Spice up the Curry

Jain Punjabi Chole

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Hello friends, I am starting a new category which is Jain Recipes. Jain community does not eat root vegetables like onion, garlic, ginger, radish, carrot and list will go on. As my in-laws are Jain, I have learned so many jain recipes and I am going to share those with you. Today’s recipe is most popular Punjabi chole or chana malsa in Jain style. Its gravy is from tomato and other spices. It has no onion, garlic, ginger still it is so flavorful and delicious. If you are not jain still you will love this chole recipe. So let’s get started.

Jain Punjabi Chole
Prep time
Cook time
Yield: 2 Generously
  • Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana) - 1 cup, dried
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
  • Cloves – 3
  • Peppercorn – 4-5
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin seeds – 2 teaspoons
  • Green chilies – 3, chopped finely
  • Tomatoes – 3 + ½, 3 roughly chopped and ½ diced
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chili powder – 1 ½ teaspoons
  • Anardana (dry pomegranate seeds) powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cilantro leaves – chopped, for garnishing
  1. Wash chickpeas under running cold water until water runs clear. Soak them in enough water for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Discard soaking water and add 3 another cups of water, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorn and cardamom in pressure cooker.
  3. Close the lid of pressure cooker put the weight on. Cook it on high for 1 whistle then lower the heat to lowest and cook it for another 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the pressure go by itself. Open the cover.
  4. Meanwhile take 3 roughly chopped tomatoes in a blender. And grind them into smooth puree. Keep it aside.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Once hot add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle.
  6. Then add chopped green chilies. Cook it for 30 seconds.
  7. Add pureed tomatoes.
  8. Cook it till all the moisture from tomatoes goes away and it start to leave the oil from the sides.
  9. Then add coriander powder, red chili powder, anardana powder and salt. Mix well and cook for a minute.
  10. Then add boiled chana. Mix well so all the masala will coat them.
  11. Add water from boiled chana. Mix well and boil it till your liking gravy consistency.
  12. Now heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan. Once hot add diced tomatoes and cook till tomatoes soften. Add them to chana and immediately cover the pan to trap all the flavors.
  13. Serve hot.
Additional Info
- For quick soaking chana, wash chana under running cold water till water runs clear. Then add enough water and let it come to boil on high heat and then let it boil for another 5 minutes. Turn of the stove. Cover it and let it sit for atleast 1 hour. Then boil it. - Do not cut down the oil, because jain recipe has no onion, garlic, ginger so it has less flavors. And to compensate those flavors and richness, we are adding some more oil than usual.

Categorized under Beans, Curries, Dals / Beans, Diwali Recipes, Gluten Free, Healthy Recipes, Jain Curries/Subzis/Dals/Beans, Jain Recipes, Nuts Free, Other, Other, Punjabi, Vegan

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  • Nidhi June 13, 2013, 6:10 pm


    We are not Jain but my mpther in law does not eat onion and garlic.So I cook vegetables in tomato gravy only and I swear all are mouth watering .


    • Kanan June 13, 2013, 7:06 pm

      I agree with your Nidhi. Sometime people had wrong belief that without onion-garlic, there is no flavors. but it is not like that. I have eaten so many Jain dishes (as my in-laws are Jain :) ) and all had good taste and flavors.

  • vijaya February 24, 2013, 5:39 am

    It is really very very nice, really a very good one without onion/garlic i really love it

    • Kanan February 25, 2013, 2:00 am

      Thanks Vijaya. Happy to hear that you liked it.

  • Payals Cafe September 3, 2012, 4:49 pm

    Looks great! hmmmmm i am salivating….

  • Priya August 30, 2012, 10:06 am

    I can have this yummy chole just like that as snack, inviting..

  • ConfessionOfACook August 30, 2012, 6:38 am

    Coming from a tamil brahmin family, even we do not use garlic and onions in our food… It actually tastes equally good if not better….:) and BTW nice new look for ur website :)


  • Shailaja August 29, 2012, 7:16 pm

    Yummy & delicious chole

  • jeyashrisuresh August 29, 2012, 11:47 am

    this looks super yummy and will try this version when i make channa masala next time

  • radha August 29, 2012, 11:22 am

    nice recipe without onions. And then the final bit of adding oil with tomatoes. Going to try that soon.

  • Kaveri August 29, 2012, 2:08 am

    I am always on the look out for recipes without onion and garlic as my in laws don’t eat it on most days..This version without them looks really yum.

  • Mina Joshi August 28, 2012, 7:00 pm

    I love chole cooked in any style. Love your detailed step by step pictures

  • PT August 28, 2012, 5:18 pm

    like your new make over :)

  • dassana August 28, 2012, 3:52 pm

    it is wrong fallacy people have that without onions a dish like chole or dal does not taste good. i make chole and dal so often without onions and garlic and i know the taste really stands out. it is good you are starting this series. it will surely help folks who do not have onions or garlic in their food and will break this fallacy. i also have a similar chole recipe on my blog without onions.

  • Runnergilinthekitchen August 28, 2012, 3:39 pm

    Looks awesome, even without ginger garlic Jain food is fingerlicking!

  • faseela August 28, 2012, 2:45 pm

    yummy n lovely recipe

  • meena August 28, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Hi kannan i also made chana masala without onion and garlic. typical style in our household. no tomatoes either u can check out when u have time. urs look totally irresistable chana

  • Minnie Gupta August 28, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Fabulous!!!!!!!! That too without ginger, garlic or onions. Love it!


    • meena August 28, 2012, 3:08 pm

      Minnie u here too. what do u know we have common friends here..

  • Sanoli Ghosh August 28, 2012, 1:44 pm

    OMG! Irresistible spicy chole without onion, garlic or ginger. Excellent!

  • suhani August 28, 2012, 1:42 pm

    hi kanan..the chole look very good..sometimes u need something which is rich still simple to make and tasty to eat..and jain food is so simple still full of flavours and quick to make..i will surely try this recipe..