Amritsari Chole (White chickpeas or garbanzo beans in spicy gravy)


Chole Bhatura is a very common dish of Punjab and a favorite in our house too.  Amritsari chole is one variation of the chole recipes found in Punjab and can be found in many roadside dhabas as well as hotels and restaurants.  It is characterized by the dark brown color of the gravy . This flavorful dish made with chickpeas or garbanzo beans simmered in a gravy of onions, tomatoes and a whole lot of Indian spices has become a common favorite of many an Indian all over the world.

One of the ingredients that sets Amritsari Chole apart from any other chole dish of Punjab, is a tea bag, yes a tea bag!!  When cooking the beans, a tea bag is immersed and this imparts a dark brown color and amazingly, you do not get any tea flavor in it!! It is normally served with a variety of breads like rotis, puris, kulchas, naan etc.  But it goes best with bhatura, a deep fried bread made with flour and yogurt. I love leftovers of this with rice, which takes it to a different level, like the rajma-chawal of Punjab.

Hope you will try my version of Amritsari Chole with bhatura (recipe of bhatura found here) and love it too!!

Amritsari Chole

                                         Amritsari Chole


  • For the chana:
  • 1 cup chickpeas or kabuli chana, soaked overnight, washed, drained and cooked (with 1 black tea bag
  • till soft)
  • For the tomato puree:
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 medium green chillies
  • For the chole masala:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon
  • 5 to 6 methi (fenugreek) seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon hing or asafoetida
  • ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon jeera or cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons chole masala powder
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each grated ginger and garlic
  • 1 big black cardomom
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves and kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves) for garnishing


  1. Make a puree of the tomato and green chillies and keep aside.
  2. In a large kadai or deep saucepan, heat the oil and ghee.
  3. Add the whole spices (star anise, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and methi) and fry for a few seconds
  4. Stir in the onions and hing and fry for about a minute till they turn soft.
  5. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes till it thickens.
  6. Stir in all the masala powders (except the chaat masala) and sauté till the oil separates.
  7. Pour in the cooked chickpeas along with the water in which it was cooked, black cardamom, chaat masala and salt and mix well.
  8. Taste the gravy for salt and sourness and if needed add more salt or chaat masala.
  9. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  10. Add crushed kasuri methi on top, mix well and serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.
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Try to make this dish a few hours ahead or even a day earlier as the flavor increases the longer it is in the gravy.



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