Chole Masala – Punjabi Chole

Chole Masala – Punjabi Chole – Recipe serves 3-4


 1 ½ cup of chickpeas (Garbanzo beans – kabuli chana)

4 teabags

5-6 kokum (aamsul – available in Indian Grocery Store)

6 cups of water

½ teaspoon soda bicarbonate

2 tablespoon oil

½ tablespoon ghee (clarified butter – for the rich aroma!!)

Pinch of asoefatida (Hing)

1/2 onion

4-6 garlic cloves

2 tbsp powdered kalonji (Romain Coriander/Black Caraway – available in Indian Grocery store)

1 tomato

½ tbsp anardana (dry pomegranate powder – available in Indian Grocery store)

2 teaspoon ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoon coriander powder

1 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 teaspoon black pepper powder

½ teaspoon elaichi (cardamom powder)

2 teaspoon salt or per taste

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

2 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder)

2 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)


1. Soak the chickpeas overnight or 6-8 hours. Drain and keep aside.

2. Soak the kalonji in ½ cup water and keep aside for 15 minutes.

3. Boil the water in a pressure cooker with tea bags and kokum. Once the liquid comes to boil let it stay on medium heat for another 5 minutes and then remove the tea bags, add chickpeas and soda bicarbonate. Close the cooker and cook the chick peas – 4-5 whistles or until softened. It should take about 13-15 minutes.

TIP: This gives the black color to the Chole without adding the Readymade Chole masala

4. Blend the onion and garlic to paste. Keep aside. Then blend tomatoes separately.

5.  Add anardana, turmeric, red chilli, garam masala, salt, black pepper, coriander, elaichi and ginger paste to the soaked kalonji and mix well. Keep aside.

6.  Heat the oil and ghee together in the frying pan. Add hing and then the onion mixture to the hot oil. Stir well and cook until golden brown. Next add the Kalonji spice mix and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

7.  Add tomato blend and amchur powder. Stir well. Let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the oil starts separating from the gravy mix.

8.  Remove kokum from the cooked chickpeas and add the chickpeas to this gravy mix. Stir well and cook covered. Add enough water to let it cook for another 10 minutes on medium heat (about ½ cup of water). Adjust salt here if required. Add lemon juice if more sourness is required.

9.  Remove the cover and let cook for another 15-20 minutes on low by stirring occasionally.

10. Serve hot with Bhature/Puris


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