Punjabi-Style Chole Chickpea Curry Recipe

A plate of chickpea curry

 Jasmin Awad/EyeEm/Getty Images

Ratings (30)
  • Total: 12 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 12 hrs
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
238 Calories
4g Fat
42g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 238
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 188mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 9g 34%
Protein 11g
Calcium 104mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are few foods more North Indian than chole (pronounced chho-lay) or chickpea curry, and there are probably as many recipes for making chole as there are households in North India. This is the recipe my Mother has always used.

In this recipe, canned chickpeas are used (who doesn't like a shortcut?), but you can also use dried chickpeas, available from most supermarkets and specialty Indian groceries. If you do so, then factor in the time required to soak the dried chickpeas. Overnight typically works best. After a night of soaking, boil the chickpeas with a little salt, until soft and then use.

Chole doesn't freeze well, and while they taste even better the day after they have been cooked, they are best eaten the day they are prepared. Serve this crowd pleaser piping hot and accompanied by pooris or bhatooras (fried Indian bread).

Ingredients

  • 3 large onions (sliced thin, divided)
  • 2 large tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola or sunflower cooking oil)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 to 6 cloves
  • 3 to 4 green cardamoms
  • 5 to 6 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Water (enough to make a gravy)
  • 1-inch piece of ginger (julienned)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves (chopped fine)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grind 2 of the sliced onions, the tomatoes, and the ginger and garlic paste together into a smooth paste in a food processor.

  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep, thick-bottomed pan on medium heat.

  4. Add the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and peppercorns and sauté until slightly darker and mildly fragrant.

  5. Add the remaining sliced onion and fry until light golden in color.

  6. Add the onion-tomato paste you made earlier and fry till the oil begins to separate from the paste.

  7. Add the dry, powdered spices—cumin, coriander, red chili, turmeric, and garam masala powders. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 more minutes.

  8. Drain the water in the can from the chickpeas and rinse them well under running water.

  9. Now add the chickpeas to the masala you fried up earlier. Stir to mix everything well.

  10. Add salt to taste and enough hot water to make the gravy—about 1 1/2 cups.

  11. Simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes.

  12. Use a flat spoon or potato masher to mash some of the chickpeas coarsely. Stir to mix everything well.

  13. Garnish with juliennes of ginger and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. A squeeze of lemon and a handful of very finely chopped onion tastes great as a garnish too.

  14. Serve hot and enjoy!