Chana Masala ( Punjabi Chole)- Our Weekly Favorite

Chole is a typical dish in Northern India made of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) in a rich gravy. We love this dish so much we eat it once a week. This dish is very simple to make, its vegan, and also very filling and healthy. It can be eaten on it own or with Roti ( flat bread) or basmati rice.  My family loves it with plain yogurt and cut up raw red onions. I make the recipe with amchur power which is sour mango powered, but you can also use a couple tablespoons of lemon juice, to provide the same sour touch to the gravy.

As a side note Garbanzo beans are really great for you. In one cup of garbanzo beans there is 12 grams of fiber. This is around 50% of your daily needs. The same serving also provide 12 grams of protein. It is really rare to find so much protein in a dish with so much fiber. Garbanzo beans is a proven filling and nutritious dish.


For the chole masala:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 4 teaspoons peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger (from about a 2-inch piece)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes and their juices
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon of amchur powder, or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, ( freshly cooked or canned, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water

For the chole masala:

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and chiles and season with kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, use a food processor to finally chop the tomatoes.
  3. When the onions have softened, add the garam masala, coriander, measured salt, amchur, and turmeric to the frying pan and stir to coat the onion mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, the chickpeas, and the water. Stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.

8 thoughts on “Chana Masala ( Punjabi Chole)- Our Weekly Favorite

  1. That’s very similar to my recipe, except we like it hot and so use quite a few of those thai green chili peppers … If it’s Sunday, it must be rajma. If it’s Thursday, it must be channa masala. Which means … ooops, better start soaking my chickpeas!!!

    Loving your blog!!!

  2. I put the Punjabi Mix namkeen in it – just about a quarter of a cup – toward the end of cooking to make it a bit thicker and give it some texture and kick. 😉 It’s not healthy but we eat it so rarely, because garbanzos have a rather…unpleasant effect sometimes 😉

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