Punjabi Chole Recipe – Chole From Chole Bhature

Make Punjabi Chole restaurant style at home for Bhature. Use dry Amla or Tea leaves for black chole. Punjabi Chana masala with curry recipe with pictures.

Written by Maahi Gupta
  By Maahi Gupta          Updated  11 Jan, 18



Punjabi Chole or Punjabi Chana Masala are best known for their inseparable role in the Chole Bhature combination.

You must have eaten Chole Bhature in restaurants and other street side shops. We are sure that you have envied the taste and the thick gravy that they serve.

There are two primary ways to get the black color for Chole. One is using Tea leaves and second is Amla. This recipe uses Amla. The other one using Tea is available here.

If you want to contrast the two methods together, you can follow this article.

Punjabi Chana is generally made to have black color. If you are not adamant on making them black, you can entirely skip the Amla and tea leaves.

The Chana masala is an important ingredient to achieve the desired taste. Our recipe for this masala is unique. We are also sharing this masala recipe here.

Have you ever tried creating the same taste at home and failed? If yes, and are looking for the magical Chole Masala or the Punjabi Chole recipe, then you have come to the right place!

Here is the secret, tried and tested recipe for you to re-create the magic at home.

The trick to create the dry and black Chole is unveiled in this video. Just follow the steps as shown and you will be able to impress your family!


240 min Prep
70 min Cook
Yield  3 cup
Nutrition Facts
Punjabi Chole Recipe - Chole From Chole Bhature
Amount Per Serving
Calories 305 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 0.3mg 0%
Sodium 1991mg 83%
Potassium 500mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 7g
Protein 8g 16%
Vitamin A 19%
Vitamin C 97%
Calcium 9%
Iron 21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Soaking Chole Preparation Time: 4 to 8 hours

  • Wash and Soak the Chole in fresh water. Leave them to soak over-night approximately 8 hours for best results.

    If you can’t leave them soaked over-night, then 4 hours of soaking, before starting the cooking process would be good.
    Chickpea for punjabi chole
    Chickpea for punjabi chole 
  • If you don’t soak, they would take pretty high amount of time in boiling and may not yield good results.

Boiling Chole Cook Time: 45 Minutes

  • Drain out all the water from Chole next morning or after 4 hours of soaking.
  • Add drained Chole in a pressure cooker along with Salt and water.
  • The trick for making black chole is the dry Amla here. Add it now. They will help in dying the chole in black along with adding a bit of tangy flavor. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and bring it to boil on high flame.
  • After 2 whistles on high flame, turn the stove to low flame for about 30 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove after 30 minute. Do not open the lid of the cooker until it has pressure in it. Keep it aside.
  • Open the lid once all steam has vanished from the cooker. Take out all the Amla pieces and drain out the water from Chole retaining about 1/4 cup of total water aside for later use. Rest of this water can be thrown away.
  • Transfer the Chole in a new Pan. Sprinkle Green Chilies and Ginger on top of it. Do not keep the pan on stove yet, we will use them later.
  • Let us prepare the Punjabi Chole Masala before proceeding. If you already have it, you can skip the next steps and straight-away go to making chole.

Prepare Punjabi Chole or Chana Masala Cook Time: 10 Minutes

  • Roast the Carom Seeds, Star Anise, Black Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon on medium flame until they get light golden in color. Once done, grind them to a fine powder.

    This will take about 5 minutes.
  • Add Coriander Powder, Mango Powder, Red Chili Powder, Dry Ginger Powder, Roasted Cumin Seeds Powder, Salt, Black Salt, Dry Fenugreek Leaves, Pomegranate Powder, Garam Masala and Black Pepper Powder to the whole spice’s powder we made in above step.

    Mix them well and the masala is ready.
  • Keep aside for use later.

