Punjabi Chola




  • 1 cup chickpeas (Garbanzo beans, Kabuli chana)
  • 2 tea bags
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon basen (Gram flour)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tablespoon shredded ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to the taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor (Mango powder)



Boil 5 cups of water with tea bags; after tea comes to boil lower the heat to low medium and 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 at 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. 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.

Next 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. Boil on medium high heat. After cholas come to boil lower the heat to low medium and put the lid on. Ready to eat in as little as ten minutes, but for best taste let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 6 minutes.