Punjabi Chole



In my world, there are two kinds of chole: regular chole and Punjabi chole. The main difference is that Punjabi chole has been steeped with tea leaves, which gives the dish its dark color. Other differences, at least in my opinion, is that Punjabi chole is thicker and less runny and has more of an onion based gravy (at least the wayI make it does) . I love both types, but every now and then when I am in the mood for some chole bhature, I will make Punjabi chole.


  • two cans of chickpeas, with juice or 1 cup dry chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 1 black tea bag
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 red chilis
  • 1-2 green chilis chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp chana masala powder
  • thinly sliced onion for garnishing (optional)
  • thinly sliced tomatoes for garnishing (optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste

To Make:

In a pressure cooker, add the two cans of chickpeas with juices, along with a tea bag. Add a cup of water. Turn on high and after one whistle turn it off. Let the steam release. Drain the chickpeas, but reserve the liquid. If you are using the soaked chickpeas, give it 3-4 whistles. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, just cook till chickpeas are done, and you can squeeze one with your fingers.

Heat oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds and red chilis. IMG_20130327_130956Once the coriander seeds start crackling, add cumin seeds. Once those start to splutter add the onions and saute till golden brown.
Add the turmeric and stir. Add the ginger garlic paste and sautee till raw smell goes away. IMG_20130327_132050Add the tomato puree and green chilis, stir, cover, and reduce heat and let it simmer for around 5 minutes. IMG_20130327_132133 IMG_20130327_132156 IMG_20130327_133801Check to make sure it doesn’t burn, if it gets too dry, add a little water.

To the tomato puree, add the rest of the spices and stir. You will notice that it will become foamy. IMG_20130327_133956 IMG_20130327_134053Add the drained chickpeas and stir. IMG_20130327_134301 IMG_20130327_134343Now add some of the reserved cooking liquid to your desired consistency. IMG_20130327_134357 IMG_20130327_134548Cover again and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

This is absolutely best eaten with a bhatura. Or two or three. Also, I can’t eat chole bhature without onions on top. I can live without the tomatoes, but not the onions.



If you want to get real fancy, just plate it like this. IMG_20130327_143907

Below you will find two recipes, one for bhatura and one for the other type of chole.




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