Chole Masala (Spicy chickpeas)


Chole Masala (Spicy Chickpeas)

Prep Time: 20 mins          Cook Time: 35 mins             Idle Time: 8 hrs              Serves: 4 to 5


For cooking chickpeas:

  1. ¾ cup white chickpeas (chole or safed chana) ­
  2. Soak the chick peas overnight in enough water
  3. 2 cups water for pressure cooking
  4. 2 to 3 pieces of dried Phyllanthus emblica (Amla) OR 1 black tea bag, 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  5. 2 to 3 cloves (Lavang)
  6. 1 black cardamom (Badi Elaichi)
  7. 1 small to medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf) – Optional

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 large onion OR ½ cup tightly packed finely chopped onions
  2. 1 extra large tomato OR 2 medium tomatoes OR ¾ cup finely chopped tomatoes
  3. 3 to 4 green chilies ­ slit (hari mirch)
  4. 1 teaspoon ginger paste OR about ½ inch ginger ­ crushed in mortar ­pestle
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic paste (lahsun ka paste) OR about 6 to 7 inch garlic ­ crushed in mortar ­pestle
  6. ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (Haldi)
  7. 1 teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  8. 1 teaspoon garam masala powder or chole masala or punjabi garam masala powder
  9. 1 teaspoon amchur powder (amchur powder) OR dried pomegranate seeds powder (anardana powder)
  10. ¼ teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds)
  11. 2 to 2.5 tablespoon oil
  12. Black salt or rock salt or regular salt as required


  1. 2 to 3 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
  2. 1 small onion ­ sliced or chopped
  3. 1 small tomato ­ sliced or chopped
  4. 1 lime or lemon ­ quarter
  1. First rinse the dried chickpeas for a couple of times in water.
  2. Soak the chickpeas in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
  3. Drain the water.
  4. Rinse the chickpeas again and then add them to a pressure cooker.
  5. Add whole spices ­ cinnamon, black cardamom, tej patta and cloves. i have also added dried amla to get the dark color in the chickpeas. instead of dried amla, you can add 1 black tea bag. you can also just cook the chickpeas plain with water.
  6. Adding a pinch of baking soda also helps in making the chickpeas soft. pour water.


Chole Masala (Spicy Chickpeas)
  1.  Pressure cook the chickpeas for 18 to 20 whistles or till they are cooked completely.
  2. Chickpeas should be cooked well and softened, mash it with a spoon and check.
  3. If you do not have a pressure cooker, then cook the chickpeas in a pot with plenty of water. cooking chickpeas in a pot will take a lot of time though.
  4. Remove the amla pieces which would have softened by now or the tea bag from the stock.
  5. You can also remove the whole spices from the stock, but i keep them. keep the cooked chickpeas along with the stock aside.
  6. Heat oil in a pan, preferably iron pan, add slit whole green chilies and fry them.
  7. Drain the fried green chilies on kitchen paper towels.
  8. In the same oil, add ajwain/carom seeds.
  9. Saute for a few seconds till the carom seeds are fragrant.
  10. Add finely chopped onions. stir and saute till the onions turn translucent or light brown.
  11. Add ginger & ­garlic paste, saute till their raw aroma goes away.
  12. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder.Instead of garam masala powder, you can also add chole masala powder.
  13. Stir the spice powders with the sauteed onions and then add finely chopped tomatoes.
  14. Stir the whole mixture very well.
  15. Saute till the tomatoes soften and the oil starts to leave the sides of the masala.
  16. Now add the chickpeas along with the stock.
  17. Stir and then add salt and dry mango powder.
  18. Stir very well again and simmer the chickpeas on low to medium flame. you can also mash a few chickpeas with the back of the spoon to thicken the gravy.
  19. Simmer till the gravy has thickened.
  20. Check the taste and add more salt, red chili powder, garam masala powder or amchur powder if required.
  21. Lastly add the fried green chilies.
  22. Serve spicy chickpeas with naan or Bhatura or Pooris.
  23. As a side accompaniment serve this spiced chickpea curry with sliced onions, tomatoes and lime or lemon.
  24. You can also add some fried potato cubes to the chickpeas.

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