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A bowl of chickpeas curry

Pindi Chana

Pindi chana is a popular chickpeas dry curry from Punjab; both in India and Pakistan and pairs well with Indian flatbreads. It is a no onion, no garlic and no tomato recipe.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian Cuisine, Pakistani Cuisine, Punjabi Cuisine
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Soak Time 6 hours
Servings 4
Calories 310kcal
Author Usha Rao


  • Bowls to soak and also mix chickpeas
  • Pressure cooker or a pot
  • Frying pan or a kadai or wok
  • Knife & Cutting Board



  • 1 cup dry Chickpeas or Kabuli Chana
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Black Cardamom or Badi Elaichi
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 5 Black Peppercorns
  • ¾ Salt
  • 2 - 2 ½ cups Water

Spice Powder

  • 2 teaspoon Anardana ~ Dried Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 5 Cloves
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • ½ inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 10 Black Peppercorns
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt


  • 4 tablespoon Oil use another tablespoon of oil, if needed
  • 5 Green Chilies slit into half
  • 2 tablespoon finely shredded Ginger


Preparing Chana

  • Wash and soak chana overnight. Chana will double in quantity and yield about 2 – 2 ¼ cups after soaking.
  • Change water and cook chana in a pressure cooker using fresh water with all the ingredients listed under chana.
  • You can tie whole spices in a cheese cloth and this will make it easy to weed out the spices once the chana is cooked.
  • Pressure cook for 5 whistles or however long it takes in your cooker. Chana should be tender but hold its shape. in Instant Pot, 5 minutes manual on high pressure.
  • Let the pressure release naturally. Drain and reserve some water, discard the spices and put the chana in a separate bowl.

Spice Powder

  • While the chana is cooking, dry roast all the ingredients listed under spice powder.
  • Cool the spices and grind to a fine powder.

Preparing Pindi Chana

  • Mix spice powder with the cooked chana.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a pan. When oil reaches almost smoking point, pour it over chana and mix well.
  • In the same pan, heat remaining oil, fry shredded or julienne ginger till golden brown and crisp. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, fry chilies until they change color. Remove and keep aside.
  • Add spice coated chana to the same pan and stir for 4-5 minutes on high heat, stirring constantly. Make sure not to burn the spices.
  • Add boiled chana water, about 1 cup, cover and cook for 5 – 10 minutes on medium - medium high flame. If your chana is already very tender, do not cover the pan. If you feel the chana is not tender enough, cover and cook until tender.
  • Uncover and cook until water evaporates.
  • Remove cover and cook until required consistency is reached. I cooked uncovered for about 5 – 10 minutes on low flame.
  • This curry is suppose to be almost dry but if one prefers gravy, make a thick gravy. The gravy should not be runny like the usual chana masala or choley.
  • Garnish with fried ginger and green chilies. Serve it with bhatura or pooris with some sliced onions.


  • Chana in pindi chana should be firm and avoid the temptation to over cook it. And do not mash the chana as it is done with other chana curry preparations.
  • This curry is suppose to be dry and if you do make a thick curry, you can add some tamarind pulp. For the dry version like I prepared, do not add any tamarind. I feel it is not required either as the anardana gives a nice tanginess to the chana.
  • I did not use tea or teabags for color. Frying the chickpeas with the spice powder and cooking in a cast iron pan  gives the brown color.


Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 650mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 3mg