This hearty, healthy dish is straight out of the heart of Punjab in North India and a dish very close to my heart being a family favourite. The dish gets its name from a place called Rawalpindi, Punjab in Pakistan where it originated in the days before India-Pakistan partition. This is a dry, tangy, spicy dish best served with any Indian bread.

Serves: 4 people

Prep : 20 mins

Cooking : 20 mins

Health Hack: Chickpeas are high in protein and make an excellent replacement for meat in vegetarian and vegan diets.

Fresh Ingredients

  • White chickpeas – 400gms
  • Water – 1.5 litres

Spices For Boiling Chickpeas

  • Cloves - 3
  • Cinnamon - 2 (1-inch sticks)
  • Black cardamom - 3
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Green cardamom - 3
  • Tea bag - 1
  • Salt - to taste

Spices For Cooking Pindi Chole

  • Ginger - 3 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Green chilli - 1 whole, slit and stuffed with salt
  • Kashmiri chilli powder - 2 tsp
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder - ½ tsp
  • Aamchur (dry mango powder) - 1 ½ tsp
  • Anardana powder (pomegranate powder) - 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
  • Black salt - to taste

Cooking Instructions For boiling chickpeas:

  • Wash and soak the chickpeas for 8-9 hours or overnight. Drain the water and boil the soaked chickpeas with the whole spices, salt and tea bag in a pressure cooker for 15-20 minutes until they go soft.
  • Drain the chickpeas and reserve the cooking liquid. Remove the whole spices and tea bag.

Cooking Instructions For making the Pindi chole:

  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the chopped ginger along with the green chilli.
  • Once the ginger has fried for 3-4 minutes, add all the dry powdered spices.
  • Fry the spices on low heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the boiled chickpeas and mix it well with the masala.
  • Add black salt and check for seasoning. Mash some of the chickpeas with the back of the ladle for a thicker consistency and add some of the reserved cooking liquid.
  • Let the chickpeas cook for 5-7 minutes in the masala on a low flame. Serve hot with onion rings, green chillies and lemon wedges accompanied with any Indian bread.

Handy Kitchen Tips

If you haven’t allowed enough soaking time for the chickpeas then adding a pinch of baking powder helps the chickpeas cook faster. You could also tie all the whole spices in a muslin cloth before adding it to the chickpeas.


  1. Paul Elliott : April 21, 2020 at 6:46 pm


    What if you do not have a pressure cooker?

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