Chickpea Masala | Chole Masala

Chole Masala, Punjabi Chole, Chickpea Masala is a delicious north Indian curry, made using boiled chickpeas or chole in a spicy and flavourful curry. It’s most special part is the deep brown or almost black colour. Many people use tea leaves at the time of boiling to get that black colour.

My mother uses a secret ingredient for it. Read on more to know the perfect chole masala recipe to win over your family and friends.

Chole Masala

Chole Masala is my absolute favourite since childhood.

Once I moved into the hostel for graduation and visited home once a week or sometimes in 2 weeks, my mom made them for me along with Bhaturas each time. May be My Legume Love Affair started back then. I never got bored of eating them once a week. Even now when I to visit her, at least twice during the stay, my mother cooks this special recipe of her.

Chole Masala

I call this special recipe as it is not usual gravy of loads of tomatoes, onions etc. The gravy is little and thick. It is especially delectable with Bhaturas. She doesn’t use regular Chole Masala to cook but make her own spice mix.

Chole Masala

She uses a special ingredient to give the taste and lend this absolutely gorgeous awesome dark color to them. I love the aroma, the freshness of roasting spices. Nothing can beat it. Read on for getting the secret ingredient.

 This trip home, my mom had a menu set with my favorites. This was the first dish she made. This one is for my mother and all the childhood memories!

Chole Masala


1 cup of chickpeas (chole)
2 tomatoes (tamatar), pureed
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds (jeera)
1 teaspoon of red chili powder (lal mirch)
2 teaspoon of coriander powder (dhaniya)
2 teaspoons of dried pomegranate seeds powder (anardana powder)
½ teaspoon of all spice powder (garam masala)
1 tablespoon of oil
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
salt (namak) to taste


1.Soak chickpeas overnight.
2.Next morning, boil or pressure cook them till tender.
3.In a wok/ pan, heat oil and roast asafoetida, cumin seeds, chili powder, coriander powder for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato puree. Roast the puree till it leaves oil from the side.
4.Add dry pomegranate powder and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
5.Add chickpeas and salt. Mix them till they are well coated.
6.Sprinkle all spice powder and mix gently. Garnish with green chili, lemon or grated paneer. Serve chole hot with Bhaturas.


My mother’s recipe from the repertoire of family recipe.

The secret ingredient is anardana for the amazing taste and colour. It also lends sourness to the chole, so use as per your taste.

Addition of lemon can be skipped as per taste if anardana has given enough flavour.

You can add onion paste also if you wish before roasting tomato puree.

If you have forgotten to soak the chole, then you can still cook them but boiling time will increase.

Yes, you got it right – the secret ingredient is Dry Pomegranate Seeds or Anardana. It gives this dish a beautiful flavor, color and taste. Try this out and let me know what do you think of this secret ingredient.

Try this out and let me know what you think of this secret ingredient and how its addition works in changing the flavor of  chickpea masala or chole masala for you.