Amritsari Chole Recipe - Authentic Vegetarian Dish from Punjab

Amritsari Chole

Amritsari Chole Recipe - Authentic Vegetarian Dish from Punjab
Region / culture: Punjab | Preparation time: overnight | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Amritsari Chole
Amritsari Chole

Amritsari Chole is a popular North Indian dish known for its rich aroma, spicy taste, and deep flavors. Originating from the city of Amritsar in Punjab, this dish is a staple in Punjabi cuisine and is loved by people all over India and beyond. Made with chickpeas (chole) and a blend of exotic spices, this recipe is not just a treat to the taste buds but also a journey into the heart of Punjabi culinary traditions.


The history of Amritsari Chole dates back to several centuries in the Punjab region, where it was initially prepared as a hearty meal for farmers. Over time, it became a symbol of Punjabi hospitality and was popularized as a street food in Amritsar. The unique addition of tea leaves to the boiling process, giving the chickpeas a distinctive dark color, is a hallmark of this dish that sets it apart from other chickpea recipes.


Boiling Instructions

Dry Spices (Masala) Instructions

How to prepare

  1. Soak chickpeas (chole) in water overnight.
  2. Take a pressure cooker (or use a normal vessel for boiling) and add chickpeas, tea bag, salt, and black cardamom. Add plenty of water and boil for 10 minutes in the pressure cooker (or 30 minutes in a normal vessel). Do not overcook, as it will become starchy.
  3. After cooking, discard the tea bag.
  4. On a tava or frypan, roast all the dry spices and grind them into a rough powder. Set aside.
  5. In a separate pan, heat oil and add bay leaves. Fry the onions until golden brown.
  6. Add garam masala and tomatoes, and fry. Then add all the cooked chickpeas (keeping the water separately) to the pan and mix well for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the dry spice powder that was roasted earlier.
  8. Add the water in which the chickpeas were boiled.
  9. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. If the curry looks too thick, add some water.
  11. Mash some of the chickpeas with a spatula to give the curry a thick consistency, similar to thick cream.
  12. Garnish with chopped coriander and green chili halves.
  13. Red onions soaked in vinegar are an excellent accompaniment with chickpeas.
  14. Serve with rice or bhature.


  • 1. Vegan Amritsari Chole: Substitute ghee with vegetable oil to make it vegan-friendly.
  • 2. Low-fat Amritsari Chole: Reduce the amount of ghee or oil used for a lower fat version.
  • 3. Spicy Amritsari Chole: Increase the amount of green chilies and red chili powder for a spicier kick.


  1. The chole which you eat in the shops have slightly blackish colour.
  2. This can be achieved in many ways at home.
  3. While boiling the choles add teabags ( 1 or 2 ) to add the slightly black colour.
  4. Add 2 -3 drops of soy sauce while you finished the cooking( DO NOT add more than this otherwise the taste will be overshadowed with soy sauce flavour)
  5. While Preparing the dry masala, Roast them till they start getting burnt and turn black.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

1. Soaking the chickpeas overnight will significantly reduce cooking time and enhance their flavor.

2. Using a tea bag while boiling chickpeas not only imparts a unique color but also adds a subtle flavor.

3. Roasting the spices before grinding them releases their essential oils, making the dish more aromatic.

4. Mashing some of the chickpeas will naturally thicken the curry without the need for additional thickening agents.

Serving Suggestions

Amritsari Chole is traditionally served with bhature (a puffed bread made from white flour) or rice. It can also be enjoyed with naan, roti, or paratha for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques involved in making Amritsari Chole include soaking, boiling, roasting spices, and simmering, each contributing to the texture and flavor of the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

1. Tea bag: If unavailable, use black tea leaves tied in a muslin cloth.

2. Garam masala: Can be replaced with curry powder if garam masala is not available.

3. Ghee: Can be substituted with any vegetable oil for a vegan version.

Make Ahead Tips

Amritsari Chole can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, enhancing its flavors as it sits. Reheat before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Amritsari Chole in a clay pot or a deep bowl, garnished with fresh coriander, slices of ginger, and a wedge of lemon for a rustic and appealing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Amritsari Chole with a side of cucumber raita, pickled onions, and a refreshing mint chutney for a balanced and flavorful meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the leftover Amritsari Chole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water if the curry has thickened too much.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Amritsari Chole contains approximately 250-300 calories, making it a nutritious and filling meal option.


