Meatless Monday – Pindi Chole

Monday is here and i am charged up for a week full of cooking adventures. For today, i am bringing a dish i have loved from my childhood but learned very recently to make. This post is all about chickpeas ! Who doesn’t love it ! This is a very famous punjabi recipe for preparing chickpeas which uses black tea to bring out a deep rich color and flavour to the dish. So, lets dive right into the post and learn how to prepare Pindi Chole.

I am an ardent chickpea fan ! The chickpeas are not only full of nutrition but they are so versatile that i am never low on cooking ideas when it comes to working with them.It has been a little over 3 years that i shifted my base from India and in these past years, my love for chickpeas has grown many folds. It comes as no surprise to me that Mediterranean cuisine is one of my favorites and i am always in for a falafal pita wrap for lunch and hummus with crudites for a snack ! 😛

pindi chole 1.jpg

Back in India, chickpeas is considered a backbone for northern Indian cooking. If you enjoy Indian food and drool over Pakoras, Kadi, Dhoklas, chana or namkeens you have been enchanted by the magic of Chickpeas ! Today with this post, i am bringing to the table a recipe which originated in a small town of Rawalpindi  (that’s why the pindi) in Punjab and has become famous all over northern India. So, what is so special about these Pindi chole ? Notice the dark rich color ?? It comes from cooking the chickpeas with black tea leaves which lends this beautiful hue to the chickpeas. This is a no onion, no tomato recipe and the spices rule the dish ! Read the recipe… u know u want to 🙂 🙂

P.S – Do not get surprised with tea leaves used in this recipe. Black tea is edible and i personally love to keep it in the chole for extracting maximum flavour but you can also use tea leaves bags instead.

Pindi Chole

Pindi Chole

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

pindi chole 1 copy


  • 1 cup of dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)
  • 1 tablespoon black tea leaves / 2-3 tea bags
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste (you can use lemon juice in place of tamarind)
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green chilies, slit in halves
  • handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • ginger slivers for garnishing

Masalas (Spice Mix)

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Amchur/ dry mango powder
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves/ kasuri methi (optional but recommended)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain/ carrom seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black sea salt/ kala namak (optional)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried pomegranate seed powder/anardana powder


  1. Take a pressure cooker. Add the soaked chickpeas with 1/2 tsp salt and tea leaves and let it cook on high for 2 whistles and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Alternatively you can cook chickpeas in a slow cooker which might take a couple of hours.
  2. Once the chickpeas are cooked, sieve out the boiled chickpeas and remove in a bowl. Retain the liquid (aquafaba) in a separate container. Do not throw out the tea leaves, the tea leaves are edible and they provide a nice taste and texture to the dish. If you use tea bags, discard them.
  3. Sprinkle all the spices listed in the “masalas” section on the cooked chickpeas. Do not mix yet.chole with masala
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and pour the hot oil over the chickpeas and Mix. The hot oil will help the spices stick to the chickpeas. 
  5. Now, take a heavy bottomed pan and pour the remaining oil. Heat the oil. Next, add in the ginger, garlic and slit green chilies. Let this fry for a couple of seconds.
  6. Now, add the chickpeas with the spices to the pan and combine everything together. Add the reserved liquid and tamarind paste to the pan and let it cook for a couple of minutes . Once the liquid comes to a boil, cover the pan and simmer the heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes or till the liquid has reduced and resemble a gravy. You can also mash a few of the chickpeas to make the gravy richer and saucier. Pinci Chole are ready !
  7. Remove in a bowl and garnish with fresh coriander and ginger slivers. Serve warm with bhaturas, kulchas, naans, parathas , pooris or over a bed of rice.

Aren’t you drooling already !! I know non- Indian kitchens do not carry all the spices mentioned above but this is one recipe which needs these spices to make it magical 🙂 If you are into Indian cooking, you would still have mot of these spices around.. so do give this recipe a go with all that you got.

chole bhatura copy

I am sure these pictures are making you hungry, just like i did when i put out this spread. I have to admit it was a tough task to control my rumbling stomach as i tried to keep my patience while taking these pictures for the post 😛 To match the awesomeness of this recipe, i decided to pair it up with it’s ultimate companion – The Bhaturas ! I would be putting up the recipe for Bhaturas a.s.a.p but till then make this recipe and enjoy it with naans, pooris, parathas or by itself  🙂

love Chickpeas like i do? Try these recipes too :

roasted pumpkin and chickpea coconut curry copyshulbbatokale chickpea hara bhara kebab copyprotein power black garbanzo salad copychickpea Quinoa burger copyshammi kebab copy

falafels copyaloo tikki chole copyhummus roasted peppers copy


Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *