Chole Recipe – a delicious and protein pack chana curry recipe from Punjab. Chickpeas are cooked with onion-tomato gravy. It is also called Punjabi chana masala.
In short, this Punjabi chole is
quick and easy to make
aromatic with fresh masala.
Chickpeas or kabuli chana or white chana is the most favorite beans at my home. Dear hubby can have any dish with chana. But the condition is that it has to be spicy. Yes we like spicy food. Chole recipe appears in my kitchen very often. But nowadays, I make it very rarely just for me. because he is on low-oxalate diet.
Chole masala recipe is also known as Punjabi chana masala. Today I am sharing very easy to make chole recipe. It is made in pressure cooker only.
I have few more kabuli chana recipes on blog.
1. Chole bhature recipe – chana is boiled first. then simmered in onion-tomato gravy and served with fried bhatura
2. Jain punjabi chole – It is no onion no garlic recipe.
3. palak chole – Chana are simmered in spinach gravy.
4. Aloo chole – boiled chana and potato cubes are simmered in Punjabi gravy.
5. Amritsari chole – boiled white chickpeas are slowly simmered with onion, tomato and spices.
6. Chana Paneer – boiled chickpeas and paneer cubes in creamy punjabi gravy.
7. Pindi chole – a dry preparation from rawalpindi
Chole (White chickpeas) : Chole needs at least 8 hours or overnight soaking. But what if you forget to plan ahead of time? I have shared quick soaking method in notes below. But I highly recommend overnight soaking.
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.
Onion-Tomato: The paste is made from onion, tomato along with ginger, garlic and green chilies. This paste is sauteed which makes the thick gravy.
Freshly ground 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. So no store bought chole masala is used in this recipe. If in rush, you can use store bought chole masala. Or you can make big batch of this spice powder and use in the recipe over the time.
Anardana powder and Amchur powder: This gives nice tang to the dish just like the restaurant style chana masala. In absence of it, use lemon juice.
How to make Chole recipe (Step by Step Photos):
1) Wash dry chana under running cold water till water runs clear.
2) Soak them in enough water for 8 hours or overnight. After soaking they will double up in size. drain the soaking water.
3) First we will make dry spice powder. Take bay leaves, black cardamom, cloves, peppers and cinnamon stick in a small pan.
4) Dry roast them on low-medium heat for 2 minutes. You will get nice aroma of spices.
5) Remove it to a plate and let it cool completely. Once cooled, take into grinder. It can be coffee grinder or spice grinder.
6) Make fine powder out of it. Keep it aside.
7) Now chop onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chili.
8) Make smooth paste in grinder or blender. You do not have to remove it to a bowl. I did it for photo purpose.
9) Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle a bit.
10) Then add prepared onion-tomato puree. Sprinkle some salt.
11) Let it cook. It will splutter a lot. you can partially cover it. It avoids some mess around the stove.
12) Cook till oil starts to leave. and moisture is evaporated.
13) Then add red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, anardana powder and prepared spice powder.
14) Mix well and cook till oil starts to ooze out.
15) Add chana.
16) Mix well.
17) Add 2 ¼ cups of water. Cover the pressure cooker with lid. Put the weight on. Let it cook for 20-25 minutes on medium heat. During cooking time, it will keep whistling.
18) Then turn off the stove, let the pressure go down by itself. Open the lid. Oil will be floating on top.
19) Stir with spatula. Check the chana. it should be cooked and soft, not mushy. Taste test the gravy. adjust the salt or chili powder as per your liking. Also check the gravy consistency. If gravy is thin and watery, then let it simmer for 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.
20) Add amchur powder and mix.
21) Lastly add chopped cilantro.
22) Mix well.
Punjabi chole is ready to serve.
Serving suggestions: Serve this chana masala with Bhatura (traditional version) or quick bhatura with eno or aloo bhatura or puri or paratha. Also have some sliced onions or onion rings w/ lemon wedges on side. Many times I also serve mango pickle and chaas or salted lassi on side to complete a meal.
- Sometime I forget to soak chana. Or sometime hubby demands for chole recipe. So that time, I go for 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 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 recipe, many readers has 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 pieces of root is present. The gravy will be bitter. I had a bad experience. and I have thrown in the garbage the whole pot of curry. a lesson learned.
Chole Recipe (Punjabi Chole masala), Chana masala recipe
To dry roast and grind into powder :
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Black cardamom
- 4-5 Cloves
- ½ inch Cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon Black peppercorns
To grind into paste :
- 1 medium or 1 cup Onion roughly chopped
- 2 small or 1 cup Tomato roughly chopped
- 1 Green chili
- ½ inch Ginger chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic sliced
For chana masala recipe :
- 1 cup Dried white chickpeas (Chole or kabuli chana or safed chana)
- 2-3 tablespoons Oil
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons Red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Anardana powder (dried pomegranate seeds powder)
- 2 ¼ cups Water
- ½ teaspoon Amchur powder (dried mango powder)
- 2 tablespoons Cilantro or coriander leaves finely chopped
- Wash and soak the chana in water for 8 hours of overnight. Then drain the soaking water.
- To make fresh spice powder, dry roast all the whole spices in a small pan on medium low heat for 2 minutes.
- Once cooled completely, make fine powder using spice grinder.
- take onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chili into grinder jar and make smooth paste. Keep it aside.
Making chole recipe or chana masala recipe:
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat and add cumin seeds.
- Once they sizzle add prepared onion-tomato puree along with little salt and cook till it becomes thick paste and leaves the sides of the pan.
- Add remaining salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, anardana powder and prepared spice powder. Mix well and cook till oil starts to ooze out.
- Add soaked chickpeas and water, mix.
- Cover the pressure cooker with lid. Put the weight on. Let it cook for 20-25 minutes on medium heat.
- Once pressure releases naturally, open the lid.
- Check the gravy consistency. If gravy is thin and watery, then let it simmer for few minutes. If it gravy is too thick. add some more water and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add amchur powder and mix.
- Lastly garnish with chopped cilantro.