Punjabi Chola

March 10th, 2008 filed under Dal (Lentils), Gluten Free, Vegan
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Punjabi cholas are the best compliment with baturas. The combination is known as chola battura. This is a mouth-watering dish.

Serves 2 to 4.

Punjabi Chola


  • 1 cup chickpeas (Garbanzo beans, Kabuli chana)
  • 2 tea bags
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon basen (Gram flour)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tablespoon shredded ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to the taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor (Mango powder)

For garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon shredded ginger
  • 1 green chili sliced long ways


  1. Boil 5 cups of water with tea bags; after tea comes to boil turn down the heat to medium low.
  2. Let it boil for another 2 to 3 minutes. Take out the tea bags and keep aside.
  3. Wash chickpeas well and soak in tea water for about 8 hours. Chickpeas after soaking will become about 2 1/2 times the volume of the original.
  4. In pressure cooker add chickpeas with the water they were soaked in, plus 2 more cups of water. Close the cooker and put the pressure on.
  5. Cook on medium high heat.
  6. As pressure cooker starts steaming turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 15 minutes.
  7. Close the heat and wait until steam has stopped before opening the pressure cooker. Chickpeas should be soft and tender.
  8. Blend the tomatoes, ginger and green chili to make paste.
  9. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks right away oil is ready. Add cumin seeds, and as the cumin seeds crack add basen stir-fry until basen is light gold brown.
  10. Next add tomato paste, coriander powder, and black pepper. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the oil is separating from the mixture and tomato mixture should be about half in volume.
  11. Add spice mix, salt, garam masala, and mango powder to chickpeas.
  12. While mixing, lightly mash the chickpeas. Adjust salt, pepper, and sourness to your taste.
  13. Cook on medium high heat. After cholas come to boil lower the heat to  medium low and put the lid on.
  14. Cholas are ready to eat in as little as ten minutes, but for best taste let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 6 minutes.
  15. Garnish cholas with shredded ginger and sliced green chili.

If you enjoyed the recipe for Punjabi Chola, here are more great recipes you should try from Manjula's Kitchen.

139 Responses to “Punjabi Chola”

  1. Jasdeep says:

    Hi Manjula,

    My husband and I loved the chole. I had used some onion as well and had roasted besan separately. I have a doubt regarding the bhature recipe though. I had used your bhatura recipe but the bhature seem to be a little dry as compared to what we eat at various outlets. Could you suggest some way to improve that?


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