Coming Back To Making Chole Cook Time: 15 Minutes

  • Ingredients for final chole.
    Ingredients for punjabi chole include Chana masala
    Ingredients for punjabi chole include Chana masala 
  • Prepare the Onion and Tomato mixture i.e. Tadka.
  • Take a pan and heat 1/2 Tbsp of Oil on high flame. This would take about 3 minutes.
    Making tomato tadka for punjabi chole
    Making tomato tadka for punjabi chole 
  • Add Asafoetida (Hing) and bay Leaves in hot Oil. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • Turn the stove to medium flame and add grated onion. Once they turn golden brown in color, add Tomato puree. Mix well.
  • Keep the stove on medium flame and cook for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, Onion Tomato paste is ready.
  • We have to go back to the first level where we kept the Chole ready in a pane.
  • Pour this Onion Tomato mixture on top of Chole.
  • Punjabi Chole Masala comes into the picture now.
  • Sprinkle the prepared Punjabi Chole Masala on top of Chole kind of top of Onion tomato mixture now.
  • Take another pan and heat 2-3 Tbsp of Oil on high flame for about 5 minutes. The idea is to heat the Oil to a real good level.
  • Pour the Oil evenly on Chole pan directly and mix well. The Oil should be hot enough to at-least make the chole masala shiver for 3-4 seconds. The idea is to cook the Masala with the real hot Oil and it does not feel raw while eating.
  • Heat the 1/4 cup Chole Water which we kept aside, from boiled Chole in another pan on high flame for about 5 minutes. Once it is hot, pour it over the Chole.
  • If you like to eat bit greasy or gravy rich chole, then add 1/2 Cup (Our 1 Cup = 240 ML) or more water from boiled chole as per your choice.
  • Punjabi Chole are almost ready. We just need to heat them once and help all the things that we have added gel together. So, switch ON the stove and keep them on high flame for 2 minutes. Give a good stir to mix all ingredients.
  • Switch off the stove after 2 minutes and they are ready to serve.
  • Serve hot Punjabi Chole with Bhatura Or Naan.

Punjabi Chole bhature
Punjabi Chole bhature 
Chhole – Copy
Chhole from chhole Bhature 

 Storage and Serving Suggestions

Punjabi Chole bhature

How To Make Black Chole or Black Punjabi Chole or Black Chole Masala?

The trick to turn the chole into black color is the addition of dry Amla (as we have listed in above recipe) or using Tea leaves. Dry Amla is a better method and provides better results than the tea one. Also, Tea leaves are nothing but the normal household tea or tea bags you have except green tea.

The black Chole Masala is actually a 2 step process. You cannot make chole black only by its masala. Chole Masala is a separate process as we have shown above and it can be used to make Punjabi black Chole.

Is Punjabi Chole Masala required for Punjabi Chole?

I would say yes. The masala is an important part of the whole recipe and the final experience. We have created this Punjabi Chole Masala recipe after a lot of experiments. It does help you get that unique restaurant style taste and we strongly recommend to follow the recipe the same way we have listed.

Is it necessary to pour hot Oil on Chole Masala as listed in recipe? Can't we cook masala in Oil separately?

Yes, you can but the taste would certainly differ. We have tried and tasted it several time including cooking the oil with Oil ans various other ways. But, the final taste that we found closest to restaurant style is what we achieved after carefully pouring the hot Oil on top of Masala. Believe us, it does make a difference.

More questions? You can share it in comments below and we would love to answer....
Punjabi Chole To Go With Bhatura

Recipe Recipe In English

   20 Useful Questions & Answers from comments

  1. Rajshree Singh
    Rajshree Singh 20 Mar, 18 at 3:30 pm

    Hello! I have been following this recipe for almost 2 years now. I love the balance of flavours and earthiness in this type of chole. I have guests visiting who eat a lot of spicy and teekha (lot of chillies). What can i add to masala to make to more hot and spicy? pls help

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 20 Mar, 18 at 3:51 pm

      To make it more spicy:
      1. Instead of using ready-made red chili powder, use the dry red chili and grind them at home yourself. Then add it to masala. This will add extra teekha.
      2. Use more green chilies (that we add on top in the recipe) as per your taste and requirement.

      Let us know if this helps.

  2. Tim
    Tim 24 Apr, 14 at 4:03 pm

    Can the jeera be roasted along with the spices that go in the pan for marsala ? Also my amla didn’t make the peas very dark. Any reason for that other than it only took my chicks 15 min to cook in “western style” pressure cooker no whistles.

