palak chole | spinach with chickpeas

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Palak chole recipe with step by step photos – North Indian style delicious curry made with spinach and chana (white chickpeas). chana palak is another chole recipe, which is liked my many.

palak chole recipe

The palak chole recipe is like the North Indian chole curry and just has the addition of spinach. Basically an onion-tomato paste sauted with spices to which the spinach and then the chickpeas are added.

The palak chole recipe can be made with regular spinach or baby spinach. Instead of using dried chickpeas, which require cooking, canned chickpeas can also be used. For more spinach recipes, you can check this collection of 29 palak recipes.

This is a healthy dish obviously due to the combination of spinach and chickpeas. Together with rotis or rice it becomes a complete meal. Few more delicious chole recipes on blog are:

You can serve Palak chole with roti, naan, tandoori rotis, steamed rice or jeera rice.

Few more tasty Punjabi recipes for you!

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palak chole

palak chole

5 from 7 votes
Palak chole or chana palak is a North Indian style delicious curry made with spinach, chana (white chickpeas), onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices. 
Prep Time 8 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 53 mins

Cuisine Indian, Punjabi
Course: Side Dish

Servings 4


main ingredients

  • 4.5 or 5 cups chopped spinach or palak
  • 1 cup dried white chickpeas (chole or kabuli chana or safed chana)
  • 1 large tomato - pureed
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water
  • 3 to 4 tablespoon oil
  • ¾ teaspoon pomegranate seed - dry roasted and crushed or ½ to ¾ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi - crushed (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • salt as required - for boiling chole and for the gravy

to be ground to paste

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 or 2 green chilies , chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves , chopped
  • ½ inch ginger , chopped, optional

whole spices for palak chana

  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)

spice powders for palak chole

  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¾ teaspoon punjabi garam masala powder or chana masala powder or garam masala powder


preparation for palak chole recipe

  • Soak the dried white chana (chole) overnight or for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Drain and Add chickpeas with 3 to 4 cups of water in the pressure cooker. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt or as required.
  • Pressure cook the chickpeas till they are cooked completely. You can also cook the chickpeas in a pot or pan.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the onion paste with green chilies, ginger and garlic. Also prepare the tomato puree. Keep aside. 
  • Rinse spinach leaves very well in water. Then chop them. Also drain the cooked chickpeas and keep aside.

making palak chole

  • In a pan heat oil. Fry all whole spices till fragrant.
  • Add the onion paste. Saute till light brown.
  • Add the tomato puree and all the spice powders mentioned in the above list.
  • Fry till oil leaves the sides of the masala and the masala is well browned.
  • Now add the chopped palak and salt. Stir and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked chole and stir. Pour 1.5 to 2 cups water.
  • Add crushed pomegranate seeds powder or dry mango powder.
  • Also mash a few chickpeas with the back of the spoon. Simmer till the gravy thickens and becomes smooth.
  • Lastly add crushed kasuri methi and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Serve palak chole hot with rotis, naan or steamed rice or jeera rice and onion-lemon salad

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How to make palak chole recipe

1. Rinse and then soak 1 cup of dried white chana (chole) overnight or for 7-8 hours.

palak chole recipe

2. Drain the soaked chole.

palak chole recipe

3. Add chole with 3 to 4 cups of water in the pressure cooker.

palak chole recipe

4. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt or as required.

palak chole recipe

5. Pressure cook the chole (chickpeas) till they are cooked completely. You can also cook the chickpeas in a pot.

palak chole recipe

6. The boiled chole (chickpeas) should be soft and tender.

palak chole recipe
7. Meanwhile add 1 large onion, 1 to 2 green chilies, ½ inch ginger and 3 to 4 garlic in a grinder or blender jar.

palak chole recipe

8. Grind to a smooth paste. No need to add water while grinding or blending. Remove and keep aside.

palak chole recipe

9. In the sam jar, add one large sized chopped tomato. grind to a smooth puree. No need to add water while grinding or blending.

palak chole recipe
10. Rinse the palak (spinach leaves) very well in water.

palak chole recipe

11. Then chop the spinach leaves. Keep aside. You will need 4.5 to 5 cups of chopped palak.

palak chole recipe

12. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready for the palak chole recipe.

palak chole recipe

13. Drain the boiled chole and keep aside.

palak chole recipe

Making palak chole

14. Heat oil in a kadai. Fry 1 inch cinnamon, 3 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom and 1 tej patta till they are fragrant.

