Chole – Garbanzo Beans Curry

This recipe for Chole is one of the easiest I’ve used. It doesn’t require the standard Punjabi masala…so, no more frying onions and tomatoes. Enjoy!


Kabuli (White) Channa – 2 cups

Water – 5 cups

Salt – ½ tsp

Bade Elaichi (Big Cardamom) – 1

Cloves – 5

Cinnamon – 1 small piece

Garlic – ½ tsp, minced

Ginger – ½ tsp, minced

Onion – ½ medium, chopped

Tomato – 1 medium, chopped

Green Chili – 1 or to taste, slit

Oil – 1 Tbsp

Hing (Asofoetida) – pinch

Haldi (Turmeric) – ¼ tsp

Tomato Sauce – ½ cup (1/2 of 8 oz. can)

Garam Masala – ¼ tsp

Chole Masala – 2 tsp

Dhania Powder – 1 tsp

Red Chili Powder – ¼ tsp (to taste)

Lemon Juice – ½ tsp (to taste)

Cilantro – 5 sprigs, chopped for garnishing


  1. Soak 2 cups Channa in 4 cups Water for at least 3 hours.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add Channa with the Water, Salt, Bade Elaichi, Cloves, Cinnamon, Garlic, Ginger, Onion and Tomato.
  3. Pressure cook for 2 whistles, reduce flame to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat Oil in a separate medium sized, non-stick pan.
  5. Add Hing and Haldi.
  6. Add Tomato Sauce, mix well and sauté until oil starts to separate.
  7. Add Garam Masala, Chole Masala, Dhania Powder and Red Chili Powder – mix well and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Add cooked Channa (with the water) to the pan and mix well.
  9. Boil for 5 minutes or to get a thicker gravy, pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
  10. Add Lemon Juice and adjust Salt, Chili Powder and Chole Masala to taste. 
  11. Garnish with Cilantro.
  12. Serves 4-5


  1. If you don’t have time to soak the Channa for 3 hours, bring Channa and water to a boil on the stove, in a pan with a tight fitting lid. Boil for 5 minutes and turn off stove. Cover the pan with the lid and let it stand for 1 hour. Your Channa should be ready to pressure cook.
  2. If you don’t even have one hour to soak the Channa, try using canned Garbanzo Beans. The process is the same except let the pressure cooker whistle only 1 time and then turn off stove.

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56 thoughts on “Chole – Garbanzo Beans Curry

  1. Hi,

    Firstly, let me thank you guys for doing such a wonderful job with your website. This is my go-to online recipe book whenever I have to cook something in the kitchen, be it something really simple or something that looks complicated but if your steps are followed, even that becomes a piece of cake. Have tried several recipes from your site with a 100% success rate. That is truly commendable for a complete novice like me and that speaks volumes about the standard of this website. Thank you once again!

    My query is how many cups chole would suffice for a small gathering of say 20 people? Also, how many whistles of the pressure cooker would be required for the chole to get cooked? I will be following your recipe to the tee. So let me know if any changes are required. Thank you!


    P.S. See if you can incorporate a simple submit button option for each recipe so that we can see how much would be the proportion of the ingredients required to make a particular recipe say for ‘n’ number of people. Something like “Show me for 7 parathas Go.” Reference:Tarla Dalal website

  2. you have said to cook the chana for 2 whistles and simmer for 30mins. and to thicken gravy to cook 3=4 whistles that is total of 5or 6 whistles plus 30 mins total cooking time will the chana not be overcooked ? I should think so

  3. I really enjoy your videos and this site. I even bought a pressure cooker so that I can make your recipes. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when the presto directions said I should never cook split peas in the cooker. How do I do this? I see you cooking them all of the time. Please help.

  4. Can we use the bulk Punjabi masala in this recipe? If so, how much and do we need to add or ormit any other ingredients in this recipe. Thanks. Awaiting your reply so I can cook this tasty looking dish ! 🙂

    1. Hi Brenda,

      Yes, Punjabi masala in Bulk will work. Just omit the ginger, garlic, tomato and onion. You can use approx 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the masala. Heat it in a little oil and add the cooked garbanzo beans.

