Choley for Cooking from Cookbook Challenge

Chana Masala, Chole, Punjabi Chole, Punjabi Choley, Chickpeas Curry, Garbanzo Beans Curry, Cooking from Cookbook Challenge, CCChallenge

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Cooking from Cookbook Challenge is a blog event I try to participate at least twice a month. This a weekly weekend event, where we post recipes prepared from cookbooks, paper clipping and written down recipes. This event has forced me try many new recipes that I wanted to but never got around to do. Today’s recipe is one such recipe. My cousin wrote down this recipe on a piece of paper and gave it to me almost 2 decades ago and I prepared it only last week. I could not take pictures so made it again last night and took the pictures this morning.

Chana Masala, Chole, Punjabi Chole, Punjabi Choley, Chickpeas Curry, Garbanzo Beans Curry, Cooking from Cookbook Challenge, CCChallenge

There are many versions of choley recipes online and I have posted one last year. This is the second version and the third version is the one I usually make at home. This recipe is different from both the versions; the one I posted and the one I make at home. In this recipe, soaked chickpeas are sauteed with spices and then pressure cooked. Also, this recipe does not use coriander powder and uses both tamarind and tomatoes for tanginess. The only spices used in this recipe are chili powder, garam masala and turmeric. I was skeptical of the taste but it turned out good. Though this choley can be served with Indian flatbread or may be even rice, last night we had it like a chaat; choley topped with beaten yogurt, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro and a dash of chili powder & salt. I normally avoid sugar in curries but for this recipe, I felt adding a little bit of sugar would have enhanced the flavor. I did not add sugar to choley when cooking though the recipe called for, but added some on my serving of choley. Instructions for the recipe looks long but the preparation is not tedious. If using canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, the curry is ready in 20 – 25 minutes.

Chana Masala, Chole, Punjabi Chole, Punjabi Choley, Chickpeas Curry, Garbanzo Beans Curry, Cooking from Cookbook Challenge, CCChallenge,

Source: Cousin L
Total Time: 45 minutes (includes the time required for the pressure for the pressure cooker to dissipate naturally)
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Serves: 2 – 3


  • ¾ cup Dry Chickpeas / Dry Garbanzo Beans / Kabuli Chana or 15oz can of Garbanzo Beans
  • 2 ½ tbsp. Oil
  • 1 big Onion, chopped or 1 cup chopped Onion
  • 2 tbsp. Ginger Garlic paste
  • 1 ¼ – 1 ½ tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 ¼ tsp. Garam Masala (I used store bought garam masala)
  • ¼ – ½ tsp. Turmeric Powder
  • 1 – 1 ¼ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 medium to large Tomato, chopped or ⅔ – ¾ cup chopped Tomato
  • 2 cups Water ( less or more depending on the required consistency )
  • 2 tsp. Tamarind Paste (I used homemade paste and my current batch of tamarind is not tangy at all. If the paste is tangy, use ¾ – 1 tsp. paste )
  • 1 – 1 ½ tsp. Sugar (I did not use it, I sprinkled some on my serving of choley)
  • Cilantro to garnish


  • Wash and soak dry chickpeas in water overnight or for 6-8 hours.
  • Discard the water, rinse chickpeas again and cook chickpeas with 1 ½ – 2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Keep aside some of the water in which the chickpeas were cooked. This water can be used again when pressure cooking chickpeas. If using canned chickpeas, this step can be skipped. Drain canned chickpeas, p[ut under running water for few seconds and leave it in a colander to drain.
  • While the soaked chickpeas come to a boil and cook, prepare the masala for choley. It will take about 10 – 12 minutes to prepare the masala.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Saute onion until brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and sauté until ginger is fried.
  • Add chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Add salt, tomatoes and cook for about 3-5 minutes until tomatoes are soft, mushy and oil separates from the mixture.
  • Add chickpeas or garbanzo beans and fry for few minutes.
  • Add 1 ½ cups of water, give it a good stir. close the pressure cooker and cook for 4-5 whistles until the chickpeas are cooked. In my pressure it was 5 whistles / hisses. Let the pressure from the cooker dissipate naturally and then open the pressure cooker. If using canned chickpeas/garbanzo, add water, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes until flavors are infused into chickpeas. No need to pressure cook as canned beans are already cooked.
  • Add tamarind paste and continue to cook for 5 – 7 minutes until chickpeas are cooked. Add some water if the gravy is too thick, taste the choley and some spices if required.
  • Mash some of the chickpeas with the back of the spoon to thicken the gravy. Or grind few chickpeas to a paste in a grinder and add it back to the bowl. When I made it yesterday, I skipped this step.
  • If using sugar, add and cook for few minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti, paratha or with rice. Or eat it like chaat by topping the choley with beaten yogurt, chopped red onion, chili powder, salt.


  • Chickpeas – When I made it last week, I used 15 oz / 425 grams can of garbanzo beans. When drained & washed, just the beans weighed about 250 grams or 1 ½ cups. ¾ cups of dry chickpeas after soaking also yielded about 1 ½ cups.
  • Preparation with Canned Chickpeas – If using canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, prepare the masala, once the tomatoes are cooked, add chickpeas, fry for few minutes, add water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add tamarind paste and continue with the rest of the preparation. Canned beans do not require pressure cooking.

This day in 2008: Egg Pulusu
This day in 2011: Cream Cheese Stuffed Cucumbers
Events: This goes to this week’s Cooking from Cookbook Challenge.

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5 thoughts on “Choley for Cooking from Cookbook Challenge

  1. The pictures look so stunning how well you have plated it!..I am so glad I am getting to read so many new recipes from you from your collections..and this being on hold for 2 decades and finally getting shot sounds so interesting..I love all chhole and this gets bookmarked for sure!

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