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Punjabi Chole

Punjabi Chole

Punjabi Chole

Punjabi chole are the best compliment with Baturas, and Naan. The combination is known as Chola Battura. This is a mouth-watering dish, popular with all ages. Popular street food. 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3


  • 1 cup chickpeas, garbanzo beans kabuli chana
  • 2 teabags
  • 3 tbso oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds jeera
  • 1 tbsp besan gram flour
  • 2 tomatoes medium size
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tbsp ginger shredded
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder dhania
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mango powder amchoor

For Garnishing

  • 1 tbsp ginger sliced
  • 1 green chili sliced long ways


  • Boil 5 cups of water with tea bags; after tea comes to boil turn down the heat to medium low. Let it boil for another 2 to 3 minutes. Take out the tea bags and keep aside.
  • 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.
  • 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. Cook on medium high heat.
  • As pressure cooker starts steaming turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Close the heat and wait until steam has stopped before opening the pressure cooker. Chickpeas should be soft and tender.
  • Blend the tomatoes, ginger and green chili to make paste.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add spice mix, salt, garam masala, and mango powder to chickpeas. While mixing, lightly mash the chickpeas. Adjust salt, pepper, and sourness to your taste.
  • Cook on medium high heat. After choles come to boil lower the heat to medium low and put the lid on.
  • Choles 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.
  • Garnish choles with shredded ginger and sliced green chili.
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163 thoughts on “Punjabi Chole

  1. I cooked these today. I only used approximately 1teaspoon (7ml) of oil & yet the chole came out so tasty. Having no onion meant I could cook the tadhka in minimun oil. Great dish. I did not use besan.

  2. Manjula. U say in your video to put ginger with Chanas and boil them. But in the recipe you say you make a paste with ginger , tomatoes and Chile. There’s no mention about boiling Chanas with ginger

    1. Mini, check this step nine
      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.

  3. The written recipe says to add two more cups of water to the soaked chickpeas before pressurecooking them, while the video doesn’t show you doing that. Which is the better way?

  4. 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?


      1. Hi Manjula,

        I had left the mixture for overnight fermentation and the dough once prepared for 3 hours. Bhatura’s were fluffy and soft (I am assuming due to fermentation), but slightly dry.

  5. Hi – Can I cook this recipe on the stove top or a slow cooker…I do not have a pressure cooker? Thanks. A friend brought this to a party and we all LOVED it and would love to make it also!

      1. For slow cooker cooking do we still need to soak for 8 hours. Also how do you cook from step 9 onwards.

        Can we add the tadka, fry onions / tomatoes and then add the cholle and cook in slow cooker for 7-8 hrs. do it sepratelt in diff pan and then add in slow cooker and the add cholle?

        Pl help.

  6. hello maam,

    I tried punjabi chole recipe.My hubby just loved it.Waiting to try most of your recipes.Thanks you so much for uploading such a lovely dish.Maam, If you have know any south indian gravy type dishes please could you upload it:).


  7. Hi Manjula Aunty,

    I tried your punjabi chole recipe and its the best chane I ever tasted. Thank you so much again. Your recipes and the way you present it, are magical. I am a big fan of you.
    Love you so much Aunty.

  8. manjula madum

    Thank you i learnt so many recipes but i have one doubt about why you soaked chana with Tea water.plz if you are free reply me.

    Thanks with Regards

    malathi prabhu

  9. Manjula Ji,

    Your recipe is up there with the best. The recipe is also simple yet very tasty. You have done a very good work by creating this site and uploading cooking videos on youtube.

  10. i am sorry but this is not a punjabi recipe. We use onions sliced longways, caramalised in ghee, with fresh ginger garlic, dried red chili pieces,, chilli powder ,tumeric, salt tomstoes and mango powder is what gives it its flavour and there is no substitute, No pressure cooker and in australia no need to soak the chickpeas at all, and definitely no tea bags. the chickpeas turns out dryish yellowish and appetising. Always with buthurs which is sr flour bit of salt, few tablespoons of yoghurt and bit water mix up and cook like puris. Don’t overcook the chickpeas. we add some potaotes as well.

    1. sharon again. dont forget the FRESH garam masala at end . about tbls or so . you can add fresh coriander at end if you like. also. to make fresh garam masala just add to a hot dry frypan 2 tbls p coriander powder, cummin powder tsp clove powder 2 tsp cinnamon powder 2 tsp black pepper f for aminute or so but do not burn. can use whole ingredint but then you need to pulverise in spice mill. whole is nicer. store in airtight cont.. garam masala from shop will ruin your dish mango powder is essential might need pinch sugar if tomatoes are insipid. use italian canned good quality.

