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Punjabi chole with chickpeas in wide white bowl.
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5 from 5 votes

Chole Masala

This simplified Chole Masala recipe, a popular Northern Indian chickpea dish, is cooked in a thick gravy, and is ready in thirty minutes! It's spicy, wholesome, vegan, and gluten-free. Serve with basmati rice and cilantro!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Calories: 267kcal
Author: Alison Corey


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large red onion sliced thin
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp chole masala powder or garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 30 ounces chickpeas 2 (15 oz) cans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
  • prepared basmati rice for serving


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, cardamom, and bay leaves. Stir to combine, cook for 3-5 minutes. (Note: You can use cardamom pods or ground cardamom).
  • Add minced garlic, and ginger paste. Stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add sliced red onions, and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until onions begin to soften and turn translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes, turmeric, and salt. Stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes or until tomatoes soften.
  • Add the chole masala, ground coriander, cinnamon, ground cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and vegetable stock.
  • Cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaves. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with a side of basmati rice.



Tips for Making Chole Masala
  • Chole Masala Powder is what gives this recipe it's authentic flavor. However, if you do not have access to it, go ahead and garam masala. I've done it both ways, and either way you go, you'll end up with a beautifully spicy curry!
  • Another authentic component of this dish is using amla powder to brown the chickpeas. Amla is an Indian gooseberry. I skipped this step to make it more of an easy weeknight meal, and also because I didn't have amla powder. But you can add in this step if you choose. If using amla powder use ½ tsp amla powder or 2 dried amla pieces.
  • Soak your chickpeas with a 1-2 tea bags instead of using amla powder to achieve a brown chickpea color.
  • Indian cooking often uses whole seed spices. Feel free to use cardamom pods instead of cardamom powder.
  • Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze for up to 2 months.


Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 366mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg