giving chole a dark brown/black color. I added only 2, but for a deeper darker brown color, you can add more tea bags. And before you start wondering, let me assure you that the tea bags do not hamper the taste of chickpeas in any way.

 

Serves: 5-6

Ingredients

To pressure cook

Chickpeas/Chole: 2 cups + 2 tbsp

Cardamom: 5-6

Black peppercorn: 4-5

Bay leaves: 2

Cinnamon sticks: 2

Tea bags: 2

Salt: to taste

Water: 5 cups

 

For the chole

Onion: 3/4 cup, grated or pureed [from 2 small onions]

Tomatoes: 2.5 cups puree [from 4 medium tomatoes]

Cloves: 3-4

Ginger-garlic paste: 2 teaspoon

Chole Masala: 3 teaspoon

Cumin powder: 3/4 teaspoon

Paprika powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Red chili powder: 1/2 teaspoon or to taste

Salt: to taste

 

 

To garnish

Ghee [clarified butter]: 1 tablespoon

Ginger: 1 inch, cut into julienne

Dried fenugreek leaves [kasuri methi]: 1/2 tbsp, crushed

Coriander leaves: 2 tablespoon, chopped

Garam masala: 1/4 teaspoon

 

Method

Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them. I soaked a little more than 2 cups and in the morning I had around 5.5 cups of it! Drain the water in which you had soaked the chickpeas.

1. In a pressure cooker add the soaked and drained chickpeas, around 5 cups water, 2 tea bags, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick and some salt. Pressure cook at high flame till you get 1-2 whistles. After that lower the flame to medium and let the chickpeas cook for another 10-12 minutes. Remove the cooker from heat and allow it to cool down. Once the steam is gone, open the cooker and check the chickpeas. You should be able to press them easily with your fingers. If not, close the cooker and cook for 2 more whistles.

Here, you can also remove the bay leaves, cinnamon stick etc. from the chickpeas if you don’t want them in the curry.

2. In a wok, heat 2 tsp of oil. Once hot, add cloves and grated onions. Fry the onions till the raw smell goes away and they are light golden brown in color.

3. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 3-4 minutes till the smell of ginger-garlic goes away.

Chole-Recipe-Steps-1-notitle-cwm4. Now add the tomato puree , stir and let it cook for 12-15 minutes on medium-low flame. Cover the pan to prevent splash all around. This step in my opinion is very important. The tomatoes need to be cooked really well till the raw smell goes away completely. So have patience and let them cook for around 15 minutes.

5. Add the chole masala, red chilli powder, paprika powder, cumin powder, salt and mix for a 1-2 minutes.

6. Drain the the chickpeas and add them to the tomato-onion mixture, stir till all the chickpeas are coated with spices, around 2 minutes. Do not throw away the water once you have drained the chickpeas. We will add the same water in the gravy.

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7. Add water, cover the pan and let it simmer at medium-low flame for around 30 minutes. The gravy will thicken after 30 minutes so add water accordingly. I do not like thin gravy with chole but if you do add more water than what is mentioned in the recipe.

After 30 minutes the gravy, chickpeas and all the spices would have mixed well together. We can now do the tempering.

8. To temper, heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and the ginger julienne to it.

9. Fry till the juliennes are golden brown in color but do not burn them. Add to the chole curry, mix and switch off the flame.

Chole-Recipe-Step-3-notitle-cwmSprinkle some garam masala, kasuri methi and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with roti, paratha or plain rice. Chole-chawal (chole & plain rice) is a very popular combination in North India.

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If you’ve tried this Punjabi Chole Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Punjabi Chole - Chickpeas Curry

Manali
Chickpeas Indian curry where chickpeas are cooked with lots and lots of spices. Goes well with naan, roti or plain rice.
4.96 from 62 votes
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5
Calories 248 kcal

Ingredients

To pressure cook

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons raw chickpeas
  • 5-6 green cardamom pods
  • 4-5 black peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tea bags
  • salt to taste
  • 5 cups water

For the chole masala

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 3/4 cup pureed onion from 2 small onions
  • 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 2.5 cups pureed tomatoes from 4 medium tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons chole masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt to taste

