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Punjabi Chole Recipe | Punjabi Chana Curry | Chana Masala | Chole Masala

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

This Punjabi Chole recipe is just divine! The tamarind paste takes the curry to a new height. This is not a curry to make in a hurry! You have to take time to cook this slowly so the onions can sweeten, the spices cook through and so all he ingredients can meld together. You'll be in for a treat and your patience will be rewarded! Enjoy!

Punjabi Chole Recipe Soaking Time: Overnight

Cooking Time: 1 Hour (Approx)

Serves 3-4 People


  • 1 Cup (200g) Dried White Chickpeas

  • 2 Cups Water to Boil

OR you can use 2 x 400g Canned Chickpeas

  • 1/2 tsp Salt to Boil

  • 5 TBSPN Oil

  • 2 1/2 Cups (300g) Chopped Onions (1 1/2 Large Onions)

  • 1 x 400g Can of Tinned Tomatoes

  • 2 tsp Coriander Cumin Powder

  • 1 tsp Roasted, Ground Cumin Powder

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • Pinch of Dried Fenugreek Leaves

  • 2 tsp Finely Chopped Fresh Ginger

  • 2-4 Fresh Green Chilis (depending on taste)

  • 2 tsp Tomato Paste

  • 2 tsp Tamarind Concentrate Paste


Rinse and soak the dried chickpeas in warm water overnight. Make sure it is soaked in plenty of water as the beans will absorb it.

Drain the beans the next day and rinse them.

Place them in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Add 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt and cook them for 20 minutes on a high pressure.

Once it is cooked, let the pressure release naturally.

NOTE: To speed up the process, you can use 2 x 400g cans of Chickpeas. Just drain and rinse the chickpeas first and keep aside.

Meanwhile, heat up a large pan on a medium-high heat. Add the oil and let it heat up for a minute. Then add the onions and let them fry. Once they start to go golden, reduce the heat slightly. Continue stirring the onions every few minutes.

While the onions are cooking, blend the tomatoes, green chilis and ginger in a blender.

Once the onions are a lovely golden brown colour, add the tomato mixture to the onions. Mix this in. Then add the remaining spices ( except the tomato puree and tamarind paste). Stir this and let it cook gently until the oil floats on top. Then turn off the heat and cover the pan if the pressure cooker pressure has not released yet.

Once the pressure on the pressure cooker has released naturally, check that the chickpeas have cooked completely by pressing one between your fingers. It should be nice and soft but not mushy. If it is not soft enough, put it on to pressure cook again for 5 minutes. If cooked, remove any scum or white foam that it floating on the boiled chickpeas. We do not want that in our curry.

Turn on the heat for the tomato mixture again.

Then add the chickpeas and the water from the pressure cooker to the tomato mixture. Mix this in and let it cook for a good 15 minutes.

NOTE: If you are using canned chickpeas, add enough water (about 3/4 Cup) to get it to the right consistency and add 1/2 tsp Salt adjusting to taste.

Then add the tomato paste (puree) and the tamarind paste. Mix this in and let this simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Then taste the curry and adjust the seasonings if needed. (I added a little more salt).

The curry is best if it is left to sit for a few hours so the flavours can meld together.

Before serving, heat up the curry and garnish with coriander. Serve with onion rings, bhatura and a wedge of fresh lemon. Enjoy!

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