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Chole Masala Recipe (Spicy Chick Peas in Thick Gravy)

Updated on May 14, 2015
Chole Masala
Chole Masala

A hugely popular dish, the Chole Masala is a North Indian recipe that is loved by one and all - in fact it is so popular that more or less, every household, particularly in India, has prepared this dish for some special occasion of theirs at some point or the other.

The essence of this dish is in its rich spiciness, while the chana masala gives the dish its native flavor, the chat masala lends a yummy subtle sourness owing to its amchur (dried mango powder) content while the black salt ingredient in this chat masala adds further to the taste. The tea leaves enchances the color and the flavor and I prefer using this but its upto you (the dish will still turn out great without it).

Traditionally this dish is served with bhatura (or leavened fried bread) resulting in the famous coupling of chole bhature, but its also enjoyed with nan, kulcha and other types of fried rice.

The Chana/Chole/Chick peas themselves are high in protein, fibre, minerals and vitamins and have a high nutritional value which translates to any dish which utilizes these legumes.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 3 people
Ingredients for the Chole Masala
Ingredients for the Chole Masala


  • 250 gms chana (chick pea)
  • 5 medium sized onions
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp chana masala
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp whole garam masala (cardamom, cinnamon and cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp chat masala
  • 1 tsp tea leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-5 strands of coriander leaves
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1 lemon
Chole (Chick peas) (before soaking in the water)
Chole (Chick peas) (before soaking in the water)


1. Soak the chana overnight or for 8/10 hours.

2. Cut 4 onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves finely.

3. Tie the tea leaves in a muslin cloth.

4, Cut lemon into 4 pieces and 1 onion into rings. We will use these for our garnishing.

Frying the onions
Frying the onions
Onions frying with tomatoes
Onions frying with tomatoes


1. Pressure cook the chana with a pinch of turmeric and salt along with the tied tea leaves (in the muslin cloth), for 20-25 minutes. This makes the chana more tender without fragmenting or breaking it. After this is done, remove the muslin cloth with the tea leaves.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add the bay leaf and the whole garam masala. When they splutter, add the finely cut onions and fry for 5-7 minutes - when it changes its color, add the tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes.

3. Add 3 tbps of water, turmeric powder, chili powder, chana masala powder and chat masala powder and stir for 5 minutes. When the oil starts separating from the masala, add the boiled chana, garam masala powder and salt (according to your taste) to this and cook for 5-7 minutes (occasionally stirring).

4. Alright now, we are going with a thick masala type dish here (hence the title) but if you like some curry with this instead, add 1/2 cup of water and boil for 5 minutes.

5. The Chole Masala (or Chana Masala) is ready.

6. While serving, sprinkle some coriander leaves on to the dish and enjoy the masala (or curry if that's what you prefer) with some lemon wedges and onion rings.

I enjoyed cooking this and hope you do as well. You can enjoy this super dish with nan, bhatura, kulcha, plain or jeera rice (check out my recipe for this dish) or any other type of fried rice for that matter.

Chole Masala served with nan
Chole Masala served with nan
5 stars from 1 rating of Chole Masala Recipe


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