Chola Chana Masala

chana chola masala 03

Chola Chana Masala is one of the most popular North Indian dishes that is prepared with chickpeas. It’s a weekend specialty in most households and called Chole Bhature when served with Bhature (fried puffed bread). Chana Masala is also a quintessential street food in Delhi and there are several food stalls in Delhi that is famous for just their special Chola Chana Masala / Chole Bhature. The combination of wholesome spiced chickpea stew with crispy hot puffed bread is a marriage made in heaven!

Chola Chana Masala | Playful Cooking #chickpea #multipot #instapot #stew #foodphotography

I will be sharing the recipe for Bhatura very soon with a video but for today it’s the comforting hearty Chola Chana Masala which also tastes amazing with Indian bread (roti/chapati) or even rice.

During our current situation of lockdown for Coronavirus, such dishes will come super handy. Cooking Chola Chana Masala in a Multipot be it Instapot or Mealthy or whatever brand you have is not only effortless but also quick.

Cooking Time for Chola Chana Masala in a Multipot:

I use Mealthy Multipot and it cooks in 30 minutes (if you soak the dried beans overnight) and takes 45 minutes (if you completely forget to soak the dried beans)

Chola Chana Masala | Playful Cooking #chickpea #multipot #instapot #stew #foodphotography

Spices that is used in Chola Masala :

Whole Spices:


Green Cardamom


Dried bay leaf

Ground Spices:

Cumin powder

Coriander powder

Chili powder

Dry mango powder ( This adds tang, you can substitute with lemon juice)

Garam Masala powder

What gives the gorgeous color to the Chola Chana Masala

There are two key ingredients that helps:

  1. Canned tomato puree
  2. Black tea bag or black tea leaf simmered in boiling water and then using that strained tea.

Indian Chickpea stew | Playful Cooking #chickpea #multipot #instapot #stew #foodphotography

Can you use canned chickpea to prepare this dish?

YES! However, keep in mind that slow cooking dried chickpea in all those spices enhances the flavor as compared to using canned chickpea. You will definitely not need any Multipot if you are using canned chickpeas.

Chola Chana Masala tastes amazing when served immediately after preparing it but tastes equally good the next day. So, make a big batch and enjoy with your choice of bread or rice.

chana chola masala 01

Chola Chana Masala

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes

Chola Chana Masala is one of the most popularNorth Indian dishes that is prepared with chickpeas. Takes 30 minutes when cooked in a MULTIPOT. Chana Masala is also a quintessential streetfood in Delhi and there are several food stalls in Delhi that is famous for just their special Chola Chana Masala / Chole Bhature.


  • Dried chickpea - 1 cup, soaked overnight
  • Red onion - 1 and 1/2 medium size, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red tomato, diced or sliced
  • Tomato puree - 1 cup
  • 1 tablepsoon oil


  • 1 or 2 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • Few cloves
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mango powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder

other ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon black tea leaf
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 or 3 fresh green chili
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida


  1. In a pan add 1 and ½ cup water and bring it to boil. Then add the tea leaves and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Strain the tea and leave it aside to be used later.
  2. Turn on the sauté mode in your Multipot and pour the oil followed by the whole spices (dry bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamoms and cloves). Stir it around until the flavor releases.
  3. Then scatter the garlic, ginger and onion. Sprinkle the turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and the sugar. Stir it around for 1 minute.
  4. Sprinkle the ground spices (cumin powder, coriander powder, dry mango powder and chili powder) Stir around and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomato  and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Scatter the soaked chickpea (don’t add the water), followed by the strained tea, tomato puree, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ cup water. Give a stir.
  7. Cancel the sauté mode. Click the beans/chili mode and time for 30 minutes. If you are using un-soaked dried chickpeas then increase thetime to 45 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes or 45 minutes (depending on weather you soaked or didn’t soak the chickpea), cancel the cooking time and let the steam release on its own. It should take about 5 minutes.
  9. Once you open the lid, turn the sauté mode on and sprinkle 1 teaspoon garam masala powder and cook for 2 minutes. Taste for salt and add any if needed.
  10. In a small pan pour the ghee and heat it up, then switch off the heat. Sprinkle the asafoetida and fresh green chili and let t sizzle for few seconds.   
  11. Sprinkle the warm ghee with the green chili on the chola chana masala. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and drizzle fresh lemon juice.


Dal Makhani in Multipot

Rajma Masala (Red Kidney Beans North Indian Curry)

Chola Chana Masala 4

Did you enjoy this Chola Chana Masala? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • Krithi
    February 11, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Great chole and the puris…… Love the clicks!

  • tigerfish
    February 11, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    I learn lots about Indian food from your blog too. And you know I love Indian food 🙂

  • Food Frenzy
    Food Frenzy
    February 11, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Looks delicious. It is great seeing the wonderful recipes you share and recognizing them from the foods I have eaten at various Indian restaurants.


  • Prerna@IndianSimmer
    [email protected]
    February 11, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Oh nice! that’s my all time favorite. That chola poori can lift any mood!

  • yummychunklet
    February 11, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Looks tasty! I’m on a kick of trying more Indian foods!

  • natalie
    February 11, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Hi, Kankana! Gorgeous–I have a can of chola in my pantry and was wondering what to do with it. Great minds think alike? 🙂

    (BTW, my college roommate was Bengali–well, she still is Bengali, but is no longer my roommate, since we left school many years ago–and I used to be pretty good conversationally. The only thing I really remember, though, is “Kamon achho?” and “Bhalo.” Not terribly exciting, I know, but still…)

  • Priyanka
    February 11, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Yummy one 🙂

  • Aipi
    February 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    That is one delicious looking drooling all over it 🙂

    US Masala

  • Vimitha Anand
    Vimitha Anand
    February 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    I love Chola puris… Ur recipe is too good.. 🙂

  • FoodTripFriday
    February 11, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. It sure good to learn something new each day.

  • Priya
    February 12, 2011 at 2:40 AM

    Makes me hungry,such a delectable platter..

  • Treat and Trick
    Treat and Trick
    February 12, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Such a healthy and yummy dish! Looks great….

  • lauren
    February 12, 2011 at 5:48 AM

    i might have to forward this to my husband, since he cooks on saturdays…hint, hint!

  • Annie
    February 12, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    Looks delicious and your pictures are beautiful!

  • Kate @
    Kate @
    February 12, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Wow, I think I would love to smell my kitchen after making this… all those spices…mmmmm! Wonderful meal!

  • Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit
    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit
    February 12, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    This sounds so easy and tasty. I could totally make this! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • mjskitchen
    April 5, 2020 at 2:19 PM

    What a beautiful dish and you can just smell the scent of all of those spices jumping right out of your pictures.

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