Pindi Chole(no-onion no-garlic)


Pindi Chole a rustic preparation of Kabuli Chana/Chickpeas or Chole as they are popularly known as in Indian spices cooked without onion and tomato masala. I call it rustic as the origin of the dish is believed from Pind(village) region (Rawalpindi) of pre-partition India now in Pakistan. Being a North Indian, I grew up eating Chole in various forms like Chole Masala with Rice(Chole-Chawal) or Chole Bhature and as my interest grew in cooking, I learned how chickpea is used in many different recipes and cuisines. Few of the other chickpea recipes from the blog.. Hummus, Falafels and Palak aur Kabuli Chane ka Pulao, and will be gradually adding more recipes for where chickpea is used. Pindi Chole is one of my family’s one of the favorite dish and kids love to have it with Pooris. It also goes well with Amritsari Kulchas or Naans. These yumm chickpeas can also be used for making yummy sweet and tangy Chole Chaat( street food) with pappadi and chopped onions with aloo tikkis/potato cutlets topped with tamarind and cliantro chutney!! Yumm.. another family favorite.

Making Pindi Chole needs no elaborate preparation as many think, all you need is boiled chickpeas and few Indian spices. The chickpeas are first soaked for at least 5-6 hrs or overnight, boiled with whole Indian spices and then finally cooked in a mixture of aromatic spices(powdered) Chana Masala/Chole Masala for a couple of minutes and at last, tamarind paste/water is added for the tanginess. Pindi Chole are well suited for vegans and those who have gluten allergies. Pindi Chole can be made in dry form or with little gravy.


For boiling chickpeas, a mix of whole spices tied in a muslin cloth along with tea leaves or whole spices and a tea bag are added directly to give the characteristic aroma and color to chickpeas. I use pomegranate peel for characteristic color as used by my mom since so many years. So whenever you get pomegranate just save the peel, dry in sun and store for adding to chickpeas. I use my homemade Chana/Chole Masala for making Pindi Chole. It adds up to the flavor and aroma of the curry.

Let’s start with making this yummy and so simple dish.

Pindi Chole

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A rustic dish where Chickpeas/Kabuli Chane are cooked in aromatic Indian spices. A no-onion no-garlic recipethe right tanginess added to it!!. Learn how to make Pindi Chole


For boiling or cooking Chole/ Chickpeas:

  • Kabuli Chana/Chickpeas–250  gms
  • Salt as per taste

Sabut Garam Masala / Dry Whole Spices:

  • Tej Patta (Bay Leaves) –1 or 2 small
  • Dal Chini (Cinnamon Stick)– 1 small / 1 inch
  • Laung (Cloves)— 4-5
  • Kali Elaichi( Big Cardamom) –2-3
  • Pomegranate peel (small piece) or Tea Bag-1
  • Salt — as per taste

For Homemade Chana/ Chole Masala or Spice Mix:

  • Corriander Seeds—1tsp
  • Cumin Seeds- 1/2 Tsp
  • Dry Red Chilli- 1 big
  • Red Chilli Powder- 1/2-1 Tsp
  • Dry Mango Powder(Amchur Powder)- 1 Tsp
  • Dry Pomegranate(Anardana)–2 Tsp
  • Dry Ginger Powder/Soonth– 1/2 Tsp
  • Dry Pomegranate(Anardana)- 1-2 Tsp

For Tamarind paste

  • Tamarind- 5g
  • Water-4-5 Tsp
  • or Store-bought Tamarind paste- 1Tbsp

For Tempering

  • Cumin Seeds(Jeera)- 1 Tsp
  • Asafoetida- a pinch
  • Desi Ghee(Indian Clarified Butter)/ Oil(any)–2  + 1 Tbsp


Method for Boiling/Cooking Chole:

Soak Chickpeas/Chole overnight or 5-6 hrs. To boil chickpeas, drain the water from soaked chickpeas, add in a pressure cooker with enough fresh water to soak the Chole just an inch or two above, let it boil for a minute if scum gathers on to, discard it.

Add the dry whole spices/ sabut masala, tea bag/pomegranate peel. Add salt as per your taste.

Close the pressure cooker lid and cook till 2-3 whistles and then for 5-10 minutes on low flame. Cooked chickpeas should be soft and easily mashed with a spoon. Discard the teabag or pomegranate peel.

Drain chickpeas in a bowl/pan. Retain the water for later use.

Make Chole Masala

Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chili in a pan till they start giving the aroma.

Grind in a motor pestle.

Take the other dry spices for channa masala mix, mix together.

Prepare Pindi Chole

Coarsely grind ginger and green chilies in a motor pestle.

If making tamarind paste, soak tamarind in warm water, let it stand for 5 min, once it is soft rub it and make the paste. Strain it and use as required.

In a pan, add desi ghee/oil, when oil is hot enough, add cumin seeds and asafoetida(hing).  Avoid adding hing for the gluten-free version. Let cumin seeds crackle.

Add the ginger and green chili paste. Saute for a minute.

Add all the mixed dry masala/spice mix.

Roast it for few seconds and add to the Chole add water as required cook for few minutes till the water dries a little. Cover it for few minutes till the spices infuse in chickpeas.

Serve hot with Pooris/Kulchas.

Pindi- Chole

Do try my version of Pindi Chole I am sure you are going to love this.  Enjoy with kulchas, naans or pooris.

Do give your feedback in the comments section and if you make it and post a pic of it on my fb page or tag me in your Instagram. If you are not following the blog, click on the follow button to get updates on new posts. Also, if you like my work pls share it your loved ones.

Keep enjoying food and keep coming back for more easy, yummm and authentic recipes.

Thanks for stopping by!!


Author: Swati

Some who believes 'EAT WELL, READ DAILY, TRAVEL OFTEN AND LAUGH KHUL KE'!!! Hi!! Swati here!!! Chef, Chocolatier, food admirer, reader, love to travel, listen to music, Bollywood and shoot nature and food pics!! Welcome to my Foodtrails and join me in my food adventure!!

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