Punjabi Chole Masala (Spicy Indian Chickpea Curry)

‘Punjabi Chole Masal’ is a delicious and protein packed chickpea curry with Indian spices. It is avery famous recipe from the state of Punjab. It is cooked in a onion-tomato-ginger-garlic gravy in addition to different regular and aromatic spices. Traditionally it is cooked in a ‘handi’ on a very slow fire, but now a days we biol the soaked ‘kabuli chana’.

Punjabi food is my favourite food so I make ‘Punjabi Chana Masala’ quite often. When I cook this chickpea curry ‘kasuri methi’ (dry fenugreek leaf) with ‘deshi ghee’ gives avery nice restaurant like flavor. I try to follow the traditional ingredients to cook this recipe though you can always shortcut with adding store bought ‘Chole Masal’. But fresh ingredients always give that authentic restaurant like flavor.

I have tried and tested this recipe in different way. After so many changes, here is the recipe which gives a good balance of spiciness, taste and flavor. So I decided to update this in the post too. The result is a Punjabi Chole Masala like you get in the streets of Delhi and Punjab. I wanted to try this recipe for a very long time and finally did it on the weekend. We all relished it very much besides, it’s really easy to make. Here’s my way of making ‘Punjabi Chole Masala’…



  • 200 gms Dried Chickpeas or Chole or Kabuli Chana (or canned chickpeas)
  • Teabag – 1
  • Onion Paste – 5 Tbsp
  • Tomato – 1 Large (Finely Chopped)
  • Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  • Ginger Paste – 1 ½ tsp
  • Coriander Leaves – ½ cup
  • Green Chilli – 2 (Slitted)
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – ¾ tsp
  • Amchur or Dry Mango Powder – ½ tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt – To taste
  • Oil – 2-3 Tbsp
  • Asafetida – 1 fat pinch
  • Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
  • For Chana Masala:
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Clove – 2-3
  • Whole Peppercorns – 5-6
  • Cinnamon – 1” Stick
  • Black Cardamom – 1
  • Green Cardamom – 2-3 no
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Carom Seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Fennel Seeds – ½ tsp
For Garnish:
  • Butter/Ghee
  • Onion ring
  • wedges Lemon


  1. Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Add enough amount of water as the chickpea becomes double in volume.
  2. To give a dark color, boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker adding a teabag. You can omit this step if you do not like black colour. Add 1 tsp salt while boiling the chickpea.
  3. In a pan dry roast all the whole spices mentioned under ‘chole masala’. Let the roasted masala cool and grind it in fine powder.
  4. Heat oil in a pan or kadai. Add cumin seeds and asafetida. Once they start crackling add garlic paste and sauté till the raw aroma goes away.
  5. Then add onion paste and ginger paste. Sauté till the onions turn translucent or light brown.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes & sauté them till they become soft/mushy and the oil starts to leave the sides of the masala.
  7. Then add 2 tsp of freshly ground powdered chole masala along with the red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, amchur powder & garam masala powder. Mix the dry masala.
  8. Add the cooked chole. Stir well.
  9. Adjust salt. Add chopped green chili. Then add about 1 to 1.5 cups of the stock in which the chana was boiled. You can also water instead.
  10. Stir and cover the chana. Simmer on a low to medium flame. Simmer till you get the consistency you prefer. Mash few chana. The consistency is not thin, but medium consistency or dry.
  11. Drizzle 1 tsp deshi ghee or butter.
  12. Garnish Punjabi Chole Masala with coriander leaves & onion rings.
  13. Serve the Punjabi Chole Masala with bhaturas, kulchas, pooris, parathas or rotis. It also tastes good with steamed rice or jeera rice.



~ If you don’t have amchur you can use pomegranate seed powder or lemon juice toward the end.


3 thoughts on “Punjabi Chole Masala (Spicy Indian Chickpea Curry)

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