Punjabi Chole Masala ~ Punjabi Chickpeas Curry

Last week, as I sat waiting for my order to be received at the pizza joint downstairs my office building. I saw this big bunch of school boys coming in with one of them having a store bought cake in his hand. From the look of it, it was understood that it was somebody's birthday treat. By the time I picked up my parcel and walked back towards the exit while the huge gang tried to settle themselves up against a long table set specifically to accommodate them. I didn't know what I suddenly felt - age is slowly but surely catching up!!! Not that I consider being in the early 30's as old, but then moving on in life and as the cycle turns, we go ahead from being care free "kids" to responsible adults, managing a home, family and a job, if working. Life becomes so routine and "me" time becomes a luxury. Each time, I try to get all our school friends together to have a mindless evening, it gets difficult to pool up everybody together as one or the other will have issues related to timing, transport, kids, home restrictions, and what not... Our life becomes so centered towards taking into account many other lives associated with ours, that ours tend to take a back seat, or is literally pushed back as such. I guess this is true with most women who have just themselves to manage a home, without any help whatsoever. I am lucky I have somebody coming to do the cleaning and laundry, but still, I find it really difficult to find some time for myself! When you are in school or college, you hate studies but just because of this factor, we so stupidly want to "grow up" quickly, but then once you are actually grown up, you crave to be back in those black shoes we wore while we went to school!!! Life moves on so fast and before we know it, it flies away in front of our own eyes... :)

Putting my wandering thoughts aside... a curry that we enjoyed once with our chapathis. I have always mentioned how difficult it is to feel the carnivorous bunch in the house. This was one humble attempt tried to push in the most loathed lentils in our house. Seriously, I don't know what's wrong with chickpeas, but I love it, much to the irritation of the men folk. In an attempt to try and make it differently from the way I usually make it, I came across this way and tried it. It was thankfully accepted quite well. Any recipe that calls for the use of kasuri methi always catches my eye and that was the main reason which tempted me to try it... hehe... OK, so my little secret is out! :P Off to the recipe then...

Punjabi Chole/ Chickpeas Masala
Serves 4
Recipe adapted from here


1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For masala:
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp kasuri methi
3 medium onions, chopped
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 green chillies
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
3 medium tomatoes, pureed
1/2 tsp garam masala powder


Cook the chickpeas in a pressure cooker with enough water, turmeric powder and salt till done. Set aside.

Puree the chopped onions, ginger-garlic pastes and green chillies. In a saucepan, heat oil. Fry the kasuri methi for a couple of seconds. Add in the onion puree and cook till the raw smell is gone. Add in the sliced onion along with the masala powders and saute for a few minutes till a nice aroma comes. Finally add the pureed tomatoes and cook till oil floats on the top.

Now add the cooked chickpeas along with some of the water - add all the water if you need more depending upon the consistency of the curry - and simmer for around 5 to 8 minutes for the flavors to incorporate. Sprinkle in the garam masala and serve hot with rotis or white rice!


1. Normally, Punjabi curries use a lot of tomatoes, and unfortunately I had to limit the tomatoes taking into account the taste buds of my folks. You can add upto 6 tomatoes, if you love the tangy taste of it.
2. Since I didn't have anything to garnish it with, I left it blank. You can use coriander leaves for garnishing. 

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