Pindi Chole or spicy chickpea curry

A bowl of soft chickpeas cooked till tender in a mix of spices, onions and tomtoes till they are thick and oh so delicious. Usually served with bhature (or fermented deep fried humongous poori), these are a house favorite. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lapetitchef


  • 1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 2 tsp tea leaf or two tea bags wrapped in a muslin potli
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 whole cinnamom sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6-7 whole black peppercorn
  • 2 whole bayleaf
  • 2 whole black cardamoms
  • 3-4 whole green cardamom

For the masala:

  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp roasted anardana powder
  • 1/4 tsp aoafoetida or hing
  • 1/4 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp dry mango or aamchoor powder
  • 1 TBSP dried fenugreek, crushed

Vegetables for the masala:

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium grated or pureed tomatoes

For the tadka or tempering:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped or julienne
  • 2 whole green chilis, split
  • 1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
  • a pinch of hing
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish


For boiling the chickpeas

  1. Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight in ample water. When ready to cook, add the chickpeas into a pressure cooker. Make a potli or bundle of the tea leaves and add that to the cooker. Add all the whole spices mentioned above and 2 1/2 cups of water. Mix it once and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles. Open the cooker when the pressure releases naturally. Separate the water and the chickpeas. Dont throw the water!! WE need that water for the curry. 

For the dry masala:

  1. Mix all the ingredients mentioned above in a small bowl thoroughly. Keep aside. 

For making the curry:

  1. Heat oil in a deep pan. Once hot add the onion paste and saute for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell leaves. Now add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a further two minutes. Add the tomtato puree to this and cook for 3-4 minutes. Now close the pan with a lid and let this cook on medium low flame for 10-12 mins, stirring in between to ensure it doesnt get stuck. Add 2 tbsp of water if needed while doing this. 

    Once the tomatoes are a deep red color and oil leaves at the side, add the dry chole masala mix into it. Saute and cook for two minutes before covering it and letting it cook on low for 5 mins again. 

    Remove and check to see if it is bhunoed properly. (oil should be seen coming up from the sides). Once that it done, add the chickpeas to it, a ladle full of the reserved cooking liquid and cover for 2 minutes. Now add the remaining liquid, let it come to a boil and cook covered for 3-4 minutes. 

    Open the lid and lightly mash some of the chickpeas with a potato or rice masher. This makes the gravy thick and much more delicious. 

    Switch off the flame. 

For the tadka:

  1. Heat il in a small tadka pan. Add the ingredients starting with garlic and ginger, then add the green chilies and finally the dry spices. Let it sizzle for 30-40 secs. Remove and immediately pour on the chickpea curry. Cover the pot quickly and let it stand for 20 mins before serving. 

    Garnish with coriander leaves, onion rings and pickle along with bhature or even rice. Enjoy!