Indian Chickpea Curry

Punjabi Chole Masale is a curried Chickpea Side dish that is very popular in North India and Pakistan. Served with Bature, a fried Indian bread, a carrot pickle and a salad of onions, lemon and coriander it is a dish that North Indians often enjoy for brunch. As a student, I have enjoyed many a meals of Chole-Bature in Delhi and in Allahabad and after moving a to US created my own version of Chole using staples from the kitchen. Though a close cousin of Punjabi Chole Masale, this Chickpea Curry recipe isn't very authentic or traditional. It is however delicious and serves as a wonderful side with both rice and roti. So give it a try and I guarantee that you will come back to it again....

For a more authentic version, use tomato puree instead of crushed tomatoes and replace the Bombay Biriyani Masala powder with an equal measure of Punjabi Chole Masale or Chole Masala Powder. However trust me and try this recipe once. I am sure you'll like it. 

Indian Chickpea Curry

Recipe by Tanusree Khandai
Prep time: 8 hours including soaking time                                        Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 9 hours                                                                            Serves : 6-8

  • 1 1/2 cup chickpea
  • big bay leaf
  • tea bag
  • 3 1/2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 medium sized onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger or 3/4 tsp ginger powd
  • 2-3 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped or 1 1/2 cup crushed tomato
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 3/4 tsp Bombay biriyani masala powder or chicken masala powder 
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • lemon wedges
Cooking Directions
  1. Soak the chickpea overnight.
  2. Drain and put the soaked chickpeas in the pressure cooker along with 2 1/4 cups of water, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp of salt and a tea bag. The water should cover the chickpeas completely.
  3. Bring the water to a boil then close the lid of the cooker and cook over medium heat for 3 whistles. After that reduce the heat to low and cook for another 8-10 minutes before switching off the heat.
  4. Wait for the steam to escape before opening the lid of the cooker. Strain the cooked chickpeas and reserve the water.
  5. In a large kadhai or saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  6. Add cumin seeds and cloves to it and cook until fragrant.
  7. Add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger and cook till the onion browns slightly at the edges.
  8. Add the crushed tomato and mix well.
  9. Stir in the cumin, coriander and Bombay biriyani masala powder and cook till the raw smell of tomato disappears completely and the gravy reduces 20 % by volume.
  10. Add the cooked chickpeas and combine so that they are well coated with the gravy.
  11. Add 1/2 of the reserved water, season with salt, place the lid of the pan and stirring occasionally cook covered for 20 minutes.
  12. Add the remaining water, check the seasoning and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or till the gravy has acquired the desired consistency.
  13. Switching off the heat, garnish with chopped coriander and lemon wedges and serve with roti or rice.
Updated the recipe on 1.4.2016


  1. Happy new year and fabulous chickpea curry. Loved the colour.

  2. I hope your New Year is off to a great start and this dish sounds perfectly warming for some of these cold winter days!

  3. I've been thinking about making a chickpea dish. I only know summer ones…this is perfect for the cold weather. thanks for sharing it on foodie friday. Pinned.

  4. Your Chickpea Curry looks wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen


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Best, Tanusree

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