    • Maahi
      Maahi 25 Apr, 14 at 7:05 pm

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for watching my work and writing in.
      Yes, you can add Cumin Seeds in oil before adding onion & Tamota.

      If you have boiled Chick pea with you then this chick Peas recipe will take only 10 minutes..

      There might be two reasons which i can think of which kept your chick pea in light color are:

      1. I think you have used the old dry Amla kept with you at home for sometime now.. Use freshly bought dry Amla from market and try once again. Boil chick pea and dry Amla together and you will get the desired color.

      2. It taske sometime to chickpea to take black color from amla. Keep them aside after boiling and you will see them becoming darker and darker by the time.

      Hope this might help you making them black and delicious next time you try my recipe.
      Thanks again

  3. Pia
    Pia 8 Aug, 12 at 3:25 pm

    Do you also add mace along with star anise?

    • Maahi
      Maahi 9 Aug, 12 at 9:32 am

      No just add Star anise.

  4. Pia
    Pia 8 Aug, 12 at 12:49 am

    Thanks Maahi, I have been looking for a similar recipe for a long time. Can’t wait to make it. I have a question though, the mace you mention in your video looks like star anise & wanted to confirm if you are using star anise, mace or both.

    • Maahi
      Maahi 8 Aug, 12 at 7:29 am

      U r right it is Anise seed 🙂
      Thnx for writing in.

  5. kalragh
    kalragh 7 Aug, 12 at 7:36 am

    Thanks Mahi for the chana masala powder recipe. Must say you are a great cook and am sure your recipes will come out great when I try them.

    • Maahi
      Maahi 7 Aug, 12 at 9:26 am

      Thnx a lot for having faith in our work. 🙂

  6. Rishab Aiyer
    Rishab Aiyer 8 Jan, 12 at 9:17 pm

    and also can you tell me which garam masala you have used for this dish??  

  7. Rishab Aiyer
    Rishab Aiyer 8 Jan, 12 at 9:13 pm

    wah ji wah…kya baat hai thwadde recipe di.  Bohot hi sona dish banaya hai tussi!!  I havent made it yet but will try it cos like you say all the food enthusiasts have tried creating the restaurant like recipe but have failed like me too…I wont even mind if this dish is like 70% close to what we eat in delhi streets 😉  do you have more such secret recipes??

    Rishab Aiyer

    • Maahi
      Maahi 9 Jan, 12 at 6:52 am

      Hey Rishab, Thnx again for writing in. When i made this recipe we all loved it and as per me this recipe is almost the same as we get at the street/Dhelas 🙂 
      This recipe is really close to me because this is one of my husband’s choice. 🙂
      We have so many recipes with restaurant secrets, hope u will make them and share your valuable comments with us. 
      Thnx once again.

  8. Anuradha pant
    Anuradha pant 30 Oct, 11 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Mahi, I am not a great cook like you but I tried your chole recipe and it turned out very good.Every body was appreciating. Thanks a lot. Nowadays I am trying inhouse recipes. What is your signature dish.

    • Maahi
      Maahi 30 Oct, 11 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Anuradha a lot for writing in and appreciation 🙂
      I am a simple person and like to try all restaurant and outside food which we generally like to eat when we go out. My husband is a foody, so i try all these kind of recipes at home for him 🙂
      Hope you will enjoy rest of the recipes also.

  9. rashi83
    rashi83 1 Aug, 11 at 5:22 am

    Mahi, I made chhole with your recipe.. They turned out awesome,just like restaurant! Thanks so much for this recipe! This is the BEST CHHOLE recipe ever!:)

    • Maahi
      Maahi 1 Aug, 11 at 7:26 am

      Hi Rashi,

      Thnx a lot for appreciating my work. Really glad to know that you like my work. Have you tried Bhatura recipe also? I hope u will love them too 🙂

  10. Money Rana
    Money Rana 27 May, 11 at 5:13 am

    i like your recipes its so yummy 

    • Maahi
      Maahi 27 May, 11 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks for appreciation.