  5. Wowwwwww!!it looks sooo healthy and yum at the same time…ha!m going to make chole for the 1st time today..hope my husband likes it 🙂 will definitely keep u [Hetal n Anuja] posted 😀

  6. Thank you so much for all of the recipes! I’ve made many of them and love them! I have a lot of fun following your site. : )

    Can you please clarify the amount of channa and water in this recipe? There is a discrepancy between the video and the printed recipe.

    Also, the Indian grocery story by me only had green cardomom. Is that okay to use in place of black? Or would it be better to omit it altogether?

    Thanks for your help and for all the wonderful recipes!
    Ann Marie

    1. Sorry- if it matters, I already soaked 2 c channa in 4 c water overnight. Hoping this is correct. If not, can I rectify the recipe somehow?

      Thanks again.

      1. Hi Ann Marie,

        Thanks for catching the error for us…it has been fixed. What you have done is fine. You can always add additional water before pressure cooking or after they have cooked. Regarding the cardamom, just use the green ones. The flavor is slightly different but better to have it than omit it.

  7. Hi hetal n Ahuja,

    Absolutely loved this recipe. This is the best chole i ve ever made n the best part is its so easy to make. Thank you so much.

  8. Hello,

    Thank you for the chole recipe :). How many cans of garbanzo beans can i use for this recipe?
    I did not find bhature recipe on the site !! Please keep that on your list.
    Also, a suggestion, a measurement calculator would be a good addition on your site. Say, for eg: this recipe serves 4-5. It would be great if we just key in the number of people and the amount and size of ingredients is calculated automatically.

    1. Hi Newbee,

      You can use 2 cans of garbanzo beans. Just a note…add enough water to just cover the garbanzo beans. Pressure cook for 1-2 whistles and turn the flame down to a simmer and let it go for about 15 minutes.

  9. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
    I haf tried this recipe and it comes out awesome i just make change by adding tea bags during boil and the chole was great in colour as well taste …i love your all recipe thank you for posting this recipe

  10. What is a “whistle?” I’ve used a pressure cooker many times but can’t figure out what “two whistles” is. Is it a length of time?


    1. Hi M.A.

      When enough pressure builds up in our pressure cooker, it “whistles”, meaning a loud noise is heard as the pressure is being released. Although it is not an exact length of time, the number of whistles is used as a gauge. For example, rice cooks with just one whistle. Toor daal cooks at 2-3 whistles. Hope that helps.

      1. What about the pressure cookers that have a constant flow of air and no whistle?… the American pressure cookers. I remember reading on another recipe post on this website that 1 whistle is about 7 minutes on the non whistle type of cookers. I have a Fagor cooker that has the constant air flow after the pressure is built. So once the pressure is built up, count 6-7 minutes to make one whistle equivalent.

  11. hi anuja and hetal,
    this recipe is really good.
    there is another method of making chole without onions & tomatoes- but only masalas, wondering if u knew that. it would be great to learn the other method too,i am told it a sindhi method of preparation…!!??

  12. Hi there… i have a question on is “Kabuli (White) Channa” and “bengal gram dhal” is the same? can u pls tell me what is the tamil name for “bengal gram dhal”?

    1. Hi Divya,

      Bengal gram daal is split black channa (kala channa). Kabuli Channa is the whole bean. Bengal Gram is Kadalai Paruppu in Tamil.

  13. Hi Anuja & Hetal,
    The place where i stay does not have an indian store n i am not able to get the chole masala.
    Would you plz suggest a substitute masala for it or if not the procedure for it…
    Thank you…

    1. Does marsala mean mixture of spices? If so what are the spices that go into a chole masala? How is it different from a chaat masala?

      1. Hi Christine,

        Masala just means “spice”, not necessarily a mixture of spices. The packages you buy from the store (Chole, Chaat, Pav Bhaji, etc) are simply just different mixtures of spices. Each brand will have its own combination of spices, but the taste of Chaat and Chole masalas are different.

  14. Hi Disorichu,

    You can follow the exact same method, except you add drained and washed canned garbanzo beans with additional fresh water (1 to 2 cups depending on how much gravy you want). Go ahead and pressure cook the beans even though they are already cooked. It will help to soften them up as well as infuse the spices into them.

  15. Hi Farzana,

    Tomato ketchup has corn syrup in it and will make your curry sweet. You can use crushed fresh tomatoes.

