Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe, How to make Chana Masala Recipe

Punjabi Chole Masala recipe with step by step photos – This chole masala curry is staple food at my home. It is a delicious chana curry from Punjabi cuisine, which is popular all over India. 

A spicy and tempting thick chole curry dish is prepared from white chickpeas (kabuli chana), tomatoes, onion with flavorful Indian dry herbs and spices.

This is best accompaniment with bhatura(deep fried puffed Indian bread) and poori too.


Dinner : Chole-Bhature with coriander chutney and salad
This recipe is adapted from my mother kitchen. She prepares very well and too delicious. It is very popular North Indian dish. 

Chole bhature is mine and my family’s favorite dish. I think this is everyone's fav dish. When living in delhi & meerut, we would get awesome chole bhature in many places. 

Chole also tastes good with steamed rice or jeera rice, kulcha, butter naan, lachha paratha and Poori pair very well with this dish.  

In this recipe, channa are boiled with tea water to get darken color with homemade fresh chole masala powder is prepared to get restaurant style flavor...
  Chickpeas are an excellent source of nutrients, iron, fiber and protein, it's overall a healthy ingredient. 

If you are looking for more authentic punjabi recipes then do check kala chana, amritsari chole, kabuli chole,  Maa chole di dal, dal makhani, aloo-gobi-matar, aloo-methi and so on.

Learn how to make this delicious curry at your home with this easy step by step recipe with photos.

Prep Time
Cook time
Total time
Main Course
Punjabi - North Indian
9 hrs (Soaking Time)
45 Minutes
9 hrs 45 Minutes

Ingredients :

Chickpeas (white chickpeas, kabuli chana or chole) - 1 cup [soaking overnight and 2.5 to 3 cups water for pressure cooking the chickpeas] or (If you don't have time for soaking, See the tips** below)
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Pinch of soda 

For the Tea water/decoction

Water - 1 cup
Black Tea Leaves - 2 to 3 tbsp

For the masala

Onion, chopped - 2 nos
Medium size tomatoes, chopped - 3-4 nos
Ginger-garlic paste - 1tsp
Green chillies - 1 nos (slit or julienned)[optional]

Indian Spices

Turmeric powder/haldi - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder/lal mirch powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder  - 1/4 tsp
Amchur powder/dry mango powder - 1 tsp
Water or the stock in which the chickpeas were cooked - 1 to 1.25 cups
Oil - 1.5 to 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Spices for the homemade punjabi chole masala

Black cardamoms/elaichi - 2 no
Cinnamon/dal-chini - 1 inch
Black Peppercorns/sabut-kali mirch - 3 to 4 no
Black Cloves/laung - 2
Bay leaf/tej patta - 2 small
Carom seeds/ajwain - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds/dhania - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds/saunf - 1 tsp
Dry red chilies - 1 or 2
Chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta for garnish

Preparation Method :

1. Rinse and soak the chole (chickpeas) in enough water overnight. Add enough amount of water as the chole increase in size after soaking it. Rinse the soaked chickpeas. 

Note : Make a tea decoction --> In a pan add 1 cup of water, then add 2 tsp of tea in it, boil..boil..boil and sieve it in a bowl and keep it aside.

2. To give a dark color to the chana - Pressure cook the soaked white chickpeas with sweet soda, decoction tea water and salt. After 4-5 whistles, turn off the flame and let the pressure comes down naturally.  

3. Open the lid and Drain the excess water to use later in the recipe from boiled chickpeas in a large bowl.

4. By now the chana will be cooked, the chole should be soft when you mash it with a spoon. You will see a darker brown shade in the safed (white chana).

5. Dry roast bay leaf, black cardamom, coriander seeds, cinnamon, cumin seeds, carom seeds, black peppercorns, dry red chilli, cloves, saunf and cinnamon in a pan until nice aroma starts or for around 1-minute over low flame. Let them cool for a while and then grind them in a small jar of a mixer grinder to make smooth dry punjabi masala powder.

