Punjabi Chole (channa) masala

Chole masalaChole (Channa masala) can probably be found in almost all the menus in an indian restaurant. But I prefer eating chole from the street vendors in India where they taste their best.The main ingredient of this dish “chickpeas”  is cooked in a tangy tomato gravy and is traditionally served with baturas (an Indian bread).  The chickpeas (kabuli channa) get their dark brown color when they are boiled along with tea leaves/tea bags and dried amla(Indian gooseberry). If you are not particular about the color of the gravy you can omit the tea leaves and amla and proceed with the recipe. It will still taste the same. I have used only tea bags in this recipe as I did not have dried amla with me. Traditionally pomegranate seeds and amla are used to give the slightly sour tangy taste to this dish. But if you do not find either of these you can always add lemon juice as a substitute. Chole(channa) masala can be served with any Indian flat bread or rice!


  • 1 cup kabuli channa
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 boiled potato
  • 1 tea bag
  • 1/2 tsp pomegranate seeds powdered.(can be substituted with amchur(mango) powder)
  • 2 tbsp chole/channa masala powder (can be substituted with garam masala)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil/ghee
  • salt to taste
  • water as needed


Soak channa overnight (minimum 6-7 hours) and pressure cook channa with water, salt and a tea bag until they are soft. (I cooked them for 4 whistles)

The channa and the water will be brown in color. Do not throw the stock. You will need it for the gravy.

In a pan add oil/ghee and saute the chopped onions until the onion starts browning.

Add the spice powders (chilli powder, coriander powder, chole masala powder) and saute for a minute.

Add the tomato puree and cook until the oil starts separating from the gravy.

Add the boiled channa with the stock, boiled potato, salt as needed and the powdered pomegranate seeds powder (or amchur powder)

Cook them in a medium-high flame for 3 minutes.

Add kasuri methi, close the lid and simmer them in a low for about 20-25 minutes.

Squeeze some lemon juice in the end and serve hot with rice/roti.


If you find the gravy thick you can add water to adjust consistency.

If you want to thicken the gravy, you can mash some chickpeas and potatoes.


This entry was posted in Recipes, SIDE DISHES and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Punjabi Chole (channa) masala

  1. harini says:

    Very nice 😊


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