Alu Chana

This is my version of Alu-Chole

Pressure cook for 15 min on high

1 cup of soaked chickpeas, 2 tea bags, 1 stick of cinnamon, 2 large black elaichis, 8-10 whole peppercorns, 2 cloves, half an onion whole, 1 star anise pod with 2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt

Discard whole spices and onion

In a pan- add 1 tbsp oil, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 red chilli, add 2 chopped russet potatoes (inch sized cubes). When browned a little, add 1 tbsp chopped ginger, 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp ajwain seeds, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp pindi chana masala and 1 14 oz can of whole tomatoes.

Cook for 5 minutes, add the chickpeas, cook for an additional 15 minutes

Add 1 tsp each amchur powder, garam masala and crushed kasoori methi,


Chole is a spiced chickpea dish that is ubiquitous in India. They say there are as many chole recipes as there are North-Indian families. I’m not North Indian and I’ve been searching for a good chole recipe for a long time.

This variation of a recipe by “your food lab”- the Tasty videos of India (link below) comes very close to what I think are perfect chole. A trip to the Indian store for the spices is essential. I had to buy the Chana masala (I got the MDH brand).

Pressure cook- on high for 30 min

1 cup chickpeas soaked for 24 hours- drained

In a tea ball or cheesecloth – 1 tsp peppercorns, 3-4 cloves, 1-2 Black cardamon pods, 2 bay leaves, 1 inch cinnamon

2 tea bags

4 cloves garlic – crushed

½ cup onions- sliced

1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)

1 tsp baking soda

Add 2 quarts of water

In a pan:

Melt 2-3 tbsp butter

Add 3 tbsp of Chana masala and 2 tbsp of cumin-coriander powder

Cook for 3 min or so

Add 1 can of tomatoes – puréed

1tbsp of ginger

Cook for 10 min or so

Add pressure cooked chickpeas with their water (removing the tea bags and the spice bouquet)

Cook for 20 minutes

Stir in 1 tsp of amchur powder (dried mango powder) and 1 tsp of garam masala and 1 tbsp of kasuri methi (crushed fenugreek)

Salt to taste – this recipe needs a lot of salt

Garnish: raw onions, chopped preserved lemon, slivers of garlic

Serve with roti or naan or rice or griddled multigrain pizza dough (store bought) which tastes a lot like naan except its whole grain.