Pindi Channa Recipe | Pindi Chole Recipe

Pindi channa recipe |
Pindi Channa also known as the Rawalpindi chole masala is a dry dish with the spices and sauce very lightly coating the channa. The tea leaves added while cooking the chick peas gives it a rich and earthy color adding a unique flavor to the side dish which goes well with rotis, pooris or baturas and also it makes a much needed alternative to the often made regular Channa Masala. My friend Jenny's mom makes this so well and I'm so happy to share her recipe here.

Pindi Chole recipe

Pindi Chana Recipe

Prep time: 8 Hours  |  Cook time: 30 mins  |  Serves: 4
Cuisine: North Indian  |  Category: Side dish


  • Kabuli Channa (Chick peas / Garbanzo beans/Konda kadalai) – 1-1/2 cups
  • Tea Leaves – 2 tsp
  • Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) – 1
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch stick
  • Onion, medium – 2
  • Tomatoes, medium – 2
  • Green Chilies – 2
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Dry pomegranate seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 2 tsp (divided)
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Channa masala powder – 1 tbsp (I used Everest brand)
  • Amchur powder (Dry mango powder) – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Lemon wedges – to serve
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp


  1. Wash and soak Channa (chick peas) overnight in enough water. The next day discard the water used for soaking and rinse the channa well.
  2. Heat 3 cups water, add tea leaves and bring it to a bubbling boil. Switch off stove, close with a lid and let it steep for 15-20 minutes. Filter it and keep aside.
  3. In a pressure cooker, place the rinsed channa, tea decoction, black cardamom, cinnamon stick, 1/8 tsp salt and cook for 7-8 whistles over medium low heat. You should be able to mash the chick peas when pressed between your fingers.
  4. Heat a pan and dry roast 1 tsp cumin seeds and pomegranate seeds separately. When cold, powder them together in a mixer grinder either coarsely or fine and keep aside.
  5. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil. Add slit green chilies, finely chopped onions and cook till it turns translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 1 more minute.
  6. Now add red chili powder, coriander powder, channa masala powder, Amchur powder, salt and mix well. You will see the powders absorbing the oil and the mixture becoming dry.
  7. Add the cooked channa along with the water, mix well and let it come to a boil.
  8. Meanwhile, in another stove, heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and when the crackle, add finely shopped tomatoes and cook over high flame till it wilts and softens, Add the cumin seed and pomegranate powder, mix well and transfer this mixture to the boiling channa.
  9. Close the partly with a lid and let it cook over medium flame for 5-7 minutes for all the flavors to merge together. The raw smell of the spice powders should be gone and the spices should coat the chick peas well.
  10. Sprinkle garam masala powder, take off stove and keep the pan closed with a lid for 5 more minutes. Serve hot with chapathis garnished with a lemon wedge. While eating just squeeze the lemon all over the channa on the plate and enjoy the lip smacking taste.
Rawalpindi chole


  1. You can also use a tea bag directly while cooking and discard it later but I love to cook like this as it increases the flavor very much.
  2. If you do  not have black cardamom, use regular ones.
  3. As I did not have dry pomegranate seeds, I just microwaved the fruit pearls at high for 3 minutes and further roasted them in a hot pan. It worked like a charm. Do not skip this ingredient as it contributes for the sour taste of the dish.
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