6. For making masala - Grind onion, tomatoes, garlic cloves, ginger and green chillies(optional) in a mixer to make a thick paste, add 1 tbsp of water(if it is required).

7. Heat 3-tablespoons cooking oil in a kadai or pan over medium flame. Add grind-ed onion-tomato masala in it, mix it well. 
 Add the powdered chole masala that we ground(prepared in step-5), along with the red chili powder, turmeric powder & garam masala powder .

8. Mix well and cook in a low flame till the masala is cooked. When masala is leaving oil in around, it means your masala is cooked. Add boiled chickpeas, mashed chickpeas. Stir well.

9. At that time you can add salt (adjust it according to your taste) with add about 1 to 1.25 cups of the stock in which the chana was boiled or you can also plain water instead. Stir and cover the chana.

10. Cook until gravy becomes thick, it will take around 4-5 minutes. 

11. Add amchur powder (dry mango powder) now and stir. Turn off the flame and transfer white chana masala curry to a serving bowl and garnish with juvenile ginger, green chilli and onion.

12. Serve the punjabi chole with kulchas, bhatura, pooris, roti, along with sliced onions, cucumber and lime pickle. 

*Tips & Tricks*

* If you do not have enough time to soak chickpeas, then soak them in hot water for 3-4 hours. Pressure cook the soaked white chickpeas with pinch of baking soda and salt.

* If pressure cooker is not available, you can also use a deep pan to boil chickpeas but it would take more time to cook.

* Adjust the amount of water in step-9 to make thick or thin gravy.


Happy Cooking and Enjoy !!

If you decide to make this dish, I would love to see how it turned out for you. 
Drop me an email with pics at [email protected]


  1. I love this punjabi cohhole, you made me hungry. I liked the spices you have used in this recipe.

  2. Thus is my all time favorite recipe... Also happy to see your detailed nasal ingredients list

  3. This looks Delicious, Love to eat this with puris and baturas

  4. Healthy and yummy!! Looks delicious

  5. What a lovely looking Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe Jolly! Looks so vibrant and full of healthy deliciousness! YUMMY!:)

  6. Love punjabi chola, and your version looks and sounds fantastic dear! YUMMY!

  7. A big thumbs up for the homemade masala, love the recipe. Looks great!

  8. Looks so tempting Jolly...looking for some bhature chef...

  9. Looks delicious Jolly. Want a couple of Bhaturaes too.. :)

  10. This chole is just prefect to enjoy with some fluffy bhaturas, what a eye pleasing dish, i just love that deep brownish colour of this Punjabi chole. My all time fav.

  11. I love chole . specially with bhature.
    Nothing can be better than home made masala. I make everything at home too.

  12. All time favourite of my family. I love this combo,. perfect for quick parties also. Lovely clicks.

  13. This is a staple when I have guests over. They always love it

  14. Uff! This thick chole curry, topped with green chilli pepper and onion rings on the side is making me feel very very hungry. All I want is a kulcha to dive straight in. 😊😋

  15. Chole is one of the favourites at home, now want to try this version sometime. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Ahh my family favorite.You made me plan this in menu this week.looks tempting.

  17. Punjabi chole is a delightful dish and your version sounds so flavorful Jolly ! Love the dark brown color which comes from the tea decoction

  18. Who doesn't love punjabi chole masala. Just pass me some rice and I can happily finish it all.

  19. Oh yumm that looks totally scrumptious. A perfect combo with bhature! I would love to eat it as such!!

  20. What a coincident, I just had chole and roti with fried green chillies for dinner. Simply delicious and would never get tired of eating this dish.

  21. I love cholde masala and your pics are making me drool...what a tempting share

  22. This looks so so delicious. Always an awesome combo with baturas.... Lovely share jolly

  23. My all time favourite as well. :) Love this and just cant have enough. The chole is so tempting.