Saturday, February 11, 2017

Punjabi Chhole Masala | Chana Masala

Punjabi Chhole Masala
Chana masala is one north indian delicacy relished by one and all. It is one of the most popular dishes in north india and coming from a punjabi family I remember eating chhole for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serve it with rice, naan, bhature or even paratha, it compliments all indian flat breads including various rice dishes as well.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation time: 8 hours.
Cooking time: 35-40 mins.


1 cup chickpeas (soaked overnight)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon oil
1 bay leaf
1-2 cloves
1 big cardamom
1 teaspoon jeera/ cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 or 2 green chillies
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
½ tablespoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon amchur powder / dry mango powder
1 tablespoon garlic (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon ginger (finely chopped)
1 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
2 medium sized tomatoes (finely chopped or pureed)
Salt to taste
½ tsp lemon juice (optional)
Onions and fresh coriander leaves for garnishing


  1. Wash and soak the chana overnight or atleast for 4-6 hours. Drain the chana and pressure cook them on medium flame for 7-8 whistles using two cups of water.
  2. Let the chana cool down and open the cooker once all the steam is released. Keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan or kadai, once hot, add in bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds and saute for 30 seconds.
  4. Also, add in chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and green chillies. Once they turn golden brown, and raw smell of ginger garlic fades away, add in tomatoes (chopped or pureed).
  5. As the masala starts releasing oil, it means it is done and time to add in spices. Add in turmeric, garam masala, red chilli powder and amchur powder and salt. (I add in salt while boiling chana in pressure cooker and adjust it here.)
  6. Saute the spices for a minute or so and once you get their aroma, add in boiled chana along with the water. (adjust the water quantity as per your gravy thickness)
  7. Give a good mix to the chana and let it boil on a low flame for at least 10-15 minutes. This is important to incorporate all the delicious flavours into the chana.
  8. Add in lemon juice (optional), and garnish with onion, fresh coriander and serve hot with rice, paratha, bhatura.

  • You can use readymade chhole masala available at indian supermarkets and skip adding cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf.
  • Try using ripe tomatoes as it gives extra tanginess to the dish.
  • Make sure the chole are well cooked when you pressure cook them. If not, you can try giving 1-2 more whistles until done.

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