  11. Hi Manjula,

    I have been using your recipes to learn Punjabi cooking, and I must say, that I have tried many recipes from many sites, but when I try your recipes, my dishes turn out perfect at the first go itself. Your site is a blessing. Earlier my husband did not like to eat the food I cooked, but now he thinks I am a very good cook! 🙂

    A question please –
    What is the purpose of adding besan?
    Can I add onions to this dish as well? If so, how many onions should I use?

    Many thanks,

  12. Hi Aunty,
    Should I use dry chickpeas or canned for this recipe?

    I love your recipes–i never cooked Indian food before! All my friends are amazed.


  13. I have heard that anardana can be used instead of tea bags. What is the process?

    What is your take on using tomato puree in sabji’s. Is it healthy, and can be used frequently?

  14. Hi Aunty,
    You are simply great!
    I just realised you don’t use onion, garlic in any of your recipes. I don’t have to rush to grocery store to try your any recipe.
    Good for our generation

    1. while boiling the chole after soaking, put one aawla (gooseberry) in the cooker and boil. after boiling finishes, mash the aawla and mix in the chana, taking out the seed of the aawla

  15. Hello Manjula aunty,

    I am a big follower of your reciepes. Any reciepe I make at home is an instant hit with my family members be it punjabi chole or paneer. Your reciepes have come to my rescue all the time. Never took time out to leave a nice comment before but I want to give my heartfelt thanks to you.

  16. Hello Manjula Auntie,

    I recently chanced upon your web site while looking for some recipes. I just love your video presentations. They are so nicely hosted and edited. When you see what you are making, it makes cooking so much easier. I have already tried Toor Dal and Punjabi Chhole recipes and both came out brilliant.

    Thank you again and Happy Mother’s Day!

  17. Hello-
    I love your recipes, however I don’t have a pressure cooker. How can I make these recipes or at least understand how long to cook them…can you tell me please? I use my best judgement but I don’t always feel confident since some of the dishes I have no reference point for having never eaten them. Please advise. thank you

    1. I went to make this recipe the other night and discovered my pressure cooker had gotten rusty from long disuse. Wanting to get cooking rather than scrubbing rust, I just used a regular pot. Boiling the cholas covered at a rapid boil on high heat, they were ready to go into the tomato/chili/ginger mixture in about an hour. I prefer the longer final cooking time of the finished dish recommended above (30 minutes) to help the flavors blend more, so that gives the cholas even more cooking time. (I had also soaked my cholas for 24 hours rather than 8 (in the fridge), so that may have cut down on cooking time as well.)

      In any case, pressure cookers cut down on cooking time by about 70%, but I can’t think of any case where they are absolutely necessary for satisfactory results, provided you adjust your cooking time accordingly.

      Another modification I made: the local Indian grocery store was out of amchoor (mango powder), which is used to add a hint of sourness to the dish, so I substituted it with nimboo sat (citric acid) to give that tart flavor, and it worked great. I also added a pinch of hing to the oil with the jeera, just because I like the taste. As Manjula says, you are the chef in your own kitchen, and everyone has their own preferences.

  18. Thank you for your wonderful recipes. My mother passed away when I was 7 and I have no other Indian relatives in Canada, so I never learned to cook Indian food. Your recipes are similar to my mom’s and reminds me so much of her, esp the Chola recipe, which we always called Channa. She was a great cook and even though I was young and not very fond of Indian food at the time, my most cherished memories are cooking with her. I have grown up to love Indian food and your recipes are so easy to follow

    thanks again

  19. I am not Indian in ethnicity, but I love the food and as someone who enjoys mostly vegetarian meals it is the most flavorful option. I would love to try this recipe. It calls for 2 tea bags…is that black tea? Is there are brand of tea that could be easily found in an Indian Market that you would recommend. I am looking forward to trying your naan recipe. Thank you for any information you can provide to clarify.

  20. your recipes are simply wonderful..i notice u don’t use onions much..a possible reason they turn out simply wonderful ,and could be eaten without much worry even after keeping it overnight in the fridge.

  21. Your recipes are simply amazing and easy to follow.I have learnt a lot of vegetarian recipes thanks to you.
    I was looking for a recipe to cook bengal gram or kala chana.Can you post one please?
    Thank You.


  22. Aunty
    Your recipies are awesome…especially for people who do not like onions in dishes…..
    Your suggestion of adding gramflour in channa is really very good ….just like what you eat in the halwai shop…
    Thanks Again

  23. hi ,
    manjula aunty
    i did’t know how to make cholla fluently & easily but we cann’t do it, we have try many times we alwaya unsuccessfull for this dish, when i got ur recipe i is became me good chef now i made many time my friend always told me “aamir dear today i want to eat cholla as per manjula aunty…
    Why do you add besan to chic peas and some of your recipies?

    Thanks love your recipies you have blessed so many with your cooking.

