Oilfree, Quick and Easy Chhole

After my 10th grade exams, I had visited my uncle in Mumbai and their neighbor was Punjabi family. Neighbor aunty always shared whatever she cooked that day with us. That was my first introduction to home made Punjabi food. I don't even remember if we had any Punjabi restaurants in our town at the time. So I did not have any taste references to any of the things I had during that stay. I remembering eating chhole, rajma, maa-ki-daal. And that was the first time I had chana daal as made as daal. For Maharastrian me, that was non-heard of! We always made toor daal and chana daal was used for puran poli or kairichi daal etc. I returned home from that vacation armed with rajma, chhole and few more recipes.

Chhole was the first Punjabi 'dish' I cooked. I remember I was so particular about the amount of tomatoes, onion, garlic etc. I had gone to various shops to get aamchur powder as I wanted it come out perfect! We did not have tea bag at home so I wanted to buy 'Wah! Taj tea bags' just for making chhole. My mom asked me to use loose tea powder tied in small muslin cloth! I was not very happy with that but I could not argue with my mom. Long story short, my first attempt to make chhole was successful, of course my mom's cooking skills made the whole thing go smoothly and we could eat on time that night.

Later when I actually started cooking regularly, I realized making chhole is one of the most easiest thing to do! I followed various recipes just to perfect mine. And then I settled with one that did not have any tomatoes and just aamchur. That was my go to recipe for the longest time. But things changed when I saw this recipe. It was so simple and oil free, so I had to try it immediately. And I am glad, I did! It is one of the most easy recipe I have seen and it tastes awesome! Couple of months ago TC shared very flavorful home made Punjabi Garam Masala with me and ET shared pack of Chhole masala that she had gotten from exhibition in India. I used both to make these chhole. It was one best batch of chhole I made, if I say so myself :) Anyway, here is the recipe which is just a translated version of original recipe. All the credit goes to original post. 

Easy Chhole

1 cup Dry Garbanzo Beans
1 Large onion 
1 Large Tomato 
2-3 Green Chilies
1" Blob of Ginger
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Chhole Masala
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Aamchur (use less if you do not like sour taste)
Salt per taste
Water as needed

Preparation -
Soak garbanzo beans in warm water. Keep it overnight or at least 5-6 hours. 
Pressure cook soaked garbanzo beans with little bit of salt until done. 
Dice tomato and onion add to a thick bottom utensil. Also add slit green chilies.
Julienne ginger and add it in the tomato-onion mixture. 
Now mix aamchur, garam masala, chhole masala, cumin powder,  salt (if needed) in 1 cup of water. 
Mix masala paste with onion-tomato mixture. Mix cooked garbanzo beans in masala-tomato-onion mixture.
Let it cook on low flame until everything is cooked, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Mash little while cooking and add more water as needed, consistency of these chhole is very similar to the Paav Bhaji.
Enjoy with Kulcha as suggested in original recipe or nice parathas as I did.

Tips -
  1. I have used canned chhole once but I liked the soaked chhole version more. 
  2. Make sure everything is thoroughly cooked because partially cooked onions taste terrible. 
I am sending this flavorful easy recipe to 'My Legume Love Affair' originally started by Susan, now managed by Lisa and hosted by Nupur of One Hot Stove.


  1. Oh my, this looks delicious, and as simple to make as any everyday bhaaji/amti. Looking forward to your MLLA e-mail :)

    1. Thank you Nupur. It is very simple and does not take much time to cook either.

  2. I can eat chole morning, evening and night but for some reason Desi is always tepid to this wonderful dish. Your version looks incredible and the picture made my mouth water.

    1. I was like Desi initially when I came here as that was one of the very few familiar dishes Indian restaurants offer :)
      Now a days, I enjoy making chhole and of course eating.


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