Chole Masala

It's time for some authentic Punjabi food. Are you looking for the recipe of the famous Chole Masala? You have landed, rightly here! I have seen several versions of the recipe using tea for inducing black colour. I sort of, don't like the idea and omitted it conveniently.Well,convenience both in terms of cooking and eating.

When did I actually fell in love with the dish? The best channa masala I have had till date, surprisingly does not come from a dhaba. It is indeed from my fav Saravana Bhavan. However, I have had it in the hotel's Chennai branches a couple of years back and not sure whether it is the same now. During my college days, I used to have a plate of cutlet channa from the restaurant atleast once a week, while walking back home from the bus stop. The plate was served, garnished with a chilli, slices of onion, a ring of tomato, a wedge of lemon and chopped coriander. Nothing to beat the taste. In an effort to recreate the magic, I tried this recipe and I should say, it tasted different yet wonderful. Mine is closer to the Dhabha taste and therfore I can rightfully claim that it is authentic chole masala. May be, the dish at Saravana Bhavan was tweaked a bit to be able to go as a chaat.

Kabuli channa is rich in proteins and that makes this a nutritious food. You can have this with batura, poori, roti or even with bread or cutlet as chaat. Garnishing with onions and lemon really does the trick and enhances the taste.

Boiled channa - 3 or 4 cups(Soak the channa overnight and pressure cook till completely done)
Onion - 1 big
Tomatoes - 2 Medium
Cilantro - Handful
Green chillies - 3 medium
Turmeric powder - 2 tsp
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Dhania powder - 1 tsp
Chole masala - 1 tsp
Ginger and garlic - just enough to make a teaspoon of paste
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp(Optional)
To garnish: Chopped coriander, sliced onions, Lemon wedge


Paste 1: Onions(Optional), ginger and garlic. (Read this if you are grinding onions)
Paste 2: Cilantro, green chillies and tomato
Paste 3: Grind a handful of boiled channa

1. Heat the oil and season with Jeera.
2. Add paste 1 and fry till light brown. If you are not grinding onions, add chopped onions and fry. Now a days, I have resorted to chopping onions.
3. Add paste 2, turmeric, dhania powder and chilli powder. Cook till done.
4. Add the cooked channa and a little water. Add salt, chole masala, kasoori methi and boil. Mix Paste 3.
5. Serve hot with pooris, bhatura or rotis. Don't forget to garnish with onions and lime.

Tip: Add half a tsp of chaat masala if you are serving as bread channa or cutlet channa.

Sending this to Sunday Snacks - Chaats hosted by Pallavi.


Pooja said...

Wow I was planning to post a similar one too! The curry looks awesome and I can imagine the taste. I do make it in a similar way except for the addition of green chillies and kasuri methi :)

Sree vidya said...

Wow! coincidence! Thanx Pooja and this is the first time I added kasuri methi. I feel cilantro and green chillies go wonderfully together. Green chillies give a sharpness to any dish.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Wow Chole looks bright and yummy... with those lovely puris oh god I will eat all of them with chole mmm...

Sree vidya said...

Thanx Ramya.
Poori and chole is a gr8 combo

Anonymous said... da combo puri n chana Masala...Miss indian foood..

Sharanya Srinivasan said...


For added flavor, add a teabag when you boil the channa. You will notice a different taste :)