  24. I am a south Indian….. but now i have started preferring north indian cuisine cos of ur recipes…. i dont like onions, so ur recipes r my favorite.

  25. Hello manjulaji
    I really like this dish, even without Onion Garlic.
    specifically “Adding Besan” is new to me to thicken a gravy.

    friends if you do not like to add Besan try this:

    you can add very fine paneer(finly gatted) in tometo gravy but this will make your Chole very mild in test, if you want spicy try second Option

    when you make tometo puree, grind some chole into Mixture with it, which will thicken your Gravi and do not change test

    1. I forget to mentione, use “Presher Cooked Chole” in mixture with Tometo to make Gravy Thicken.
      this was very obvious, no bodody will use raw Chole in Mixture but I clear myself because I do not want to ruin any newcomer’s first dish.

  26. hello aunty..
    saw ur video on youtube accidently..and im so glad this accident happened 🙂
    i made the Punjabi chola for diwali get together at our place and the comppliments i got was over whelming 🙂 i even made mathri,gujia n shakkar para for the 1st time in my life..and again thanks to you they came out Awesome..your proportions are so accurate,that there is no room for any errors 🙂
    thank you again aunty..will be makin dal makahni tonight 🙂

  27. Hello manjula ji ,
    I am your’s new fan. I want to know how to make dry raw banana recepie.
    If u will demonstrate it i will be extreemly happy .

  28. hello aunty….i am also strict vegetarian…but why dont you put onion and garlic in ur recipes…both are healthy and make ur recipe more flavorful …..in biryani, pav bhajji, chola masala its a must thing…i think ur jaini bcz of that
    this is just a suggestion otherwiswe ur recipes are very nice.

  29. I think that adding some besan just adds more protein and iron. That seems much healthier to me than the American way of adding corn starch!

    If people are concerned about adding besan, arrowroot powder is a great thickener that does not add calories/fat, etc., but it also does not add the extra protein and iron that besan does.

  30. Mnjula Aunty
    I tried many of your dishes. Thanks for easy to make dishes. But I am reluctant to add besan in chole. Can we add something else to make the gravy thicker.

  31. Manjula Aunty, have seen many of your you-tube videos and tried 2-3 recipes.All turned out great.I am a very slow cook and I experienced that your recipes are very less time consuming and no onion addition, yet tasty.I suggested your you-tube videos to my sister too.She was also all praise for your calm, composed presentation.

    Regarding this recipe, why do we need to add tea decoction? Would be thankful to hear the answer.

  32. First of all, thank you for all your recipes…I’ve even been able to impress my mother with your recipes! Do you have a recipe for Sambar and Dosa?

  33. I made this dish last night with Bhatura recipe you posted and it came out soooooo good. Since I did not have tea bags, I used loose tea in the pressure cooker with beans and once the beans were cooked, I drained and cleaned the beans in cold water. Also, I have never been able to make bhatura but with your recipe, I was able to make the bhtura.

    Thanks so much,


  34. Namaste maam,
    i m very happy to found ur website.and i want to say thanks to you b’coz i got a very delicious recipe specialy this Panjabi chola.thanks

  35. punjabi chole, line number 11. what spice mix are you talking about. line 10 use the tomatoe from line 8, line 10 we use up the rest. did you mean in line 11, add to spice mixture the salt, garam etc. might want to change the wording, love your receipes. thanks.

  36. Hi Aunty, I enjy watching your videos…especially the desserts. Hmmm…yummy! When I watch you making them, it does look very simple to do. I wish to make the “Rasgullas”. But I dont have a pressure cooker. How long does it take to cook them in a regular pot?

  37. Namaste auntyji !

    I have done this recipe and, once again, it is really great ! It was tastier and yummier than I expected !
    You explain really well and you propose good recipes.

    I hope you will film other recipes, lots of them 😉

    Thank you for you recipes !

    Christelle Ikshu (from Paris)

  38. Hi Manjula ji
    Your recipes are really very easy to follow and turns out really delicious.
    I would like to share a tip for this recipe.To give the blackish colour and the sourness to the cholas we can roast annaerdaana in the oil and then grind to a paste .Add the paste to the bolied cholas . This will also give a nice colour and taste.
    Seema Pawa
    Bangkok (Thailand)

  39. Manjulaben: I tried your recipe for Punjabi Chola and for the first time I can say that I got it right with your help. Thanks Behanji. Tamaro bhai, Suleman.

  40. Hi Manjula
    thank u so much for your vidieos. i tried ur naan,chole,vegetable pakoras and jalebi. they all turned out yummy. The great thing about ur cooking is that u make it in a very simple and easy manner, which is very easy to follow. I tried only once and all the items turned out very good. Thanks for making my life easy.