  16. Hi Anuja & Hetal,
    The place where i stay does not have an indian store n i am not able to get the chole masala.
    Would you plz suggest a substitute masala for it or if not the procedure for it…
    Thank you…

  17. hi,

    i tried the recipe yesterday it was good i prepared in the pressure cooker after that i added onions and tomato puree…. the taste was excellent

  18. Hello Hetal and Anuja
    Just made this recipe last week.It is sure easy to make. I used canned Garbanzo beans. I did cook it in pressure cooker for just one whistle and turned off the flame immediately. We all enjoyed the dish.
    Thanks guys and keep up the good work..
    Still waiting for Chicken Jalfrezi and Vegetable Jafrezi Videos

    1. i was wondering how much canned chole do we use? your recipe calls for 2 cups of dry beans, but if we use the canned is it the same amount

  19. Hi Hetal,
    Thanks for your reply. I used juice of one big fleshy tomato for 1 cup of chick peas. it probably took more time to thicken. But the taste was ultimate. I just loved it.. Thanks so much.


  20. Hi Hema,

    We also use fresh tomato in this recipe but the tomato sauce adds a different dimension. Tomato sauce is usually a lot more concentrated than simply grinding up tomatoes. Therefore, you get a lot of tomato flavor using very little sauce. Also, there is a lot of water content in ground up tomatoes which will dry up when cooked so you would probably have to use about 1 cup of fresh sauce. Let us know if you try it and how it turns out.

  21. Dear Hetal, Anuja,
    I love your chole recipe. Just had a small doubt. I normally use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. In that case juice of how many tomatoes will equal your 1/2 cup tomato sauce?

    Thanks and rgds

  22. Hey Hetal, Anuja – Big thanks for sharing this recipe with us. Love it. Easy and come out very tasty. I made a small change to the recipe,I ground a handful of the cooked beans with ittle bit of the cooked liquid just to aid the grinding to a smooth paste, then added the paste to the masala in step 6 along with the tomato sauce. I thought this added some thickness to the gravy. I would like to try this recipe in a slow cooker next. Do you have some pointers to how that can be done?

  23. Hi Carols,

    For everyone’s benefit, could you tell us how long it took to cook without the pressure cooker?


  24. I don’t have a pressure cooker and I used canned beans. It turned out really well…in fact, the best chole curry that I have made so far.

  25. Hi Hetal/Anuja,

    This recipe, like many other of yours, is great. Now, chana masala has become my husband’s favorite item 🙂

    I am a newbie in cooking and I have to admit I have got more interest towards it after knowing of your site 🙂

    Great work..


  26. Hi Francine,

    You can cook the beans in a heavy bottom pot with a lid. Start with 2 cups pre-soaked beans (chana) with 6 cups water. It will take about 1 – 1 1/2 hours to cook. You will have to keep an eye on the pot and stir once in a while. Also, keep another pot of plain water hot and ready. If the water level in the beans starts to go below the level of the beans, you can keep adding small quantities of hot water to bring the level back up. Also, adding a little oil to the mix helps it not to boil over.

    You can also do the same recipe with canned garbanzo beans. You wouldn’t have to cook them as long.

    Please consider investing in a pressure cooker. The same process can be done in a fraction of the time.

  27. hi, i wacth your video and i love it, but i don’t have a pressure cooker, can you tell me if i can cook the beans in a pot, and what amount of liquid and time. Thank you very much. bye

  28. Hi Rabia,

    Hing is also called “asofoetida” or “asafoetida” in English. You can definitely find it in any Indian/Pakistani grocery store. It has a very intense smell and flavor so be careful with it – a little goes a long way! Besides adding flavor to Indian dishes, it is also known to reduce gas in gassy beans, daals and some vegetable such as cabbage and cauliflower.

  29. i love your recipies and explanations,you guys are doing a great job.
    I wanted to know what Hing is as I cannot locate in in any grocery stores.
    If you could please advise me

  30. Hi Achhu,

    We looked into the videos and they are playing just fine. A few seconds into the video, there are some ads which show up towards the bottom of the screen, but the original video still plays. You can choose to click on the “x” to close the ad window. Also, after the video is finished, some more ads show up. Again, this is only after the video is completely finished. Not sure why the video closes in your browser…you may want to use another browser.

  31. Hi,
    I was checking for few cooking videos.
    But I am not able to see the full videos. Inbetween its getting closed and shows the links to other videos from different website.
    pls look into this.

    Thanks and have nice day.
    The videos I checked was tandoori roti and cholay.

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