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Best Chole Recipe

The best Punjabi chole recipe you can find is right here! Straight from my grandmother’s kitchen to yours, you will not find a more authentic tasting recipe. Though it tastes just like the traditional version, we use a modern twist and make my Punjabi chole in the Instant Pot. One taste of this perfectly cooked chickpea dish and you won’t want to eat this any other way.

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chole recipe

What is Punjabi Chole?

Punjabi Chole, Punjabi Chole Masala, or chole is a traditional and my favorite Indian recipe that my grandmother used to make all the time when I was growing up. Chole is chickpeas cooked in a spicy and flavorful gravy.  The delicious gravy pairs well with basmati rice, jeera rice, naan and roti.

How is Chole different from Chole Masala Recipe or Chana Masala and Pindi Chole ?

Although the primary ingredient for all the above recipes is chickpeas, it's the curries that are different.

Chana Masala, is made using an onion-tomato gravy where you use tomatoes generously, thus the orange reddish color.

Although Chole uses onions and tomatoes too, but the use of tomatoes if very little compared to Chana Masala. Chole get's its dark color from the use of tea in the recipe.

On the other hand, Pindi Chole is cooked without the use of onions and tomatoes. It's cooked with just chickpeas, water and the spices.

Why you will love this Instant Pot Chole

This version tastes just like the comforting dish that I know and love from my childhood. My grandmother used to make this recipe for me all the time when I was growing up.

I’ve just made it a little bit more modern by using my Instant Pot to make this traditional chole recipe. It is truly an easy, one pot meal perfect for all occasions including parties, potlucks, or just a casual dinner at home. 

It's great when hosting a vegetarian or vegan gatherings at home.

Once you make this recipe, you’ll never need to order it again at a restaurant.

Chole Recipe

Why make Punjabi Chole in the Instant Pot

Of course my grandma didn't have an Instant Pot. She made this Punjabi Chole recipe on a stove top pressure cooker. However, making this in the Instant Pot is just for us! The pressure cooker yields consistently tasty results in far less time than it takes to make this dish on the stove top.

New to Instant Pot cooking and nervous about making this in your pressure cooker? Don't be! This is an easy recipe for even Instant Pot beginners to make. And if you are still not feeling confident about Instant Pot cooking, check out our easy guide to the Instant Pot called Is the Instant Pot Worth It. It breaks down everything you need to know to get you pressure cooking like a pro.

instant pot chole

Chole Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need for this delicious Instant Pot Chole:

  • Dried chickpeas - preferably soaked overnight to ease digestion
  • Water
  • Ghee or oil - use oil for vegan option
  • Red onions - you can use yellow or white onions too, if you don't have red onions. 
  • Ginger and garlic paste 
  • Fresh tomato puree
  • Salt - to taste
  • Chana masala - don’t substitute this spice blend if you want an authentic flavor

 You can also add these following, optional ingredients to add even bolder flavors to your dish:

  • Bay leaves 
  • Cinnamon stick 
  • Black cardamom pod 
  • Green cardamom pods 
  • Cloves
  • Black peppercorns 
  • Pomegranate powder - this adds a slight tang to the recipe. 
  • Kasuri methi 
  • Black Tea bags - the tea bags will give the dark color and deepen the flavor.

For the garnish you can add

  • onion rings
  • green chilies if you like
  • cilantro 
  • ginger juliennes

Unsure of about the spices? We break down what they all are in our Complete Indian Spice Guide.

How to make Chole in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

This is super easy and cooks in less than 30 minutes. Here is what you need to do for both the Instant Pot and a stove top pressure cooker (yes, the steps are the same!) :

  1. Start by soaking your chickpeas overnight. Soaking the peas is important in aiding in digestion and helps remove some of the extra starchiness. 
  2. As you are ready to make the recipe, turn on Saute mode on the Instant Pot or medium-high heat on the stove top and add the ghee or oil.
  3. Once the ghee or oil is hot, add the options ingredients (except for the pomegranate powder and tea bags). These ingredients add extra flavor, but you can skip them if you don’t have them on hand. But trust me, adding them makes it that much better!
  4. Next, add the ginger garlic paste.
  5. Stir until fragrant.
  6. Then add the onions.

    chole recipe instructions

  7. Sauté until golden brown.
  8. When the onions are ready, add the tomato puree.
  9. Sauté again until the oil starts separating from the sauce
  10. Next, add the chana or chole masala spice blend, salt, pomegranate powder.
  11. Cook for another minute.
  12. Finally, add the drained chickpeas and water. 

    chole recipe instructions 2

  13. Add the tea bags.
  14. Once they are added, close the lid, seal the vent, and pressure cook for 25 minutes on high pressure followed by a natural pressure release.
  15. When the pin drops, carefully open the lid.
  16. Use a spoon to remove the tea bags.
  17. When the tea bags are out of the pot, use a potato masher to mash some of the chickpeas. This will help thicken the sauce some and makes it a bit creamier too.
  18. Once you have crushed a few peas, you are ready to serve.

 

chole recipe instructions

Garnish with ginger juliennes, pink onion rings, and a green chilli. Serve the chole with Bhatura (fried bread) or rice. You could also pair it with pickled onions and raita (flavored yogurt) or a mango lassi.

instant pot chole recipe

Punjabi Chole Pro Tips and Tricks

For the best tasting punjabi chole, you should follow these tips and tricks:

  • Make sure you soak the chickpeas, especially if you don’t use the Instant Pot.
  • Add as many of the “optional” ingredients you can find or have. They add great extra flavor.
  • Don’t forget to remove the tea bags before mashing the peas at the end, you could end up with tea leaves over everything if you don’t remove them!
  • Serve with rice or flat bread to help soak up as much of the gravy as possible.
  • Don’t quick release the pressure, let it come down naturally.