    Thank anju

  41. You are a wonderful cook… I always thought no one could cook like my mom but you are equally good ;-)…

    What a difference it makes to the recipe when ginger is added to the chickpeas and cooked in the cooker!! I used to grind the ginger with the masala but your recipe is better..

    Thanks again…

  42. I’m ready to try it! Thank you for inviting us into your kitchen and making everything look so easy and accessible – even to those of us who didn’t grow up eating food like this.
    Also, I’ll join in the praise for your husband doing the camera work. He does such a great job getting in close to show the details – like the white blisters on the fried chili garnish. I hope some day my husband and I can share an interest and project like you do!

  43. Hi Aunti Ji,
    I have tried many of these dishes, out of which Rasagulla, Rasmalai, Punjabi Cholas, Samosas and Cutlets came up very well but there was some problem with the Bhaturas. Though the tase was good but the dough was not made right because of which its was impossible for me to roll it to the proper size thus the result was thick bhaturas.
    Thanks for helping beginners like me to do justice to some dishes.

  44. Hello Aunty,

    I first tried you Chole recipe it turned out awesome. All your recipes are hasselfree and so easy to make and they taste superb.

    Thanks a lot for sharing these lovely recipes

  45. Hello Auntyji,
    Just wanted to know if I use the canned Chick peas then how do I soak them in tea water as they are the canned ones..
    How can I get the black colour for these chick peas?

  46. Dear Manjula Aunty

    Hi . How are you doing. I do not have any words to express my gratitiude towards you. You just changed my cooking side and i feel proud whenever i cook something now. I really appreciate your efforts and thanks a lot for all this.

  47. Manjulaji, Thank you for receipes. In the punjabi chole you say to add the spice mix. I am not sure what spice mix is it that you are asking to put in.
    Please reply soon.

  48. Hi Aunty,

    I have been looking at lot many sites to make Chola Batura but coudn’t find the punch in their recipe. Today i happen to open your site and there, this is what i want. Especially watching you make the recipe reminded me my mom. I am going to make this today.

  49. Hi, Mrs. Jain!
    Looks so great, I finally broke down and bought a pressure cooker to make it! Thanks again for an awesome site: All my friends love Indian food, and many of us cook it, so I’ve been telling them about you. I’m a white Brit, and I’ve been cooking Indian food for twenty years (taught myself from Madhur Jaffrey’s books) but your recipes are MUCH better than any book I’ve seen–easy to follow, simple, and always delicious. And the videos are awesome–you explain everything clearly. Hope you don’t mind my asking, but who’s your cameraperson? S/he does a great job!

  50. Hi!

    I love Indian food and to cook. Your website is a great reference! I am so happy I found it. Can I use any (gluten-free) flour as thickener if I don’t have besan? And what kind of tea should I use?

    Thank you.


  51. Hi Aunty,

    It is a really good effort i am telling everybody about the site and they are lovin it .I think we dont need to gotothe resturants now.Thanks alot for the great effort.
    ravi uk

  52. Manjulaji,

    I loved this recipe without onions and garlic….what a lovely way to have one of my favorites. Do visit my food blog when you get a chance.

    Your website is really well laid-out. 🙂


  53. Dear Aunty,

    what is the different between Punjabi chole and chole( channa masala) ..am from sri lanka …your recipes are great…i tried many ….
    thanks you so much
    please try to show many verity preparation of dhal…

    best wishes..

  54. Dear Manjula aunty,

    Thank you so much for your commitment to vegetarianism. I love your chola recipe, and the way you have described it very clearly. I will try it soon!

    VnV from California.

  55. Hello aunty,

    Your website is toooooooo good. I am learning many recipes thru your website. Thanks a lot aunty.

    Could you please let me know where can I buy spoon set (tablespoon, teaspoon etc) as well as cup set (In your site you r using cups to measure Ingredients)? Thank you very much for your help.

    thanks and regards

  56. hi,

    Great site, have made a few of your dishes.

    Question: Why (and I have seen this a few times) you add garam masala at the end of the cooking process and not at the begining?

    Thanks heaps

  57. Manjula,
    for the first time today I discoverd your web site and videos on the computer and I am very excited about learning indian cooking. When in Mumbai, I used to goto all my Indian neighbours and learn from them. I could never make a light dhokla. After seeing your video, I am going to try one. You teach very well
    thanks and bless you for sharing your recipes.

  58. I love the way you have updated your website! It is just fabulous! Easy navigation, very well organized, and fun to use. Tonight I will be preparing your chole bhatura recipes. Thanks again for sharing all your years of experience in the kitchen with us. What a priceless resource this is!

  59. Hello Manjula Ji,

    First of all Congratulations on having a website of your own..Your website is very well organized, the colours used are beautiful n its very easy to access all the recipes..Thanks for sharing all the great recipes with us….


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