Chole/Chana/Chickpeas Masala Recipe

Chole is a famous recipe of North India mostly in Punjabi’s and is known by different names such as Punjabi chana masala, chola, chole. It is made from Kabuli chana or chole chana, white or light colored chickpeas/garbanzo beans. It is a plant-based protein which is a great source of fiber, iron, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B and many more. It is low in calories.

Chana comes in two different sizes small and big, both can be used to make this recipe as it depends on which place you live or which type of chickpea is mostly famous there.

Chickpeas health benefits include –

  • Boost Digestion.
  • Maintains blood sugar level.
  • Increase protection against metabolic syndrome.
  • Heart disease.

Chole is prepared with roasted and grounded spices which enhances its flavor. Tamarind or amchur/dried mango powder or dry pomegranate powder is used to give a tangy or sour taste.

It’s delicious and is one of the famous street food in Delhi.

Ingredients for Chole recipe –

Chickpeas/Kabuli Chana – 250gms

Baking powder – ¼ tsp

Onion – 4 medium (3 roughly chopped and 1 finely chopped)

Tomato – 4 large (finely chopped)

Green Chilies – 4-5 (chopped)

Ginger – 2 inches long

Garlic – 4-5 pieces

Refined Oil – 2 tbsp

Bay leaf / Tej patta – 2

Whole spices lightly roasted – Green cardamom –4

                                                                Black cardamom – 2

                                                                Cloves – 4-5

                                                                Cinnamon stick – 2-3 small pieces

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Tamarind – small amount soaked in water for 15-20 min

Coriander leaves – 2 tsp

Salt as per taste


Chana preparation –

Soak chana at least for 7-8 hours then wash it thoroughly.

In a pressure cooker, add soaked chana, water double of the chana, baking powder and ½ tsp salt. Let it boil in high flame till 1st whistle comes then simmer and cook for 3 more whistles. Turn off the flame and wait till pressure goes off and then open the lid.

Masala Preparation –

In a grinder, add roasted whole spices by breaking in small pieces, ginger, garlic and 3 roughly chopped onions. Do not Add Water. Make a smooth paste.

If you have stone spice grinder make use of it. Spices ground in stone grinder definitely takes time and strength but makes the dishes more delicious. While mortar and pestle can’t give a smooth paste.

How to make chana masala –

  1. Heat oil in a kadai/wok. Turn the flame to low then add bay leaves after 1 sec, 1 finely chopped onion cook till it turns pink.
  2. Add grind masala, mix, cover and cook by checking in between till you see some oil leaving the masala.
  3. Add tomatoes, turmeric, little salt and cook it in the same way till oil is left around masala.
  4. Add chana by separating it with water but don’t throw away the water. Mix and cook for 5 mins.
  5. Then add chana water, tamarind water, and mix. You can add more water to make gravy thin. Allow it to boil and then simmer and cook further for about 5-7 mins. Taste and then add salt is required.
  6. Add coriander leaves. Mix and turn off the flame.

Tasty and tempting Chana masala is ready. Serve it hot with poori, bhatura, rice, chapatti or paratha.

This quantity is sufficient for 6 people.

Suggestions –

  • While serving add some finely chopped onion, black salt, curd. Adding these enhances its taste.
  • Mash soaked tamarind with hand and then separate its water to use in the recipe. Discard the pulp. It depends on you how much tangy you like but add little just to get a slight sour is best.
  • The number of whistles to cook chana can differ. If you cook differently it’s better you follow your method to pressure cook chana.

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