Chole, which is a North Indian chickpea dish from the Punjab region made of chickpeas cooked with onions, garlic and spices is one of the most popular dishes among Indians. Most if not all Indian restaurants have chole on their menu, it’s a staple dish in any Indian restaurant here in America. Most commonly chole is served with a side of batura (deep fried fermented flour tortillas) and a side condiment of raw onions which are put on top and eaten together. When I make chole it is always a treat at our home. Here is a recipe for one version of chole the way I usually make it.
Chole. North Indian Punjabi Spiced Garbanzo Beans
makes 4-6 servings
- 3 cans garbanzo beans drained and rinsed.
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 cup of can tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp Garam masala (this is the main spice in traditional chole). Garam masala is a spice mix consisting of over 5 different spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, black and white peppercorns. cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaf, and cumin. You can find garam masala at Whole Foods and Indian grocery stores.
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder optional
- Chopped cilantro – about 2 tbsp
In a large pot heat 2 tbsp oil. Add onions, ginger, and garlic and sauté until tender. Add all the spices – garam masala, coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder and mix into the onions and garlic. The aroma of the spices will get released at this time, sauté spices for 5 seconds.
Add rinsed chickpeas, salt, 2 cups water and mix everything together and then close the pot. Cook chickpeas until they are tender for 15 minutes. Add tomato sauce and mix-in. Cook for additional 5 minutes on low simmer.
Chole is ready. Add chopped cilantro and serve with extra raw onions with tortillas, rice, or quinoa.
Cook’s Notes: There are many variations of chole. If you like chole, try the other recipes by searching for chole online.