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“Chole, Roti and jeera rice or pulao” is a typical food that I love to make when We have more than 5 guests, of course not all the time! A perfect dish to please the crowd and easy to make in large quantity. Also, this being one of our favorite food, I love to do it quite often and am a bit particular about few things like the quality of masala (spices) I use, soaking the dried chickpeas in water overnight, sauting the onions and tomato to the right consistency.

I find overnight works best. After a night of soaking, I pressure cook the chickpeas with a little salt, until soft. But if you are in hurry, soaking the chickpeas in hot for two-hour in a hot pack (so that heat is retained) is a great alternate to overnight soaking.Canned chickpeas too work fine, but I am no fan of canned products until I really have no choice!


Making Chole is an art that is Mastered by Punjabis and Special thanks to Nidhi Aunty, Ma’s friend who gave me her recipe!

Ingredients you need:

1 Cup of dried chickpeas (they double when soaked and cooked)
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp Cumin
1″ long cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 or 2 Black cardamom (depending on the size, if it’s big, one is fine)
2 medium or 1 big bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped/grated
1/8 tsp hing/asafoetida
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp Everest Chole Masala
1 tsp garam masala
2 green chillies, split
Ginger- Grated or cut in thin strips
1 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 Tbsp butter
Salt – to taste

Adding a tsp of Store bought masala was my addition, I felt it just balances the spices.

If you prefer a dark color Chole, add a tea bag while cooking the chickpeas. I don’t add while making it as a gravy but I have a recipe for Sukhe Channa (dry) and I do add the tea bag for that recipe!


Soak the dried chickpeas in warm water over night. Discard the water and pressure cook the soaked chickpeas with double the amount new water and little salt. I  let them cook for 3-4 whistle. The chickpeas should be tender and soft, if not pressure cook for some more time.

Before I forget to mention, I prefer sautéing finely chopped ingredients (garlic-onion-tomatoes) than making a paste of it. The paste version takes a long time to cook for the raw taste to vanish as well as requires more oil. There is a difference in taste too, chopped version is more flavorful.

Also, I have listed the ingredients in the order that will go into the pan.

In a large, wide and thick bottom pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot add the spices one by one and asafoetida. Immediately add the garlic, do not let the asafoetida/garlic brown for they will become bitter. Add chopped onions and 1/4 spoon of salt to help the onions cook faster. Add the turmeric, chili and coriander powder and mix well and let them cook.

Once the raw flavor of the spices have gone, add the finely chopped tomatoes. Let them cook till the oil starts to separate from the mixture. If it becomes very dry, add 1 tbsp or two of water.

When the mixture is all combined and aromatic, add the cooked chickpeas with the water in which it was cooked. Mix well and check for salt (Remember little salt was added to the chickpeas while cooking them for them to absorb)

It is not necessary to put a lid and cook but if the sauce/gravy is spluttering and making a mess around your stove, Pls do!

As the chickpeas is cooking in the gravy and the water that was added has started to reduce, add Everest Chole Masala (or any other brand), garam masala, green chillies that is split, ginger that is cut in thin strips and butter. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and let all combine well.

Before serving garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves generously.

Serve this hot, accompanied by any Indian bread, a few wedges of lime and slices onions. Pooris and Bhaturas go very well. I prefer taking them with any mild pulao/jeera rice too.

Happy Cooking

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November 2017
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