Restaurant style Punjabi Chole (channa masala)

Anyone  familiar with Indian cuisine will agree with me when I say that chole or channa masala is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes in Indian restaurant menus. This Punjabi chole recipe is authentic in terms of flavor and color and its very simple to make this restaurant style dish in the comforts of your own kitchen. The original recipe is from here. The addition of tea bag is optional, but it does give the chole a nice dark color. You can serve this with nan, roti or rice.


1.5 cups dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans soaked overnight or 2 cans of garbanzo beans

1 tea bag

1 inch piece ginger grated

2 medium sized onions finely chopped

1 large tomato finely chopped

2 teaspoons red chili powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 tablespoons oil

3 cups water

Ingredients for  masala powder

3 tablespoons coriander seeds

1 inch piece cinnamon

4 cloves

1 teaspoon whole black pepper

3 black cardamoms

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 bay leaf

1-2 dry red chillies


1. Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse it couple of times. Add enough water, tea bag and  pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. If you are using canned chickpeas, you can skip this step.

2. Dry roast the ingredients given under masala powder. When cooled, grind to a fine powder.

3. Heat oil in a pan and once it hot, add grated ginger. Cook for a minute.

4. Add onion and cook till they turn translucent.

5. Add tomatoes and cook until soft and mushy.

6. Add the ground masala powder, red chilli and garam masala and cook for 3-4 minutes till the mixture turns dark and fragrant.

7. Add the cooked, drained chickpeas and mix well.

8.  Add 3 cups of water and cook in open pan for 10-15minutes till you reach the desired consistency.

9. Serve with raw sliced onions and lime wedges.


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