amritsari chole, how to make amritsari chole | amritsari chana recipe

by dassana amit updated November 22, 2013

amritsari chole recipe: how to make amritsari chole recipe

the amristari chole recipe had been requested my many of you when i had posted the garlic naan recipe.

so finally posting the amritsari chole recipe. this recipe tastes similar to the chole one gets in the punjabi joints on the streets of delhi. they taste great with bhatura, naan and even with potato tikkis/patties. the first day i just served the chole with garlic naan. the next day, i made aloo tikkis to go with the chole.

this is an awesome recipe of amritsari chole and you must give it a try. i have used organic chole/chickpeas for making the chole and they do taste better than the regular ones. if you love chole then you would like to check few more chole recipes from the blog like punjabi cholepunjabi kala chanapunjabi chana, easy chole masalachana chaat and chana pulao.

while boiling the chole/chickpeas, if you add some baking soda, it makes the chole melt in the mouth when they get cooked. if possible use a pressure cooker for cooking the chole/chickpeas, as in a pan they take a longer time.

lets start step by step amristari chole recipe:

1: first pressure cook the soaked chole (chole have to be soaked overnight or for 8-9 hours) with the whole spices and tea bags or black tea leaves tied tightly in a muslin like a bouquet garni, along with some black salt. the chole will get a nice dark color of the tea leaves. they should be completely cooked. strain the chole/chickpeas and reserve the stock.

amritsari chole

2: in a pan, heat oil and add chopped onions.

heat oil for amritsari chole

3: fry the onions till they become golden brown.

amritsari chole

4: now add slit green chilies and fry for a minute. yes the chole is spicy.

amritsari chole

5: add chopped tomatoes and ginger.

amritsari chole

6: saute the tomatoes till they become soft and mushy.

tomatoes for amritsari chole

7: add the chole and saute for 5-6 minutes.

amritsari chole

8: add all the dry masala/spice powders.

adding spices to amritsari chole

9: stir the spice powders and saute for a minute.

stir the spices for amritsari chole

10: now add the strained stock to the chole/chickpeas or add the chole to the strained stock. i just removed the chole with a slotted spoon and kept the strained stock in the pressure cooker itself, so added the chole to it.

amritsari chole

11: keep the whole mixture on fire and simmer till the gravy thickens a bit. you don’t want a watery chole. adjust the spices and seasonings as per your taste preferences.

amritsari chole

12: when the gravy thickens, add some julienned ginger to the chole.

add ginger to amritsari chole

13: stir and serve hot amritsari chole.

serve amritsari chole

14: amritsari chole goes well with pooris, bhatura or whole wheat naan with some raw chopped onion and lime wedges by the side.

amritsari chole recipe

if you are looking for more punjabi recipes then do check methi chole, matar kulcha, chole bhature, sarson da saag and amritsari dal.

amritsari chole recipe details below:

5.0 from 3 reviews

amritsari chole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
amritsari chole – white chickpeas curry made in punjabi style.
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: indian
Serves: 5-6
for cooking the chickpeas:
  • 2 cups dried white chickpeas/kabuli chana soaked overnight in enough water
  • 2 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 black cardamom
  • 1 large bay leaf or 2 medium bay leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 4 tsp black tea leaves or 3 tea bags
  • ¼ tsp baking soda (optional)
  • salt or black salt as required
for the masala gravy:
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 medium size tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 4-5 green chillies, slit or julienned
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp fennel powder (optional)
  • 2 tsp amchur powder/dry mango powder or 2 tsp dried pomegranate powder/anardana powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala powder or chana masala powder
  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • some julienned ginger and coriander leaves
  1. firstly soak the dried chickpeas overnight in water or for 8-9 hours.
  2. next day pressure cook the soaked chickpeas adding the whole spices mentioned above with black salt or salt and tea bags or tea leaves wrapped tightly in a muslin cloth.
  3. pressure cook for 8-10 minutes or till the chickpeas are completely cooked.
  4. strain the chickpeas and reserve the stock along with the whole spices. discard the tea leaves or the tea bags.
  5. in a large pan or a large kadai, heat oil.
  6. add the chopped onions.
  7. fry till golden brown.
  8. add slit green chilies and fry for a minute.
  9. add the chopped tomatoes and chopped ginger and saute the tomatoes till they become soft and mushy.
  10. add the cooked chickpeas and saute for 5-6 minutes.
  11. add all the spice powders, stir and saute for a minute.
  12. now add the strained stock about 2.5 to 3 cups to the chickpeas. if the stock is less you can add some water.
  13. keep the whole mixture on fire and simmer till the curry thickens a bit.
  14. when the gravy thickens, add some julienned ginger to the chickpeas.
  15. check the salt and seasonings and add more if required.
  16. stir and serve amritsari chole hot garnished with coriander leaves along with some bhatura, naan, pooris or even steamed basmati rice.
the spices can be adjusted as per your preferences.

this recipe can be doubled or tripled.

you can also use canned chickpeas instead of dried chickpeas.

