Amritsari Chole

Deeply flavoured, slightly tangy spiced chickpea curry that is the cornerstone of Punjabi cuisine. Once you make chole this way, you’ll never make it any other way.


The deep colour is distinctive trademark of a dhaba style curry. The colour is because of boiling the chickpeas with tea bags. This gives it a distinctive flavour as well. If you prefer, tea bags can be replaced with a strong tea decoction. If using tea bags, I remove the tags and tie the bags together to avoid breaking open of bags. Once boiled, use the chickpeas along with the water. If the water is excessive, reserve the dark deep liquid to loosen up the curry if required.


A well made Chole is a thing of beauty. And to me well made is slow cooked. Whether you use homemade Chole masala or store bought, doesn’t matter. Allowing the Chole to boil on low flame for a while brings out flavours and thickens the curry to the perfect consistency which is inimitable.


Recipe :

Ingredients : serves 2 – 4

  • 1.5 cup Chickpeas
  • 2 Tea Bags
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 piece Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Baking Soda (Optional)
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 1 piece Ginger
  • 5 pods Garlic
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 2 tsp Chole Masala
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 piece Jaggery
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • Coriander Leaves

Method :

  1. Soak Chole overnight or 8 hours in adequate water.
  2. Drain the water, add tea bags, bay leaves, cinnamon, pinch of baking soda and cook in a pressur e cooker for 6 whistles.
  3. Grind onion, ginger and garlic to a chunky paste. Set aside. Grind tomatoes to a puree.
  4. In a pan heat oil. Add 1 slit green chilli, onion paste. Saute till water evaporates and starts to change colour.
  5. Add the dry masalas – chilli, coriander and chole masala. Saute on medium flame till oil separated.
  6. Add tomato puree. Saute till oil separates.
  7. Add the cooked Chole, adequate salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the flame down to medium and cover. Cook for 1/2 hour. Stir occasionally to make sure the masalas are mixed through.
  8. After 1/2 hour add jaggery, chaat masala, kasuri methi and stir. Allow to boil for 5 more minutes.
  9. Turn off the flame, add coriander leaves and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  10. Serve hot with Parathas or Bhaturas.

Notes :

  • In this case baking soda is your friend. It helps to tenderize the chickpeas and makes it easier to digest.


Slow Cooked and Heavenly !

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