Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Chole Masala / Chole Paneer

My husband hasn't got many Punjabi genes. He doesn't drink (blasphemy, blasphemy), he has stopped eating chicken (OMG!) and he hardly goes garrulous...So just when I was writing off his Punjabi lineage, he displayed something very Punjabi - his craze for chole, rajma - chawal, alu parathas, punjabi kadhi, gajar ka halwa and more :) Truly Punjabi. Enter, ma-in-law. Her authentic recipes, secret ingredients and Roopak masalas from Delhi, and I was all set to make my hubby Punjabi Happy :)

Mission : Chole Masala 
I love the exotic spices that create such a earthy and flavourful dish. Clove, peppercorns, cinnamon and black cardamom. All permeating in chole and lending the dish their characters. 

Chole Masala / Chole Paneer (this recipe serves four)

1+1/2 cup chole (chickpeas)
150 gms paneer

Khada masala(Whole spices)

2 cloves
1 black cardamom
1 small piece of cinnamon
2 peppercorns

1 small piece of ginger - about 1/2” 2 tea bags
For cooking the gravy (bhuna masala) :-

2 medium sized tomatoes
1 medium sized onion
2 green chillies (medium spicy)
½ cup cooked chole with some water (about 1/4 cup) in which it is cooked. It will make about 3/4 cup chole paste for thickening the gravy.
1 tsp- red chilli powder
1 tsp- corriander- cumin powder
½ tsp- turmeric powder
1 and ½ tsp + 1/2 tsp- pindi chole / punjabi chole masala
(I use Rupak's from Delhi) I prefer pindi chole masala. ½ tsp anardana (pomegranate seeds)

For garnish:-

1 small tomato cut into wedges
1 green chilly

Soak chole (chickpeas) in water overnight.
Drain the water next morning and cook  chole with all the khada masala (whole spices), ginger, tea bags and ½ tsp salt in fresh water in a pressure cooker. Tea bags will impart nice dark brown colour to chole. Cook till about 10-12 whistles. It will be a little difficult cooking  chole without a  pressure cooker.

Let it cool naturally.

Open cooker once completely cool. Keep aside ½ cup chole and about 1/4 cup water in which they are cooked.  Remove the tea bags. Roughly chop  tomatoes, onion and green chillies and grind them into a paste.

Boiled Chole

Tomato- onion- chilli paste

Take about 3 tbsp neutral oil in a steel vessel and once heated, fry the paste in it.  Add turmeric, coriander- cumin powder and chilly powder. Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes on a low flame.

Add 1 and ½ tsp chole masala and anardana (pomegranate seeds).
Cook for about 3-4 minutes on low to medium flame. Your gravy (bhuna masala) is ready.  Grind  ½ cup chole that you have kept aside with  water.  Add to the cooked gravy (bhuna masala). Cook for about 5 minutes on low to medium flame.

Add the rest of  chole with all khada masalas (whole spices). Add water as required.  Chole should have nice thick gravy; they shouldn't be watery. Cook for about 15-20 minutes on low flame with lid covered.  Meanwhile make small cubes of paneer (cottage cheese). Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of chole masala on it and gently mix.

Once the chole are ready, mix  paneer carefully. Garnish with tomato wedges and a green chilly.

Enjoy with reshmi paratha or puris or bhaturas :)



  1. wow....you have an explosion of flavors going on there!! It must have been so very delicious, and I love that you can use a tortilla to make it.... indian food

    1. thank you so much Mona :) yup, its a delicious recipe. do try it :)

  2. its so mouth watering! thanks for the step by step recipe!chowringhee satyaniketan


Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed the posts. Do leave a comment and let me know!