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Sruthi April 1, 2014 1

Hey. If i am using canned chickpeas, how long should i let it be in the pressure cooker for along with the spices?



dassana amit April 1, 2014 2

if the chickpeas are cooked then you just need to prepare the curry base and then add the chickpeas and simmer for some minutes till the gravy thickens and reduces.


Sruthi April 2, 2014 3

Thank you :)


dassana amit April 3, 2014 4

welcome sruthi


Anahita February 17, 2014 5

Hi… Want to try making this but can I use black channa (gram) instead of the Kabuli channa? Would it taste different?


dassana amit February 17, 2014 6

the taste will be different. black chana has a different taste and texture than kabuli chana. still you can try.


Andrew January 24, 2014 7

As an Englishman growing up with the embarrassing excuse for Indian food served up here my first taste of proper chole was a revelation. It looked unappetising to me: a blackish red colour most odd to western eyes. But the taste! Sour, smoky, hot with dark spicy notes in perfect harmony and set off by a fresh green chutney. I had no idea what I was tasting but realised that I was in the presence of one of the great cuisines of the world. And from a street vendor!

This recipe is the dish I remember; uncompromisingly spiced and full of flavour. Thank you so much for posting it.

PS I too added a spoonful of tamarind instead of one of the tomatoes. It was good, slightly different but by no means a significant improvement. But would recommend what a friend suggested and I remember from street vendors – adding a tablespoon of chopped fresh onion and a squeeze of lemon with the coriander.


Andrew January 24, 2014 8

Sorry I forgot to add that I love your website and cook from it at least once a week. You have a large and growing fan base here in Sussex in cold southern England! Thanks again!


dassana amit January 24, 2014 9

welcome andrew for this positive feedback. such genuine appreciation always motivates me. many street food vendors are known for their specialty dishes like chole, tikki (patties), pakoras (fritters), pav bhaji, vada pav and so on. they some time make very good use of spices.


shubhang October 25, 2013 10

Being a bachelor best recipe for me will try it this weekend


banro October 7, 2013 11

Tried this recipe today and it turned out to be really good. Great post!!


dassana October 7, 2013 12

thanks banro


Y n mathur October 6, 2013 13

Tried Amritsary chole recipe today for a few special guests, it’s really mouth watering & very delicious.


dassana October 6, 2013 14

thanks Y n mathur. you can also try amritsari dal and pindi chole.


Y n mathur October 6, 2013 15

Liked the recipe, tried today it’s awesome.


Keerthi September 8, 2013 16

Can you please tell me substitute for black cardamom? What if I don’t get will it alter the taste? Thanks in advance.


dassana September 8, 2013 17

black cardamom gives a nice earthy and smoky flavor. it will alter the taste as well as flavor and even the aroma. there is no substitute. if you don’t have then just skip them. the chole would still taste delicious.


Keerthivasan September 8, 2013 18

Thank you very much


dassana September 9, 2013 19



Zo September 4, 2013 20

Will it make any difference to the taste if I don’t use tea bags or black tea in this recipe?


dassana September 4, 2013 21

the taste would be a bit different without the tea bags. however the recipe can be still made without tea leaves.


Zo September 4, 2013 22

Thanks for the reply.


dassana September 8, 2013 23



Kiran August 28, 2013 24

This looks amazing. How would you make it without a pressure cooker or a crock pot? Also what is the ratio of water to be used?


dassana August 29, 2013 25

kiran, i have never cooked chole without pressure cooker. once a friend had cooked and it has taken her hours to cook them. you will have to use an approximate estimation of adding the water as the water will keep on evaporating while cooking and if the water becomes less then you have to add more water.


hary August 16, 2013 26

i like photos the most they r more yummier than recipe themselves…


dassana August 16, 2013 27



Gracy August 11, 2013 28

Dassana, I havent tried any of your recipes yet … just came across your blog today…. must say I really liked it … Well everyone gives their recipe step by step but you’ve even taken pictures on how the dish should look while cooking makes it even more easier and interesting… congratulations for share these wonderful recipes with everyone….


Gracy August 11, 2013 29

also you read most of the comments … you sure have a fan following … guess i’ll be joinin them soon :)


dassana August 12, 2013 30

thanks gracy for writing these motivating words. generally, i like to share step by step pictorial recipes whenever i feel the recipe is too complicated and step by step photos will make it easier for readers to understand the recipe. keep visiting the blog and do share your feedback.


Smriti July 28, 2013 31

Hey this is a nice recipe, but when cooking for kids I don’t like adding tea leaves. What I do instead is I add lots of roasted cumin powder it will give nice color and flavor to chana.


dassana July 29, 2013 32

thanks smriti for sharing your tips.


Sherry July 21, 2013 33

This is a good recipe.i used black tea and pomegranate tea bags along with a spiced fruit tea bag. I added chopped frozen peaches and a squirt of fish sauce, soy and a tbs. brown sugar…and finished with chopped fresh cilantro when served. For breakfast I crush one Biscoff spiced cookie on top for crunch….


dassana July 23, 2013 34

thanks sherry for sharing your innovation of this recipe.


