Punjabi Pindi Chhole (Chickpeas in spicy gravy)

Punjabi Chhole
Photo Credits: Anju Dawar

Soft boiled Kabuli Chane (Chickpeas) in a tangy-spicy gravy, Pindi Chhole is an authentic Punjabi dish. Team it up with Bhatura for a wholesome breakfast or lunch. This dish makes for a perfect family get together main course item.


  • Kabuli Chane (Chickpeas), soaked overnight             2 cups
  • Onion, sliced thin and long                                          1 large
  • Tomato, finely chopped                                               2 medium
  • Green Chilies, finely chopped                                      2 medium
  • Ginger, grated                                                            1/2 teaspoon
  • Ajwain (Carom Seeds)                                                 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt                                                                            To Taste
  • Red Chili Powder                                                         1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder                                                       1-1/2 teaspoon
  • Amchur (Dry Mango Powder)                                      1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala                                                            1/2 teaspoon
  • Chana Masala (optional)                                              1 teaspoon
  • Anardana (Dried Pomegranate Seeds) (optional)           1/3 teaspoon
  • Water                                                                         3 cups
  • Cooking Oil                                                                 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh Coriander (Cilantro), chopped                            For garnish


  1. Putting the chickpeas along with the water in a pressure cooker over high heat. Let the cooker come to a whistle.
  2. After 2 – 3 whistles, lower the heat and let the chickpeas simmer for 20 – 25 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Tip: You can boil the chickpeas in an open pan as well. Put them along with 3 cups water in an open pan over high heat and when the water starts boiling, lower the heat and cover the pan. Let the chickpeas boil until they become totally soft. Check by squashing a few of them within your fingers. If they squash easily, they are done.

  1. While the steam escapes from the cooker, prepare the tempering. For this place a deep shallow frying pan or wok over medium-high heat and pour the oil in it.
  2. As soon as the oil heats up, throw in the ajwain (carom seeds).
  3. After a few seconds, add the ginger and green chilies and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  4. Now add the sliced onion and stir-fry. Cook the onions until they become translucent and start turning light brown.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir. Lower the flame and let the tomatoes cook until they become soft and release their juice.
  6. When the oil starts separating from the tempering, add the salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, amchur (dry mango powder) and Garam Masala. Also add the anardana if using.
  7. Stir and let everything cook for a few minutes. Turn off the heat.
  8. If all the steam has escaped from the cooker, open the lid and check if the chickpeas have properly boiled.

Note: If the chickpeas haven’t boiled nicely, add a little cold water to the cooker, replace the lid and place the cooker on high heat. After 2 whistles, lower the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes.

  1. Turn on the heat under the cooker and add the prepared tempering to it.
  2. Stir to combine all flavors and then give the Pindi Chhole a good boil. Check and adjust seasonings.
  3. Lower the heat and let them simmer for about 5 minutes. Then sprinkle Chana Masala on top.

Tip: Chana Masala gives Pindi Chhole a beautiful aroma.

  1. Turn off the heat and transfer the ready Pindi Chhole to a serving dish.
  2. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and onions and tomatoes if desired. Serve hot with Bhatura or jeera rice.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 3 – 4

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