January 13, 2008

Amritsari Chole (Chickpeas Curry)


I soaked some chole this weekend, I didn't want to make the same old chickpeas curry. I was in the mood to try out some new recipe. So I looked around and came this recipe in Bawarchi. "Tea bag," I said, when I looked at the recipe. But I realized that it was a good idea when I looked at the dark brown color of the curry.

Instead of adding tomatoes I added some tamarind paste and enjoyed the sweet and sour taste of the curry. After adding the tamarind, I omitted the aamchur (mango powder) and anardana (pomegranate) seeds.

Here is how I made it.

(Bawarchi recipe)

With Chole
1 1/2 cup chole
1 Tea Bag
2 black cardamoms
Salt to taste

Dry Masala
3 pieces clove
1 piece cinnammon
6-8 black pepper balls
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1 tspoon coriander seeds

Other Masala
2 green chillies - slit
1 tspoon tamarind paste (I didn't have tomatoes at home, and actually enjoyed the sweet and sour taste of the tamarind)
1 piece ginger - finely chopped
1 onion - finely chopped
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1 tspoon garam masala
2 pieces Bay Leaves
2 tbspoon oil
Salt to taste
Bunch of cilantro leaves- chopped for garnishing

Soak the chole overnight and boil it with a tea bag, salt and black cardamom. Discard the teabag and keep the water for the curry.

In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil and temper it with cumin seeds and red chilli. Add bayleaves, green chillies, and ginger and saute it. Then add the onion and fry till they start turning brown. Then add the tamarind paste, cooked chole, the other dry masala and cook it all together for about 8-10 minutes.

While cooking I mash some of the chole to make the curry thicker.


Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve warm. We enjoyed ours with roti and cucumber salad.

PS: I just found out about the Legume Love Affair event and am sending this to Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook.


  1. tea bag???? Does it taste like tea at all, or is it just for the color? It looks great btw..

  2. Mandira, that looks very tasty, Chickpeas is wholesome food!
    Tea Bags! exactly I was surprised too when my Punjabi friend said it was the tea bags that gave the chole the black color.

  3. i have seen similar recipe in asha's blog. does it smell of tea? i just cant stand tea smell:(

  4. Wow ! that looks nice. perfect for this winter season to serve warm with bhature :)).
    thansk for sharing...

  5. I have a Rajasthani friend who does this tea-bag channa on special occasions. I asked her the recipe and tried it once. The mistake I made was that I added too many tea bags and my channa turned all black in color. Tastewise it was ok. But the look was bad. Anyway, yours look very very good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. namratha12:14 PM

    Hey...mandira...I came to know of your blog thru Vidya aunty.I stay in the same apartment complex.Ur blog is very interesting.Different way of cooking chole with tea bags...looks yummy.

  7. Anonymous1:17 PM

    I am punjabi and we have always used tea bags in our chole. The tea bag doesn't really give a tea taste - it's more for the color and combined with the amchur and anardana, adds a very earthy taste to the chole. Yours look like they came out pretty tasty! :-) Love your blog - your recipes always give me great ideas for weekday meals! --Gagan

  8. wow!! I love chole .....i know one of my friend used to add tea bags ...just awesome recipe

  9. My mom uses a tea bag when making Chole too, and that's how I've learned it as well.. not new to me :) Looks yummy!!

  10. This wins my heart! I love chickpeas--and the tea bags? So cool!

  11. I got to remember the next time I cook channa like this to add some tamarind. Thanks Mandira.

  12. just love your recipe looks soo good

  13. Chhole look good, Mandira! And i am so tempted to grab some, especially because the the idea of chhole and green chillies is too hard to resist :-D.

  14. Hi Mandira, Happy New Year! The tea bag sounds intriguing, but the black cardamom reeled me in. I can just imagine the smoky-goodness. Looks delicious! :)

  15. Cool recipes! And it's made with stuff I can find at the grocery store, so this is a winner in my book.

  16. that's a novel idea Mandira..looks nice:) the chhole is always as inviting recipe:)

    btw, I'd love to invite yout to participate in the Game Night Prty event I'm hosting on my blog...you can even send in older posts:) hope to see you there!

  17. Love the chick peas. I too have added teabags once as i saw a recipie using them and added for fun.They do say it gives a good colour

  18. So good, so good, so good. I love sour mango and pomegranate, but tamarind sounds like an ideal exchange.

    Thanks for the great entry, Mandira!

  19. Sig, ISG - thanks, I added less than recommended tea bags for the same reason. But the curry didn't taste of tea at all.

    Sia - the tea bag is to give the curry that dark brown color and guess what, it works!

    Thanks Pooja.

    Kribha I went the other extreme, I added less than recommended. I guess it would have turned darker otherwise.

    Namratha - thanks for visiting. Please say hello to her from us :)

    Gagan thanks for your kind words about ahaar. I can't wait to try it again with anardana and aamchur.

    Thanks Deepa, Namratha, Sher, Cynthia, Sagari

    Musical, you can drop by anyday. I will make a batch for you along with fresh mirchi and all!

    Linda, Manasi, Kelly, Happy cook thanks. Let me know how it turns out.

    Susan thanks for hosting this event. Sounds so much fun!

  20. Nice recipe. Chole came out very well. Thanks.


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