To garnish

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 inch ginger cut into julienne
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed kasuri methi also known as dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them. In the morning, drain the water.
  • In a pressure cooker add the soaked and drained chickpeas, 2 tea bags, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, salt and 4 to 5 cups water. Pressure cook at high flame till you get 1-2 whistles. After that lower the flame to medium and let the chickpeas cook for another 10-12 minutes.
  • In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add cloves and grated onions. Fry the onions till the raw smell goes away and they are light golden brown in color.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 3-4 minutes till the smell of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • Now add the tomato puree , stir and let it cook for 12-15 minutes on medium-low flame. Cover the pan to prevent the splash all around.
  • Add the chole masala, red chilli powder, paprika powder, cumin powder, salt and mix for a 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas next and stir will all the chickpeas are coated with the spices, around 2 minutes.
  • Add water (which was used for boiling the chickpeas), cover the pan and let it simmer at medium-low flame for around 30 minutes. The gravy will thicken after 30 minutes so add water accordingly.
  • To temper, heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and the ginger julienne to it.
  • Fry till the juliennes are golden brown in color but do not burn them. Add to the chole curry, mix and switch off the flame.
  • Sprinkle some garam masala, kasuri methi and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with roti, paratha or plain rice.

Notes

  1. Skip the ghee in the tempering to make this vegan.
  2. To cut short the process of soaking chickpeas overnight, use canned chickpeas which are easily available at grocery stores. The canned ones can be prepared immediately and do not need to be soaked overnight.
  3. Adjust the amount of  red chili powder in the recipe to taste.
  4. Patience is something you will need while cooking chole or any such Indian curry. Of course, I can make it in a quicker way by adding everything in the pressure cooker. But if you let the tomatoes and onions cook really well and then simmer the chickpeas with the spices for a longer time, the taste would be much much better.
  5. I like to keep the chole masala gravy on the thicker side, for a thinner gravy add more water.
  6. Chole masala actually tastes the best 1 day after you make it because the spices are then better incorporated into the chickpeas.
  7. Chole freeze well. Let the curry come down to room temperature, store in an airtight container and freeze.

Nutrition

Calories: 248kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 10gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 187mgPotassium: 722mgFiber: 11gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 380IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 168mgIron: 4.7mg
Keyword chole
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

Punjabi Chole

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188 thoughts on “Punjabi Chole – Chickpeas Curry

    1. Hi Nikhila..I have mentioned this in the post 🙂 tea bags are to give the chole a dark color..they don’t have any other role nor do they alter the taste in any way. If you don’t want dark chole and don’t care about it..skip them.

  1. Went and purchased all the spices today at a great Indian Spice shop.She recommended Reshampatti in place of the red chili powder .Do you think that will work?I had smoked paprika at home so I purchased the sweet paprika. Oh,and I forgot the tomatoes.I will make this very soon.

      1. 5 stars
        I made it this morning and it was a great success.Thank you ! I pressure cooked the chickpeas for 35 min.Also I used Veggie Ghee. Is cow Ghee better?

  2. 5 stars
    Chole were never so yummy till date but after preparing it by ur reciepe i started loving it…..yummmmm😘 keep updating us with more yummy reciepes.

  3. 5 stars
    I made chole-your style 😉 I’m learning cooking actually

    And I cooked it today for my parents
    And they’ve loved it !
    I didn’t have kasuri methi
    Neither did I add cumin powder
    But lemme just mention, the idea of adding cinnamon, and All of those ingredients to the pressure cooker, just added that superb taste to the chickpeas
    Mamma mia !
    I loved my chole ! 😀
    Great recipe ! thanks a ton
    Hugs and kisses
    – from a giddy teenager

  4. 5 stars
    Awesome it tasted. Simply loved it. Even my punjabi friends loved it. And that says it all. Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    Hello. I would like to make this recipe using chick peas in can. Each one has 400gr. Could you please guide me. How many cans should I use to prepare this delicious recipe. I love chole and want to make it for my husband
    Thanks
    Adri.

    1. Hi Adri, if your can has 400 grams of chickpeas, use 1 can only..also reduce the liquids in the recipe…canned chickpeas will need less water. Although I have to say that you get authentic taste of chole only by cooking from raw chickpeas since that’s how they are always made in India. Hope that helps! 🙂

  6. Hello Manali!

    I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I made your cauliflower and potato curry and it was so delicious!

    One question. I do not have a pressure cooker. What type do you recommend? Do you use yours often when cooking beans? I make a lot of recipes with beans and I am thinking that this would be a wise purchase. But maybe an inexpensive one, as I have just recently purchased a rice cooker and a juicer!

    1. Hi Laura! I always use my pressure cooker while cooking beans, lentils, chickpeas. In India, we used a traditional pressure cooker , like this –> http://amzn.to/2BHqOj0 (affiliate link) and that’s what is still used at my home in India. However these days another another very good option is Instant Pot –> http://amzn.to/2omrCBv (affiliate link). It’s an electric pressure cooker and gives consistent results every time, there’s so much you can do with it and I highly recommend it!

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