Sometimes it is a race against time even though you think you are well prepared. That is the case here. I had cooked the dish and prepped the pictures a long time before the publish date, yet here I am rushing to make it for the deadline!

Anyway this is a simple recipe for chana masala or chole. This is from Vasantha Moorthy’s vegetarian menu Cookbook. I already have a chole recipe on the blog but the method of preparation is a little different here. 

I am not a fan of recipes where you have to grind the raw onions first. I prefer to cook them before grinding, else I feel that the raw smell never quite goes away. But I learned it only recently that the trick is to cook the ground onion paste in oil before adding anything else, especially veggies like tomatoes which has high water content. I am not sure whether it works every single time for everyone out there, but it sure did for me when I tried it a couple of times. 

So read on for the recipe and serve it with hot baturas!


  1. Soak 2 cups white chana(garbanzo beans) overnight. Pressure cook the next morning until cooked well. Drain and keep aside. 
  2. Grind two medium onions, 2″ piece of ginger and 4 garlic cloves into a paste.
  3. Heat 3-4 tablespoons oil, sauté 4 sliced green chillies. Add the onion paste and cook until the raw smell of onions go away. 
  4. Add 3 tablespoons coriander powder, 2 teaspoons chili powder (or per taste), 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of garam masala. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Purée three big tomatoes and add it. Cook mixing in between to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  6. Add the cooked chana and salt as needed. Add water as needed to get to the consistency you prefer. Cook on medium to low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top and serve with batura or pooris or chapati 
  7. You can grind a handful of the curry (after adding the chana) and add it back and cook for a few minutes. This is to give the curry a smooth and thick consistency. 


This goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.




Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80


17 thoughts on “Chole

  1. Even i don’t like the raw onion paste,it takes long time to cook and sometimes end up in bitter taste.Lovely chole recipe Rajani,the serving bowl is so cute.


  2. Agree with you on using raw onion paste, somehow the raw smell dont seem to leave! Will try cooking teh raw onion paste for longer like you mentioned. Before commenting on the dish, I would love to ‘steal’ that serving bowl. Looks so cute!


  3. I love all recipes with chana in it!..your bowl looks so sinful Rajani…When it comes to being prepared, sometimes I guess we end up hurrying in the end!..happens all the time..:)


  4. Rajani, I have the same problem. How much every I cook the ground onions, I feel the raw taste. I dunno if it’s just me. This is a great recipe. Now I have try your method.


  5. I have that same race against time…have cooked and clicked but posting on the blog takes forever. Love this chole…looks so beautiful. The pics are fantastic!


  6. Even I hate the raw smell of onion paste, so I usually fry them even before grinding which adds a nice sweetness to the gravy or curry. Try this once and I am sure you will like it. This version of channa looks so good and I won’t mind having some with hot pooris..


  7. Yes , most of the onion tomato gravies in Punjabi homes are made by cooking onion , but somehow I make the channa where all spices are added while boiling , I have two three versions. This version was made by my mil, and it has been a long time And haven’t made . That tempting bowl is reminding me to make some .


  8. That’s how my in laws cook all Punjabi gravies; My mom in law would make a paste of onions and cook it on low for like 15 minutes until it becomes all golden and raw smell is gone. That’s how I learned to make the curries from her. It does take a lot of time but the taste is quite different from sliced onions.
    Btw that is a delicious looking bowl of chole. Love the wonderful and vibrant pictures.


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