A serving of Amritsari Chole is rich in carbohydrates, primarily from chickpeas, making it an excellent source of energy. Chickpeas contain complex carbohydrates, which are digested slowly, ensuring a steady release of energy.


The ghee used in the recipe contributes to the fat content, providing a rich flavor and aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. However, the overall fat content can be controlled by adjusting the amount of ghee according to dietary preferences.


Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, making Amritsari Chole a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is packed with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, thanks to the chickpeas and the variety of spices used.


The primary allergen present in this recipe is ghee (clarified butter), which is a dairy product. Those with a dairy allergy can substitute it with oil to make the dish dairy-free.


Amritsari Chole is a balanced dish, providing a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a wholesome meal that supports overall health.


Amritsari Chole is a flavorful, nutritious, and versatile dish that embodies the rich culinary heritage of Punjab. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe offers a delightful experience with its aromatic spices, hearty chickpeas, and the warmth of traditional Indian cooking.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time is still fresh in my mind. It was many years ago, when I was a young girl living in the bustling city of Amritsar. My love for cooking had already begun to blossom, and I was always on the lookout for new recipes to try out in the kitchen.

One day, as I was wandering through the crowded streets of the city, I stumbled upon a small, hidden market that was filled with all sorts of exotic spices and ingredients. Curiosity getting the best of me, I decided to venture into the market and see what treasures I could find.

As I browsed through the various stalls, I came across a kind old man who was selling a wide array of dried beans and lentils. Intrigued, I struck up a conversation with him and asked if he had any special recipes to share. With a twinkle in his eye, he told me about a traditional dish called Amritsari Chole that was a beloved staple in many Punjabi households.

He explained that the key to making the perfect Amritsari Chole lay in the unique blend of spices and the slow cooking process that allowed the flavors to meld together perfectly. Eager to learn more, I asked if he would be willing to share the recipe with me.

To my delight, the old man agreed and began to recite the ingredients and instructions for making the dish. I listened intently, taking mental notes of each step and committing the recipe to memory. As he finished, he handed me a small piece of paper with the recipe written out in his own handwriting.

Grateful for his generosity, I thanked the old man profusely and left the market with a newfound sense of excitement. I couldn't wait to try out the recipe for Amritsari Chole and see if I could recreate the flavors that had captivated me so.

Back at home, I wasted no time in gathering the necessary ingredients and setting to work in the kitchen. I followed the recipe to the letter, carefully measuring out the spices and simmering the chickpeas until they were tender and fragrant.

As the dish cooked, the aroma of the spices filled the air, wafting through the house and making my mouth water in anticipation. Finally, after hours of simmering and stirring, the Amritsari Chole was ready.

I took a small taste, and my taste buds were greeted with a burst of flavor that was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. The spices were perfectly balanced, the chickpeas were tender and creamy, and the dish as a whole was a symphony of deliciousness.

From that moment on, Amritsari Chole became a regular fixture on our family's dinner table. I would often make it for special occasions and family gatherings, delighting in the compliments and praise that it garnered.

As the years passed, I continued to refine and perfect the recipe, adding my own twists and tweaks to make it truly my own. But the memory of that first time discovering the recipe for Amritsari Chole will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a moment of culinary revelation that sparked a lifelong love affair with cooking and sharing delicious meals with the ones I love.


| Amchoor Recipes | Chickpea Recipes | Chile Pepper Recipes | Curry Recipes | Garam Masala Recipes | Punjabi Recipes | Punjabi Vegetarian | Tomato Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients