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 flavorful curry. Its most special part is the deep brown or almost black color. Many people use tea leaves when boiling to get that black color.

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 has been my absolute favorite since childhood.

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

Chole Masala

I call this a special recipe as it is not the 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 makes her 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!

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.

Chole Masala

Chole Masala, Punjabi Chole, Chickpea Masala is a delicious north Indian curry, made using boiled chickpeas or chole in a spicy and flavorful curry. It’s most special part is the deep brown or almost black color. Many people use tea leaves at the time of boiling to get that black color.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Vegetarian
Keyword: Warm
Servings: 6 people



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


  1. The secret ingredient is anardana for the amazing taste and color. It also lends sourness to the chole, so use as per your taste.
  2. Addition of lemon can be skipped as per taste if anardana has given enough flavor.
  3. You can add onion paste also if you wish before roasting tomato puree.
  4. If you have forgotten to soak the chole, then you can still cook them but boiling time will increase.

Join the Conversation

  1. Hi deepali….your fresh new avatar of blog is very appealing. great job.
    These chole masala is looking absolutely delicious!

    1. Thank you Shobhana. :)

  2. Lovely site Deepali !! Chole Masala is my favorite.. Adding dry pomegranate seeds is new for me !! Chole Masala is looking so delicious :) Thanks for linking to WTML.

    1. Thank you Avika. I’m glad you liked it.

  3. Oh my! you have so many delicious recipes here…
    chickpea masala looks so YUM!

    I often make masala curry with chickpeas and potatoes.

    Blog : global vegan fare

    1. Thank you Kum for such kind words… I appreciate it.

  4. Hi!
    I can’t comment on your peter reinhart’s pizza recipe!!! :(
    It says that is a duplicate comment when it’s my first time ever on your site!!
    I had a question about that pizza!!! :(

  5. Jyotirmoy Sarkar says:

    I love this dish, frequently made by My Mom, next time will surely try your recipe.

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