Chole Masala – Chickpea curry


Some friends were coming over for dinner tonight and as always I was super confused about what I should make. When I invite someone over I have to plan everything before hand else I start freaking out. So I was confused for days over the menu and then a lovely lady from one of the communities that I’ve joined wrote to me and asked if I can share the recipe of Chole Masala with her. I said sure!


And then and there the menu was planned. Chole with paranthas, Boondi ka raita, Gobhi ki sabji and Chach for drinks. Thanks to you a lovely lady from the community the dinner party rocked! So sharing the recipe for Chole here.
Although it looks very difficult but is one of the easiest dishes and perfect for parties and events where you want to make something in a larger quantity. You just need to work for the masala (spice mix)  and mix it with as much chole (chickpeas) as you want and voila!


A little something about it: Chole Masala is mainly a North Indian dish which comes from the state of Punjab. Its a street food sold by vendors along with bhature which is a deep fried bread made with a fermented dough. Its commonly eaten as a breakfast dish and is generally accompanied with Lassi ( a sweet yogurt based drink ).


Everyone tries to give there own touch to the recipes in different ways so you can find people making Chole Masala in many ways but here I’m trying to share the traditional way to make Chole Masala which has just the chickpeas and curry in it.


1 cup chickpeas ( I’m using dry seeds but if you want to make it faster you can use canned chickpeas as well) 
1/2 cup red onion coarsly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1/2 cup tomato puree  
2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 thai green chili or 1 tsp red pepper powder
1 tbsp good curry powder 
1 tbsp ready to use Chola Masala  powder (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil


Wash and soak chickpeas in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Then cook it in a pressure cooker adding 1/2 a tsp of salt and water four times the quantity of dry chickpeas. If you are using canned chickpeas drain off all the extra liquid and rinse it in cold water thoroughly before using.
Now some people also add potatoes in there Chole Masala. I don’t usually do that but if you want feel free to do so.
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Blend your onion, garlic and ginger in a blender to make a thick paste and add throw it in the pan. Add salt. Turn the heat to medium low. Fry the mixture till it starts changing color and turns light golden in color. Then add turmeric, coriander, pepper and curry powder (if you are adding potato to your curry do it now). Stir for a couple minutes and then add the tomato puree. Fry it for 5 more minutes on medium heat (if you are adding potato it would take a little longer for the potato to cook so turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid for the all the juices to get inside the potato)
That is it! Your masala is ready. Mix it all together with the boiled chickpeas and add a tablespoon of ready to use chole masala if you want.
This dish is usually served with a little tamarind chutney on top of it along with poori or bhatura.



  1. Hello Nisha,
    We love your recipes, especially when its on Chole Masala.
    These are so delicious.
    I have always looked at your blog for the various pictures and the way you write.Just Love it!
    You have shared some nice information about Chole Masala in this post.
    The points you mentioned are genuine and perfect.
    The content completely describes about the topic you wanted to portray with us.
    Thanks for sharing such valuable post.

    VentairIndia Team

  2. hi Prerna, here a big fan of your blog (from Holland). I have a question about how much water you add to this dish. When cooking it for the first time I used canned chickpeas (about 1.5 cup) and added two cups of water. Then I got a real thick substance, but looking at you photos it should be more soup-like ?? Anyway, how much water per cup of chickpeas do you recommend to pour into the pan ?

    Thank you

  3. Hi Prerna,

    Your blog is incredibly beautiful too! Stunning pictures. Not to mention that your recipes left my mouth watering and it is not even lunch time here in the West Coast! I am going to cook your chole masala recipe soon. It looks delicious.

  4. Kate here! (from the CFYF board!)

    THANK YOU! This is exactly what I was wanting! I am so excited to try this!!! Your photos are amazing also:-)

    Thanks again!

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