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Punjabi Chole (Chickpeas / Garbanzo in Spicy Gravy)

This lip-smacking and much adored Punjabi Chole is prepared with white chickpeas, home-prepared chole masala powder, onions, tomatoes, ginger and lots of ghee. Let me tell you it’s not only the Punjabi Chole Masala that does the magic but the Spice Potli or Let’s call it the Bouquet Garni too creates the magic, by imparting flavours and colour.

Soaking Time of Chickpeas- Overnight

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients & Quantity:

Kabuli Chana (White Chickpeas) , soaked overnight (8 hours)-500 gm

Ginger , crushed-1 inch piece (Optional)

Garlic, cloves-4 to 6

For the (Bouquet Garni) Potli ,prepared with food grade & unbleached muslin cloth:

Tea leaves-2 tbsp

Cinnamon-1 inch piece

Bay leaves-2

Black Peppercorns-10

Black Cardamom-2

Green Cardamom-2

Dry red chillies-4 (Optional)

Other Ingredients:

Desi Ghee / Vegetable Oil- 4 tbsp.

Onion, finely chopped-1

Ginger-garlic-green chill paste- 1 tbsp.

Tomatoes, puree-2

Red Chilli Powder, Deghi-1/2 tsp

Dry Mango Powder- 1/2 tbsp.

Black Salt -1/2 tsp.

Salt-to taste

For the Chole Masala: Dry Roast all the ingredients except Asafoetida, cool them and grind it into a fine powder:

Cinnamon Stick-1 inch


Black cardamom-2

Black Peppercorns-12

Fenugreek Seeds-1/4th tsp.

Carom Seeds-1/4th tsp.

Cumin seeds-1/2 tbsp.

Coriander Seeds-1 tbsp.

Dried Pomegranate (Anardana) Seeds-1 tbsp.

Dried red chillies-4

Asafoetida- a pinch

For the Tempering:

Desi ghee-1 tbsp

Green chillies, slit-1

Ginger , juliennes- 1/2 tbsp.

Red Chilli Powder, Deghi -1/2 tsp (Optional)

For the Garnish:

Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped-1 tbsp.


Take the soaked chana , drain the water and wash thoroughly. Drain the water. Now transfer the drained chana into the pressure cooker, add a teaspoon of salt , ginger, garlic and the Potli (Bouquet Garni)�The water level must be at least 2 inches above the level of the chana.

Pressure cook the chana for about 10 minutes on medium heat. After the first 5 minutes, turn the heat to low and continue pressure cooking it for the remaining time.

Switch off the flame and allow the pressure to release naturally. Discard the the Bouquet garni (Potli), before adding the tempering, as the chana will absorb maximum colour from the tea leaves and flavours from the spices.

In a Iron kadai , add 3 tablespoons of ghee / oil , once it is hot, add the onion and saute until the onion becomes light golden brown.

Add the ginger and slit green chillies, cook till the raw aroma disappears. Add the red chilli and dry mango powder.

Now add the chole masala, cook for a few seconds, as it is already dry roasted. Ensure it is not over-cooked.

Add a little water and cook for few seconds.

Now add the tomatoes and black salt and cook the tomatoes until the oil starts to ooze out from the edges.

Remove the Bouquet garni (Potli) from the cooked chana & discard it.

Add the cooked chana into the prepared tadka.

Stir well and bring it to a boil.

Cover and simmer the chole for another 15 minutes.

To thicken the gravy, mash 1/4 th of the chana with the back of your spoon.

Adjust salt and mix well.

Hear ghee in a small tempering pan , add green chillies ,juliennes of ginger & Deghi Red Chilli Powder, pour over the cooked chana.

Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve it piping hot.

Goes best with Roti, Phulka, Naan, Puri, or Kulcha along with (Pyaz Da Laccha) laccha pyaz, Boondi Da Raita and spicy green chillies .


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