Do I need to soak Chickpeas?

If you want to save cooking time or use a stove top pressure cooker, then yes. If you don’t mind adding an additional 10 to 15 minutes of cook time and you are using the Instant Pot for your chole, they you don’t need to. I recommend soaking them overnight for the best results and to help with your digestion of the beans.

Serving Suggestions

This pairs well with rice, naan, bhature, and several other dishes including:

Chole recipe

How to store this Chole Recipe

It is very easy to store once you make it. Allow it to cool to room temperature and place in either one large airtight container or into several smaller containers if you want to send it with your family for an easy lunch. You can store it for about 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze the chole if you like. To do this, place it in freezer safe containers when it is cooled to room temperature. Place in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When you are ready to serve, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. You can then heat it up in a microwave or on the stove top in a pot over low heat.

Can I meal prep Punjabi Chole?

There is not much to meal prep for this recipe. The big thing you need to do is make sure you soak the chickpeas overnight. You can also slice up the veggies like the onion, ginger, and garlic the night before. You can also puree your tomatoes the night before making this too. Just make sure you store the ingredients in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use them the next day. 

Or if you like to take a step ahead, you can prep the onion tomato sauce with the spices and keep them ready and then when you are ready to make the chickpeas, just soak them the night before and throw them in the next morning. 

Punjabi Chole Recipe

Is this gluten free?

Yes! This is completely gluten free recipe, which means you can bring this to parties or get togethers and not worry if people have sensitivity to gluten.

Is this vegan?

Yes, this is vegan as long as you make it with oil instead of ghee. It is still vegetarian if you make it with ghee, but it is no longer vegan.

Made it? Show us! Upload a photo to Instagram and tag us @dbellyrulesdmind!

Chole Recipe

Best Punjabi Chole Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 40 minutes

The best Punjabi chole recipe you can find is right here! Straight from my grandmother’s kitchen to yours, you will not find a more authentic tasting recipe. Though it tastes just like the traditional version, we use a modern twist and make my Punjabi chole in the Instant Pot. One taste of this perfectly cooked chickpea dish and you won’t want to eat this any other way.

Ingredients

For Chole

  • dried chickpeas 2 cups (soaked overnight)
  • water 2 cups
  • ghee / oil 4 tablespoon
  • red onions, finely diced 2 large
  • ginger paste 1 teaspoon
  • garlic paste 1 teaspoon
  • fresh tomato puree 2 cups
  • ginger juliennes 1 teaspoon
  • salt to taste

Spice Blend

Optional ingredients to enhance flavor

  • bay leaves 2
  • cinnamon stick 1
  • black cardamom pod 2
  • green cardamom pods 2
  • cloves 4
  • black pepper corns 6
  • pomegranate powder 1 tablespoon
  • kasuri methi 1 tablespoon
  • black tea bags (unflavored) 4

Garnish

  • 6 Ginger juliennes 
  • 1 Green chili
  • 3 Pink onion rings
  • cilantro

Instructions

This is super easy and cooks in less than 30 minutes. Here is what you need to do for both the Instant Pot and a stove top pressure cooker (yes, the steps are the same!) :

Start by soaking your chickpeas overnight. Soaking the peas is important in aiding in digestion and helps remove some of the extra starchiness. 

As you are ready to make the recipe, turn on Saute mode on the Instant Pot or medium-high heat on the stove top and add the ghee or oil. Once the ghee or oil is hot, add the options ingredients (except for the pomegranate powder and tea bags). These ingredients add extra flavor, but you can skip them if you don’t have them on hand. But trust me, adding them makes it that much better!

Next, add the ginger garlic paste and stir until fragrant. Then add the onions and sauté until golden brown.

When the onions are ready, add the tomato puree and sauté again until the oil starts separating from the sauce Next, add the channa or chole masala spice blend, salt, pomegranate powder and cook for another minute.

Finally, add the drained chickpeas, water, and the tea bags.

Once they are added, close the lid, seal the vent, and pressure cook for 25 minutes on high pressure followed by a natural pressure release.When the pin drops, carefully open the lid and use a spoon to remove the tea bags. 

When the tea bags are out of the pot, use a potato masher to mash some of the chickpeas. This will help thicken the sauce some and makes it a bit creamier too. Once you have crushed a few peas, you are ready to serve.

Garnish with ginger juliennes, pink onion rings, and a green chilli. Serve the chole with Bhatura (fried bread) or rice. You could also pair it with pickled

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1184Total Fat 60gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 43gCholesterol 8mgSodium 340mgCarbohydrates 143gFiber 20gSugar 25gProtein 25g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. We are not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on TheBellyRulesTheMind.net should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though we try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of our ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

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Valorie

Tuesday 6th of April 2021

Can you make this just by stovetop? I don't have any pressure cookers but would love to make this. :) Please advise. Thanks!

Soniya Saluja

Tuesday 6th of April 2021

Hi Valerie, yes you can make this on stove top. You can use canned chickpeas wash and rinse it before use.

San

Saturday 27th of February 2021

Hi Soniya, do you mean a 4 cup Pyrex bowl by one large Pyrex cup ? There are so many measures of large Pyrex cup.

San

Thursday 25th of February 2021

Not sure what does 1 large Pyrex cup measure to. Is 1 large onion equivalent to 3 cups of onion. This is the standard measurement I found on googling what does a large onion mean

San

Wednesday 17th of February 2021

2 large onions would come to how many cups of chopped onions ?

Soniya Saluja

Thursday 18th of February 2021

1 large pyrex glass cup

sara

Friday 8th of January 2021

Can i use canned chickpeas?

Soniya Saluja

Friday 8th of January 2021

Hi Sara, yes you can use canned chickpeas. Pressure cook for 5 minutes.

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