Cook's Hideout: Amritsari Chole (Spicy Chickpea Curry)

December 18, 2014

Amritsari Chole (Spicy Chickpea Curry)

Blogging Marathon# 47: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Recipes from Menu Card
Dish: Amritsari Chole
We are going to order some 'Amritsari Chole' from Puranmal restaurant. There are a ton of chickpea curry variations from the Punjab/ Haryana region and I'm sure each household has there own version of these curries. So when I saw Amritsari Chole on the menu, I wanted to see how different it was from the other chole recipes.
Amritsari Chole (Spicy Chickpea Curry)
Amritsari chole is a very flavorful and delicious curry. I've never cooked chickpeas with tea leaves and this is one of the essential steps for this curry. The tea leaves make the chickpeas a deep dark color, but the taste of tea is not very prominent and doesn't change the taste of the dish.

Amritsari Chole (Spicy Chickpea Curry)
Recipe is from Veg Recipes of India and I followed Dassana's recipe to the T. The curry turned out spicy and delicious. It goes really well with bhatura, naan or kulcha.
Amritsari Chole (Spicy Chickpea Curry)
Ingredients: Serves 3~4
To Cook Chickpeas:
Chickpeas - 1cup (or use 1 15oz. can of drained and rinsed chickpeas)
Tea powder - 1tsp (or use 1 tea bag)
Ginger - 1" piece, finely grated
Bay leaves - 2 small
Cinnamon stick - 1" piece
Cardamom pods - 2
Salt - to taste

For the Curry:
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Green chilies - 2, slit
Ginger - 1" piece, finely chopped
Diced Tomatoes - 1cup (or use 2~3 ripe tomatoes)
Ground Coriander - 1tsp
Ground Cumin - 1tsp
Red Chili powder - ½tsp
Amchur powder (dry mango powder) - ½tsp
Chole Masala or Garam Masala - ½tsp
Salt - to taste

For Garnish:
Cilantro - 2tbsp, chopped
Ginger - 1tsp, thinly sliced
Red Onion - thinly sliced


  • Cook Chickpeas: Soak chickpeas for 6~8 hours or overnight. Take the chickpeas in a pressure cooker along with 3~4 cups of water. Make a small pouch with cheese cloth (bouquet garni) and add all the ingredients listed under chickpeas in it. Tie it up and add it to the chickpeas in the cooker. Cook till chickpeas are very tender, about 3~5 whistles.
  • Drain the chickpeas and reserve the cooking water.
  • For the Curry:Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan, add chopped onions and cook till they turn golden brown, about 5~6 minutes.
  • Next add green chilies and cook for a minute. Add the chopped ginger and tomatoes; cook till tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Add the cooked chickpeas along with ground coriander, cumin, red chili powder, amchur powder, chole masala and salt; cook for 5~6 minutes for the flavors to mingle.
  • Add the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Add more water if there is not enough cooking water.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 10~12 minutes or till the gravy thickens a little bit. 
  • When the gravy thickens, add some julienned ginger to the chickpeas.
  • Serve hot wit the garnishes of choice.
Amritsari Chole (Spicy Chickpea Curry)
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 47.


  1. I love Amritsari Chole and keep repeating it quite often. Your pictures have come out so well!

  2. My favorite curry. We always use tea for the color. Instead of cheese cloth we would just boil tea in water and use this water for cooking chickpeas. Yours looking so tempting.

  3. I love this version of chole. The darker hue and the flavor of tea is appetizing.

  4. Feel like inviting myself to ur place, who can resist to this beautiful chole dish.

  5. A perfect and healthy dish when hungry.

  6. I always add tea bag to the chole when cooking it! I like the idea of adding the sliced ginger as garnish.

  7. I should try using a tea bag in chole! Lovely pictures!

  8. I was eyeing those chick peas with the Nan's ?.they look so yum.


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