Siaa July 4, 2013 35

I tried the above amritsari chole recipe and it came out very well. Can you please tell what is the difference of adding the spices while cooking peas in cooker rather than the ordinary boil?


dassana July 4, 2013 36

thanks siaa. when adding the spices while cooking the chickpeas, they absorb the flavor of the spices a bit. this won’t happen obviously when you cook the chickpeas without the spices. the stock with the spices also add a lot of flavor and taste to the recipe.


Simrit June 11, 2013 37

I am so glad I found this recipe. I used to have this every morning for breakfast at school in Amritsar. I NEVER got tired of it…especially when we had pooris.


dassana June 11, 2013 38

simrit, i am glad you got your favorite chole recipe.


Janani May 9, 2013 39

hey dasaana just wanted to let u know I made this recipe and I have posted it in my blog. I had a old chef reference with me that I have been carrying for the past 2 yrs shocking thing is u and him have the exact measurement, This guy name is rohan he is a chef… any chance u guys r cousins r a family member. well I loved the recipe thanks to u too. Only seeing ur recipe I got reminded of that recipe from my diary.


dassana May 9, 2013 40

i shall check your post. i don’t know rohan. thats a good coincidence.


meena April 30, 2013 41

looks delicious!


D Sandhu January 28, 2013 42

I must say, you are good. I have seen and tried some of your recipes and I will follow to try almost all of them. I appreciate your hard work of cooking so well (as I can see from the dishes), clicking snaps, maintaining the website, etc.

I will request you to kindly also put on the website the following things:
1. Frequently used items, gadgets, ingredients, where do you buy them from, or where can we find them.
2. Menus for household or large scale parties. (with or without themes)

I hold you in high regards, Keep up the good work.


dassana January 29, 2013 43

thanks for all the kind words. i have been thinking along the suggestions you have mentioned and will make a few pages. am sure it will help the readers too. there are a few helpful gadgets i use in the kitchen and i think i should share these with my reader along with the ingredients etc. thanks once again.


Khushboo January 18, 2013 44

Hey a very Good Morning Dassana!!!!

your recipe for amritsari chole is just commendable… i have always been wanted 2 make dark brown coloured chole but never got it right…i used to end up ending adding lots of garam masala thinking it will help change the colour…

But today i tried using tea bags while putting in cooker and it doesnot burst at all, leaving behind nice dark brown colour….

thanks a lot…. have been following all ur recipes and it had helped me turn to a better cook…. nd the best part is you explain and have easy accessible solutions and options for everything… nd yes ur pics r quite attractive

Have a good day:)


dassana January 18, 2013 45

hi khushboo, firstly thanks for all your comments. secondly cooking is easy and not difficult, just that one needs to add the ingredients in proper measures and cook with love & patience. the dark colored chole can be achieved either using tea bags or adding dried amla. but both ways the chole turns out good.


Familycook December 20, 2012 46

Dassana, these chole look delicious, the kind that want me to make them, soon:)


A.L.V.KRISHNAN December 17, 2012 47

You have advised to put tea bags don’t you feel that the whole curry will smell tea?what is the specific advantage of adding tea bags or tea leaves.I usedto prepare without tea bags.please explain


dassana December 17, 2012 48

the amristari chole curry does not smell of tea. there is a good amount of spices and in the curry. thats why the tea aroma or taste is not obvious. the addition of tea bags or tea leaves helps in coloring the chickpeas to a dark brown color which is a speciality of amristari chole. tea bags are used a substitute for amla powder which helps in darkening the chickpeas. also addition of tea bags help in digesting the chickpeas.


Anamika | madcookingfusions December 9, 2012 49

lovely presentation Dassana, we also cook Chole almost similar to your recipe..loved the color of the dish ..tempting :)!


meera December 7, 2012 50

nice recipe..will try it for sure..


dassana December 9, 2012 51

do try the recipe meera.


Charul @ Tadka Masala December 6, 2012 52

My mom uses tea bags whenever she cooks chole, she says its good for health and helps in preventing all the stomach problems that can be caused because of chole.


Mallika December 6, 2012 53

The chole looks delicious. Love that texture and flavours too. My mother in law uses the same idea of adding tea bags into the cooker with the channa for colour and flavours.


Susmitha - Veganosaurus December 6, 2012 54

My mouth is watering uncontrollably. The Chole looks so yum! I love your idea of adding tea bags into the cooker with the channa. I’m definitely trying that next time. Do the tea bags stay intact through the pressure cooking? No risk of bursting?


dassana December 6, 2012 55

hey thanks susmitha. till now whenever i have pressure cooked, the tea bags have never burst. in fact this scary thought did not even cross my mind. but you can also add the tea leaves in a muslin and pressure cook the chickpeas.


Homemade Mother December 6, 2012 56

This looks absolutely delicious! I am going to make it this weekend!


abhishek December 6, 2012 57

My mom uses stock of tamarind instead of tomatoes to get the tangy flavour. Tastes much better.


dassana December 6, 2012 58

hi abhishek, i know of the tamarind paste being added to chole. there is one recipe i make with tamarind stock and it is yum. shall post soon on the blog. will also next time try with tamarind paste.