Chole Recipe (How to make Punjabi Chole Masala) Chana Masala

  • on 6 November 2020
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Chole Recipe – a delicious and protein-packed chickpeas curry from Punjab (North India). Chickpeas are cooked with onion-tomato gravy.

Close up of chole masala garnished with onion rings.

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❤️About This Recipe

This Punjabi chole is super quick to make because it is made in a pressure cooker only. Originally this recipe was posted in 2012 and at that time I have used a traditional stovetop pressure cooker. But nowadays I use instant pot.

It is super delicious, spicy, tangy and aromatic. 

Plus, it is healthy and packed with protein. 

Here I have made freshly ground masala instead of store-bought chana masala powder. And it makes the chole masala aromatic. 

🧾Ingredient Notes

See below the pic of the ingredients used in making this simple chole recipe. All of them are basic and easily available.

Ingredients used in chole includes chickpeas, onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, chili, oil, salt and spices.

Chickpeas: This is the start of the dish. As we are cooking it into the pressure cooker, you must use the dry chickpeas. That has to be soaked overnight. What if you forget to soak the beans? No worries I have mentioned the quick soaking method below in the notes.

Pre-soaking the chole will reduce the cooking time. This reduced cooking time can mean less loss of water-soluble nutrients due to less time of exposure to heat and water. This is the reason, I prefer overnight soaking over quick soaking.

Freshly ground chole masala – For making this Punjabi chole recipe, whole spices are dry roasted and ground into the powder. This spice powder recipe is adapted from a cookbook ‘The Dhabas Of Amritsar’. It gives very aromatic flavors to the dish. If in rush, you can use store-bought chole masala. Or you can make a big batch of this masala and use it in the recipe over time.

Anardana and Amchur: This gives a nice tang to the dish just like the restaurant-style chole. In absence of it, use lemon juice.

👩‍🍳Step By Step Photo Instructions 

Preparation:

1) Wash the chickpeas under running cold water until water runs clear. Or rinse them 2-3 times until the water is not cloudy anymore. 

2) Then soak in enough water (2-3 inches above) for 8 hours or overnight. After the soaking time, you can see they have double up in size. Discard the soaking water.

Collage of 2 steps showing chickpeas in water and soaked chickpeas.

3) To make fresh spice powder, take whole spices (bay leaves, black cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick) in a small pan and dry roast on low-medium heat for 2 minutes or until aromatic.

4) Remove it to a plate and let it cool down. Then grind into a fine powder using a spice grinder.

5) Now chop onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chilies. 

6) Then make a smooth puree using the blender.

Collage of 4 steps showing roasting spices, ground into powder, chopped veggies and ground paste.

Making Punjabi Chole:

1) Heat the oil in a pressure cooker on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.

2) Then add the prepared onion-tomato puree and a little salt. Let it cook. It will splutter a lot so you can partially cover it. It avoids some mess around the stove. Coon until it becomes a thick paste and oil starts to ooze out from the masala.

3) Then add remaining salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, anardana powder and above-prepared spice powder.

4) Mix well and cook for a minute.

5) Then add soaked chana. 

6) Add water, cover the cooker with a lid.

Collage of 6 steps showing cumin in oil, paste added, spices added, mixed, chickpeas added, water added.

7) Cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. (if using instant pot, then cook on manual for 20 minutes). Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.

8) Stir with a spatula. Check the chana, it should be cooked and soft, but not mushy. Check the gravy consistency. If gravy is thin and watery, then let it simmer for a few minutes. If it gravy is too thick. add some more water and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Mine was perfect for me. So I have not added any extra water.

9) Now add amchur powder and mix.

10) Lastly, garnish the chole with chopped cilantro and serve.

collage of 4 steps showing cooked chole, mixed, adding amchur, adding cilantro.

💭Expert Tips

Quick soaking method: Take beans and plenty of water in a pan. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Then turn off the stove and cover tightly with a lid. Let it sit for 1 hour. Voila, after 1 hour your beans are at the same stage where you have after overnight soaking.

In my capsicum curry, many readers have an issue that their gravy becomes bitter. It happens sometimes when you are grinding the raw onions. How to avoid that? Remove the stem and bottom root of the onion completely. If a single piece of root is present. The gravy will be bitter. Been there done that.

🥣 Storage Instructions

In the refrigerator, this chole stays good for 2-3 days depending on the climate where you live. Store in an airtight container. 

In the freezer, this chole masala stays good for up to 3 months. Store the individual servings in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag.

To defrost it, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Or just defrost on the countertop for a few hours. 

🍽 Serving Ideas

  • Serve this chole with Bhatura, puri or paratha.
  • Also, have some sliced onions or onion rings w/ lemon wedges on the side.
  • Many times I also serve mango pickle and chaas or salted lassi on the side to complete a meal.
  • This can be used in making aloo tikki chole
Punjabi chole served with onion and bhatura.

Check Out Other Chickpea Recipes

PS Tried this chole recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback! Plus, Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for all the latest updates. 

📋 Recipe Card

Step by Step Photos AboveWant to make it perfect first time? Don’t forget to check out Step-by-Step photo instructions and helpful Tips & Tricks !!

Punjabi Chole Masala

Tried this recipe? Leave a comment and/or give ★ ratings

Chole masala – This is a popular Punjabi chole recipe made with white chickpeas, onion, tomato and spices.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian,Punjabi

Calories: 421kcal

Prep Time 8 hours

Cook Time 45 minutes

Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml) See details

Instructions 

Preparation:

  • Wash the chickpeas under running cold water until water runs clear. Or rinse them 2-3 times until the water is not cloudy anymore.

  • Then soak in enough water (2-3 inches above) for 8 hours or overnight. After the soaking time, you can see they have double up in size. Discard the soaking water.

  • To make fresh spice powder, take whole spices (bay leaves, black cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick) in a small pan and dry roast on low-medium heat for 2 minutes or until aromatic.

  • Remove it to a plate and let it cool down. Then grind into a fine powder using a spice grinder.

  • Now chop onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Then make a smooth puree using the blender.

Making Punjabi Chole:

  • Heat the oil in a pressure cooker on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.

  • Then add the prepared onion-tomato puree and a little salt. Let it cook. It will splutter a lot so you can partially cover it. It avoids some mess around the stove. Coon until it becomes a thick paste and oil starts to ooze out from the masala.

  • Then add remaining salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, anardana powder and above-prepared spice powder. Mix well and cook for a minute.

  • Then add soaked chana and water, cover the cooker with lid. Cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. (if using instant pot, then cook on manual for 20 minutes). Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.

  • Now add amchur powder and mix.

  • Lastly, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Notes

Quick soaking method: Take beans and plenty of water in a pan. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Then turn off the stove and cover tightly with a lid. Let it sit for 1 hour. Voila, after 1 hour your beans are at the same stage where you have after overnight soaking.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 820mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 872IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 5mg

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 serving




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