Chole (Indian Chickpea Curry)

Chole is a North Indian chick pea dish. The base is a tomato gravy and to this you add either canned chick peas or if you prefer dried ones which you have soaked overnight. In this recipe we will be using canned chick peas. Like most Indian curries you can adjust the spice so that the dish is spicy or mild depending on your taste. This recipe will make the Chole on the milder side.


  • 1 can chick peas
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes diced
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 medium sized onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ¾ tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch asafetida powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup water

** Please note: In this recipe I am using a pressure cooker. If you do not have one, you may also just use a pot.


  1. In your pressure cooker/pot heat 3 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Once the oil is sufficiently heated, add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds.
  3. Allow the cumin seeds to sizzle in the oil. Once they have turned golden brown, add a pinch of asafetida powder. Follow this by adding ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  4. Add the onions and sauté until they have turned golden brown. Follow by adding the garlic. You do not need to sauté the garlic, as overcooked garlic tends to loose its flavour.
  5. Add the tomatoes in and allow the mixture to simmer on medium heat until the tomatoes have melted and the mixture is fairly uniform. Follow by adding 1 teaspoon of tomato paste and mixing.
  6. Add in the chick peas.
  7. At this point we can add all the spices – salt, ginger paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and a pinch of sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  8. Add in 1 cup of water.
  9. At this point –
    • If you are using a pressure cooker put the lid on securely and turn the stove on high. Different pressure cookers behave differently in terms of how they release steam. In my pressure cooker, the pressure is released in the form of a “whistle” (steam shooting out), intermittently. In some pressure cookers, when the pressure is at maximum, the steam is continuously released – so basically the “whistle” does not stop. To simplify things, just cook the Chole in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes.
    • If you are using a pot, leave the stove on medium heat and put the lid half on (if you put the lid on securely, it will boil over). Allow the Chole to simmer for 20 minutes.
  10. At this point if you are using a pressure cooker make sure you wait until all the pressure is released before opening. This is very important. If you have some chopped cilantro, you may add it as a garnish. Serve with basmati rice, naan, roti… whatever you desire!


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