Pindi Chole (Chickpeas)

Chickpeas came to India through Kabul in Afghanistan and are an integral part of Indian cooking, for their rich flavour and high protein content.

Pindi is a short for Rawalpindi a city in Pakistan. This recipe may have some odd connection to the city, thus it is named as such. Despite what I know about the city; this recipe is more of a Dhabha Style chickpea. Dhabha’s are roadside eateries around North Indian motorways and they pride themselves in cooking basic, homely food, (mostly vegetarian) high in spices and made out of very fresh produce.

This is one such example of Indian Dhabha cooking and this one uses the good old tea leaves for flavour and beautiful brown colour. This dish does take time to cook so this one is my weekend special.

Here is the recipe

Serves: 3-4

What you need? (Ingredients)

250 grams chickpeas

1 Tbsp tea leaves

1 Tbsp cloves

3-4 cinnamon sticks

3-4 Green cardamom

3-4 Black cardamom

1-2 Bay leaves

1-2 inches of Fresh Ginger

2-3 Green chillies

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp  dried mango powder

1 tsp kasuri methi or dried fenugreek powder

2 Tbsp carom (ajwain)

4-5 garlic pods

1 Tbsp tamarind water (optional)

Black salt and regular salt to taste

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp Pomegranate powder

Vegetable Oil/Clarified butter to cook.

Water to cook (2-3 litres)


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight.
  2. Take a clean cotton cloth and add in tea leaves, cinnamon, cloves, green & black cardamom, bay leaves in it and make a bundle (bouquet garni)  out of it.
  3. In a large pan, put in soaked chickpeas along with bundled spices. Add 3 times the water of chickpeas and boil on low-medium flame for forty five mins to one hour.
  4. Add in turmeric, coriander, cumin powder, red chilli powder, dried mango powder, pomegranate powder and kasuri methi powder. Keep aside, do not stir or mix into chickpeas.
  5. In a separate pan add oil/clarified butter and saute chopped & crushed ginger & garlic, ajwain and green chillies.
  6. Add the mixture directly on the spices and chickpeas. This will help mix and settle the spices into Chole.
  7. Put the mixture back on heat, add some more water and cook for another 20-25 mins on a low flame.
  8. Garnish with green chillies & fresh coriander. Serve hot.


Serving Suggestion:  Serve it with plain prantha or plain naan.



One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s