Pindi Chole | Recipe by Chef Kunal Kapur

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This recipe for Pindi Chole was triggered by a discussion by the admin of a food group that I am a member of. Donna wanted to make “almost black” Chole and there were many suggestions including the traditional recommendations of using tea leaves, amla and iron vessels.

Pindi Chole: Spicy Chickpea Curry from Punjab
Pindi Chole

Then Donna located this recipe by Chef Kunal Kapur for Pindi Chole and posted it on the group. When I saw the video on YouTube I was fascinated by the recipe and made it this past weekend!

Do try it and you will get authentic Pindi Chole.

You can combine this chickpea dish with rice to make Chole Biryani.

If you like chickpeas a lot like I do, you can try the recipes for The Perfect Falafel, Madra | Mandra – Chickpeas in Yogurt Sauce, or Lablabi or Leblebi – A Tunisian Chickpea Soup.

Recipe for Pindi Chole

Pindi Chole by Chef Kunal Kapur

This recipe for Pindi Chole is by Chef Kunal Kapur. Pindi Chole is a variation of chole that is drier than the regular chole. It is also very dark in colour and is spiced with freshly ground spices. As abonus, it is a no onion, no garlic recipe that can be enjoyed by all.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Soaking Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian, North Indian, Punjabi
Servings 6 People
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Kadhai or Wok
  • 1 Cup Chole, Chickpeas (200gms)
For Potli to Boil Chickpeas
  • 10 Cloves
  • 2" Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Strong Tea Leaves
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 6 Green Cardamom
  • 2 Black Cardamom
For Tempering
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or Oil (I used Ghee; Vegans can use oil)
  • 1 tsp Ajwain or Carom Seeds
  • 2 tsp Slivers of Ginger
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Chopped fine or crushed)
  • 3-4 Slit Green Chillies
Dry Masalas
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Amchur, Raw Mango Powder
  • 2 tsp Kasoori Methi Powder See Notes
  • 2 tsp Anardana Powder, Pomegranate Seeds Powder (See Notes)
Other Ingredients
  • 1 tsp Black Salt
  • 2 tsp Thick Tamarind Pulp
  • 3-4 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee (Vegans can use oil)
  • Salt to Taste
Cooking the Chole
  • Soak the Chole in 3 Cups Water for 6 to 8 hours.
  • In a small white cloth, tie-up all ingredients listed under For Potli to Boil Chickpeas.
  • Place this potli/packet in the middle of the chickpeas.
  • Cover and boil for about 45 minutes till done. Or Pressure cook the chickpeas 4 whistles.
  • Discard the potli.
  • Drain and reserve the water in which the chickpeas were cooked.
Making the Pindi Chole
  • In a pan large enough to hold the chole, on a medium flame, heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee.
  • Add the ajwain, ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
  • Stir-fry till the raw smell of the ginger disappears.
  • Add the dry masalas and mix well.
  • Immediately add the cooked chole and mix well.
  • Add the black salt, salt, and tamarind paste, and mix well.
  • Add a little of the water in which the chole was cooked.
  • Over medium flame, cook for about 5 minutes till most of the water evaporates.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • To make Kasoori Methi powder, over medium flame, dry roast 3 tsp of kasoori methi till it becomes crisp. Remove into a plate to cool. Crush into a powder with your fingers.
  • To make Anardana/Pomegranate seeds powder, dry roast 2 tsp anardana. Let it cool and then grind to a powder.
  • I used readymade tamarind paste.
Keyword Chole Biryani, No Onion, No Garlic Chole, Pindi Chole
Pindi Chole from Punjab
Pindi Chole

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Pindi Chole

  1. In a large vessel, soak the chickpeas in 3 Cups Water for overnight. I soaked for 8 hours.
  2. Using a white cloth, make a small parcel/potli of tea leaves green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves.
  3. Place this potli/parcel in the middle of the chickpeas. It will give the chole a dark brown colour as it cooks. In addition, the chole will also soak in the aromas of the spices.
  4. On a open flame, cover and boil for about 45 to 60 minutes till done. The chickpea should break easily when you press it.
    You can take the easy way out like I did and pressure cook the chickpeas.
  5. When the chickpeas are cooked, discard the potli.
  6. Drain the excess water from the cooked chickpeas. Reserve the water as we may need some of it later.
  7. Making the Pindi Chole
    1. On a medium flame, heat the oil or ghee in a pan.
    2. Add the ajwain, ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
    3. Stir-fry for about 1 minute till the ginger and garlic are fried.
    4. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chilli, amchur, kasoori methi and anardana powders.
    5. Mix well.
    6. Immediately add the cooked chole and mix well. Do not fry the dry masalas in the oil/ghee for long. We just want to add them to the hot oil/ghee and mix.
    7. Add the black salt, salt, and tamarind paste.
    8. Mix well.
    9. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes till most of the water evaporates.
  8. Cover and let the Pindi Chole rest for 5 to 7 minutes.
  9. Serve hot with bhature, puris or rotis.
Pindi Chole | Recipe by Chef Kunal Kapoor

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