Pindi chole

Chole is probably one of the most popular punjabi dishes. Chick pea/ kabuli chana is cooked in a number of ways in  different gravies. But the uniqueness of  pindi chole is the almost black colored gravy. The secret to the color  apart from the aromatic spices, is the unique method of pressure cooking peas with tea bags to give it a dark color . The homemade masala imparts a much superior flavour as compared to the store brought ones, however feel free to use the readymade one if running short of time.

     The recipe is from

For chole masala: ( can be substituted with ready made chole masla)


  • Coriander (Dhaniya) seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • Cumin (jeera)– ½ teaspoon
  • Shahi jeera½ teaspoon
  • Carom (Ajwain )seeds- ½ teaspoon
  • Black pepper seeds (kali mirch) – ½ teaspoon
  • Cinnamon (dalchini)- 2 small sticks
  • Cardamom ( elaichi)- 2 to 3 nos
  • Nutmeg (jayfal)- a small pinch
  • *Dry pomegranate seeds (Anardaana)- 2 tablespoons
  • Cloves ( laung)- 2 to 3 nos
  • Fennel ( saunf)- ½ teaspoon

*I substituted anardaana with 1 teaspoon of amchur/raw mango powder

Dry roast all the whole spices in a flat pan for few minutes. If using raw mango powder, do not add it along with spices. Once the spices are well roasted for few minutes, switch off the gas, add raw mango powder to the hot pan, mix it with other whole spices . Now grind the whole spices finely and store in an airtight container.

For  chana masala:


  • Chick peas (Kabuli chana)- 2 ½ cups ( soaked over night, washed and drained)
  • Tea powder- 2 tablespoons ( tied in a small muslin cloth)
  • Turmeric – 1 teaspoon
  • Dry mango powder (amchur powder)- 1 teaspoon
  • Salt- 1 teaspoon


  • In a pressure cooker, add chickpeas, 2 cups of water, turmeric ,raw mango powder, salt and drop in tea bag.
  • Cook till the peas are soft and well cooked and keep aside.
  • The tea bag gives a wonderful black colour characteristic of pindi chole, without imparting any flavor.

Preparation of gravy:

  • Refined oil- 4 to 5 tablespoons
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2 tablespoons
  • Onion (finely sliced) – 2 medium sized
  • Tomato ( finely chopped)- 1
  • Chole masala- 2 tablespoons
  • Red chilli powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Hing/asfoetida- ¼ teaspoon
  • Black salt- ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt- to taste
  • Tamarind juice- ¼ cup
  • Finely chopped mint and coriander
  • Dry fenugreek /kasoori methi


  • Heat oil, add sliced onions, brown them .
  • Add ginger garlic paste, sauté well for few minutes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook till the oil leaves the sides of the gravy.
  • Add asfoetida, chilli powder, chole masala , mix the spices well and cook on low flame.
  • Add tamarind juice, bring it to boil for few minutes.Add black salt and normal salt according to taste.
  • Drop in the cooked chick peas, mix it well with the spices, adjust the consistency by adding extra water.
  • Lastly add chopped mint, coriander and kasoori methi , mix well.
  • Garnish with onion rings and chopped mint leaves.

Serve them with hot kulchas for a finger licking meal!!

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Hi , I’am Neelima and welcome to my space!! I’am a full time practicing dentist. Cooking had always been my passion, and baking which had started as a fascination is now crossing over to be an obsession.

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