palak chole recipe

15. Add the onion paste.

palak chole recipe

16. Saute and keep stirring often. Saute till the onion paste turns light brown.

palak chole recipe

17. Then add the tomato puree.

palak chole recipe

18. Stir and mix very well.

palak chole recipe

19. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¾ teaspoon garam masala powder.

palak chole recipe

20. Stir and mix well again.

palak chole recipe

21. Continue to saute till oil leaves the sides of the masala and the masala is well browned.

palak chole recipe

22. Then add 4.5 to 5 cups of chopped palak. Mix well.

palak chole recipe

23. Sprinkle salt.

palak chole recipe

24. Stir and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.

palak chole recipe

25. Add the cooked chole.

palak chole recipe

26. Stir well.

palak chole recipe

27. Pour 1.5 to 2 cups water.

palak chole recipe

28. Add crushed pomegranate seeds powder or dry mango powder. I used ¾ teaspoon of dry mango powder (amchur).

palak chole recipe

29. Stir well.

palak chole recipe

30. Also mash a few chole with the back of the spoon.

palak chole recipe

31. Simmer till the palak chole gravy thickens and becomes smooth.

palak chole recipe

32. Lastly add crushed 1 teaspoon of crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves).

palak chole recipe

33. Simmer palak chana gravy for 1 to 2 minutes.

palak chole recipe

Serve Palak chole hot with rotis or naan or steamed rice or jeera rice or biryani rice or ghee rice and onion-lemon salad.

palak chole recipe

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. I enjoy trying new recipes and you make it easy.5 stars

  2. i just discovered this is best if you have a COLD:). Loved it, the flavours. Thank You5 stars

  3. An excellent recipe with a wonderful balance of flavors. Here in the US, a company called Earthbound Farms sells a prepackaged mix of young and tender (“baby”) spinach, kale and chard under the name “Power Greens.” For those with access to a Costco store, they can be bought in big 1.5 lb bags (about 680 g). I used one of these bags and doubled all of the other quantities in the recipe. To save time I used 3 cans of cooked chickpeas rather than cooking from scratch, and pureed a 400 g can of diced tomatoes (good ripe tomatoes being very difficult to find out of season here).

    Because the greens were so tender I gave them considerably less cooking time than is called for here, so they would retain some fresh taste.

    This was the fourth or fifth recipe I’ve made from your site and everything has been delicious. Making Indian food at home is a fairly new interest for me and I’m so glad I found my way here!5 stars

    1. thanks a lot steve. i wish in india we would get “power greens”. we do get spinach but chard and kale is not easily available. luckily an online store where i live sells kale. when the greens are tender, we don’t need to cook them more.

      glad that the recipes you have made so far have been good. happy cooking and do try more of indian food.

  4. Hi D

    My son has a food sensitivity to chickpeas. Can I substitute the chickpeas with any other, say black eyed peas or so?

    Uma.5 stars

    1. yes you can use beans like rajma or black eyed beans or any beans that are available where you live.

    1. kale can be substituted with palak. but whereas spinach softens, kale will have crunch and will taste somewhat like drum stick leaves 🙂

  5. Hi D,

    Made this today! its turned out superb! this is inspite of not adding the whole masalas(dont have those as currently living the nomad life). Awesome dish. thank you!!

    I tried the besan ladoo yesterday – the besan got a bit darker that the displayed one(am guessing it got a bit burnt). I cant figure out when to sptop cooking it. Also i put fine sure which dint melt – so the final product had these grains of sugar to bite into. overall the dish is delicious – except for these minor issues.
    Is there point at which i should stop cooking the besan to avoid the extra browning – also i kept stirring it for long in the hope of melting the sugar!Help!

    Happy cooking! Liz5 stars

    1. nice to to know that the palak chole was good even without the whole spices. when you start getting the nutty fragrance from besan and it just turns a shade darker and you see the ghee from the sides, then you move to the next step. continuous stirring also gives a uniform color and does not allow the besan to get burnt. best is to use powdered sugar. the sugar i used is organic unrefined sugar and they are so fine, that they got melted. basically depends on the quality of sugar. next time you can use powdered sugar.

  6. Made this last night. Excellent balance of flavors & way better than my usual version. Best I’ve had. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  7. Hi Dassana, Nice combination of Palak with Chhole to make for a one pot lunch or dinner. One dish including greens and proteins. Such recipes make life a lot easier 🙂