Chana masala.jpg
Category Chickpea recipes
Time soak: 12 hours
prep: 45 minutes

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | India | Pakistan | Vegan

Cholley, also chole, choley, cholay, white cholay, chana, channa, or chana masala, is a popular and versatile Indian and Pakistani chickpea dish. It is commonly cooked in Northern India (especially Punjab) and Pakistan for breakfast, but it is also regularly served at dinner parties, picnics, wedding receptions and other special events. Cholley features chickpeas, onions, tomatoes and spices; variations include additions such as potato (alu). This dish pairs well with a range of grain-based accompaniments including, puri, roti, naan, rice and bhatoora.

See also: Masaledaar chole (Chickpea Curry)



  1. To prepare the cholley dish, commence by washing then soaking the chickpeas overnight in water, allowing them to soften somewhat. Make sure that the chickpeas are well-immersed with at least a few inches of water above them, as they will expand significantly while soaking. The next day, drain the water and place the chickpeas in a pressure cooker or large cooking pot. Add fresh water and salt, then cook until the chickpeas are tender (10 minutes at 15 psi in a pressure cooker; if using a regular pot, place the chickpeas in hot water to boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 60-90 minutes).
  2. Subsequently, heat the oil in a thick-based pan. Add the coriander seeds, and optionally the cumin and nigella seeds, cooking them briefly until they crackle. Quickly add the onions, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté until the onions are transparent. Add garam masala, tomato and salt and cook for one minute before adding the boiled chickpeas.
  3. Reduce the heat, and allow the cholley to simmer for around 15 minutes. Check that the gravy has thickened before removing from the heat.
  4. Once done, place the cholley in a serving bowl, add your coriander garnish and serve with rice or bread.

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