Indian kitchen cannot comprehend a Menu's obliviousness to Channa Masala. Little tangy, little sweet but with a hot spiciness added to boiled chickpeas makes this dish a dream.

It goes well almost with all rice/flat bread dishes but is more commonly paired with Bhature. Though the usage of spices varies from family to family, the basic foundation of the dish remains the same. This is my version.

  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • 1 cup Chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp Shahjeera ( caraway seeds)
  • 1 rsp Cumin-coriander powder
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 tbsp tamarind paste ( or as per taste)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder ( or as per taste)
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tea bag
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • few finely chopped tsp of onions and sprigs of cilantro for garnish

Cook the chickpeas (pressure cooker preferred) along with turmeric,bay leaf and tea bag


Heat a skillet, add little oil/butter/ghee and add caraway seeds, the spices and saute for 30-40 seconds. Add the onions and then ginger-garlic paste and saute some more till the aroma starts hitting the nostrils.


Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, tamarind paste and cook till the raw smell of the tomato leaves and it becomes soft and mushy.


Remove the tea bag and bay leaf from the chickpeas and then pour down the remaining content into this onion-tomato mixture. Add more water if needed. Bring it to a boil and smash down few chickpeas to thicken the gravy.

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2 Member Reviews

By megha guhya on Dec 11, 2010

\"yes\" This is the second dish that i have made from your recipes. And just like the first time this time too it turned out just too good! I am so grateful to you for sharing your knowledge and your passion.. Can't wait to make at least two dozen indian dishes from yr blog  :) _Megha.

By Sunita on Sep 25, 2010

hi dk i made this yesterday for evening snack with pooris and it tasted awesome sorry forgot to take the picture but surely next time and i have made today pav bhaji god dk what to tell you it was yummmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?????? my hubby loved it a lot will upload it on monday

thanks for the recipe bye


By PC on May 3, 2016

Lovely recipe, thank you. I wondered about the tea bag! Does it not induce caffeine ? How do I feed my little ones especially for supper? If it is really for the colour, is it possible to substitute with tamarind? Thanks!

By Ruby on Jul 22, 2014

Can you post some recipes from the eastern part of India....( Orissa, Bengal, Assam..etc) Thanks in Advance...!

By Neeraja on Oct 6, 2012

Wud definitely wannna try this recipe and am a huge fan of ur blog DK! A question though...why the tea bag while boiling the channa??

By Cheryl on Feb 10, 2012

Can you make this ahead to serve at breakfast? I'm making a traditional-ish Pakistani breakfast for Valentine's (poori, choley, halwa) and don't really fancy getting up at 4 a.m.! If it's blasphemy, though, let me know.

All is fair in the game of Love ;) I think you can make it the day ahead and heat it up the next morning...Or else if you can, do the slow cooker cooking and keep it on low throughout the night...the probability that you all will get up at 4:00 am might be strong thanks to the aroma from ur kitchen ;). But that's not really necc. Prep it up day before and heat it up. You can "freshen" it up the next morning by tossing fresh finely chopped onions and cilantro. --DK

By sunitasil on Jun 30, 2011

Hi dk Again this is the third time i have made it and it was simply awesome every1 just loved it and no leftovers as i had made it with baturas. thanks again for the recipe

Thank you so much for the feedback Sunita :)

By Neeraj on Jan 22, 2011

HI, Iam intretsed in buying a picture of punjabi chole masala, i need it urgently for printing a brochure.Pls lemme know in case if you can help me with that.

By rupa on Dec 13, 2010

hi ur recipe is definately looking yummy :)i am a punjabi n we generally do not use tamrind n tea bags instead use dried amla (gooseberry) peices wen boiling channa, it helps to provide more color n also is easy on the stomach. but i find this convenient as in chennai i am not able to find dried gooseberry. will try this version for sure. keep up the good work:)

By preetha Karthik on Jan 27, 2010

Hi Dhiviya, I tried Punjabi Chole yesterday... It was so delicious. Thanks for wonderful recipe :-)

By Mridhu on Dec 13, 2009

I have made chole(y) before, but your recipe has that twist to it :). I have become a big fan of your blog :-D

Hi Mridhu, thats so generous of you to say that. Thank you, am glad you liked it :) -- DK

By Aanya Dil on Aug 4, 2009

Sorry to say, but the last picture with the prepared channa looks a bit too watery. I am a Punjabi, so whenever we cook channa at home, we grind the tomato/onion/garlic/ginger to a paste. I know some may like it crunchy. Anyway your recipe looks good! Keep it going! =) Regards Aanya Dil
That picture is still only one step away from the final - It cooks and the gravy thickens up to form a nice gravy. This is one of my earlier pictures - havent updated my old posts - will do the new one next time I make these :) Thanks for your fedback

By Divya Kudua on Nov 18, 2008

I thought Chole was the authentic version and channa masala was made using ready made masala..;-)Never knew tea bags were used..;-).I make it the quicker way,using ready made masala!!

By PJ on Nov 17, 2008

Never knew teabags were used for this dish..Bhatura and channa-thats a killer combo!!

By Priya on Nov 17, 2008

Fabulous as ever DK...

By Curry Leaf on Nov 16, 2008

Lovely, is chole as well as channa masala.Tea leaves idea is authentic

By veggie belly on Nov 16, 2008

Chole and Batura are to die for! I'm really glad you posted this because Ive been wanting to try a chole recipe that uses tea. Yours look delish!

By Bhawana on Nov 16, 2008

looks tasty :).

By Divya Vikram on Nov 16, 2008

I have still been thinking that both were diff..Thanks for enlightening me..Will try the tea bag method next time I make chole.

By Madhu on Nov 16, 2008

This is the 2nd time I am seeing tea bag used for cooking, channa looks very delish.