Chole Masala (Ghee Roast)

Every household/ restaurant has its own recipe of simple chole, yet it tastes ever so slightly different everywhere . The secret of a good recipe is perhaps not always in the ingredients but perhaps also in when and how much of the spice is added.

Mostly, I prefer a minimalistic recipe that is simple to cook, flavourful, yet light on the tummy.This one is the complete opposite and almost decadent as far as I am concerned. Weekend mode I guess, let’s forget about the calories and gym classes for a day and enjoy the food alone !!Does turn out finger licking delicious that much I can promise.


  1. White Chole 3 cups , soaked overnight, will double in size and quantity.
  2. Whole garam masala ( stick of cinnamon, mace 1 , black cardamom 2 , green cardamom 2, cloves 3/4, bay leaf 1 broken into 2,
  3. Red Onions 3 large size
  4. Red Tomatoes 4-5 medium size
  5. Green chilli 2 /3
  6. Ginger 1 1/2 inch
  7. Garlic 5/6 cloves
  8. Ground Garam Masala Powder 1 tsp
  9. Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  10. Roasted cumin powder 1 tsp
  11. Vegetable Oil 1 1/2 tbsp
  12. Ghee 2 tbsp
  13. Fresh grated Amla about 2 tsp (or use dried powder about 1 – 1/2 tsp)
  14. Pinch of asafetida
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Chaat Masala 1 tsp
  17. Amchur powder 1 tsp
  18. Red chilli pwd 1 1/2 tsp
  19. Kashmiri mirch 1 tsp
  20. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp or less
  21. Black pepper pwd 1/2 tsp
  22. Chana masala 1 tsp
  23. Mint leaves few
  24. Coriander pwd 1 1/2 tsp
  25. Kasuri Methi 1 tbsp
  26. Fresh coriander leaves washed and chopped handful

Preparation Method:

  1. Wash and drain the chole that has been soaked overnight, and transfer to a pressure cooker. Add enough water, salt and grated amla. Pressure cook till almost soft.
  2. While this is happening, on the side take a heavy bottom kadhai and add oil. Add one onion juliennes, stir occasionally till fried and deep brown. Drain on a paper towel and keep aside for later.
  3. In the same kadhai add 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds,pinch of asafetida, all the whole garam masala, lightly pounded. Add the paste of remaining onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and green chilli that has been blended in a mixer with as little water as possible. At this point it’s better to half cover with a lid to avoid the spluttering and reduce the mess it makes. Once the water starts to dry up and it starts to brown slightly, stir and remove the lid, add 1 tbsp of ghee to this. Add kasuri methi , all dry spices except amchur pwd while stirring occasionally.
  4. At this point I like to transfer the masala and the Chole to an iron skillet, to give it a nice dark brown colour. If you don’t have one , add the Chole to the kadhai itself. Use a potato masher to lightly squish the chole. This makes the consistency of the gravy more even. Amla and Iron skillet will naturally give the blackish colour to chole so note that we have not added any tea leaves here.
  5. Add the fried onions. Allow it to simmer on low flame for atleast 30 mins. Check on the thickness of the gravy occasionally. Iron skillet evaporates the water very quickly so be watchful. Turn off the heat, add the few mint leaves broken by hand and the amchur pwd now.
  6. In a small seasoning pan take the remaining spoon of ghee and the remaining 1/2 tsp of cumin to season the chole. Add the chopped coriander.
  7. Give it a good mix and serve hot with a garnishing of some coriander and raw onions. I served this with dahi-paneer- green onion laccha paratha.

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