Quick Recipes and Easy

Cooking Cholley

Cooking Cholley

Chickpeas don’t sound too exciting, do they? Perhaps you have never tried them, because there is certainly something attractive about this staple legume when cooked well. Featuring chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, and glorious spices, cholley is one of the more straightforward Northern Indian dishes to cook, you won’t be disappointed by its taste.

Cholley, sometimes referred to as chickpeas, chana, or channa, is a well loved and versatile dish cooked commonly in Northern India and the Punjab region. You’ll often find it served for breakfast with parathas, but it won’t be limited to the first meal of the day, being a favourite at dinner parties, picnics, wedding receptions and so on. Cholley works well with a range of accompaniments, including samosas, puri, roti, naan, rice and bhatura.


1 tablespoon of oil;
1 clove of garlic;
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds;
1 sliced onion;
2 chopped tomatoes (medium size);
1 tablespoon of chana masala (chickpea spices);
fresh coriander (as a garnish);
500ml of water for cooking;
500ml of water for soaking chickpeas overnight;
250gm chickpeas; and
salt (to taste).

To prepare the cholley dish, commence by washing then soaking the chickpeas overnight in water, allowing them to soften somewhat. Once 12 hours have elapsed, 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.

Subsequently, heat the oil in a thick-based pan. Add the coriander seeds, cooking them briefly until they crackle. Quickly add the onions, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the onions are transparent. Add chana masala, tomato and salt and cook for one minute before adding the boiled chickpeas. You can now reduce the heat, and allow the cholley to simmer for around 15 minutes. You will want to check that the gravy has thickened before removing from the heat. Once done, place the cholley in a serving bowl, add your coriander garnish and serve with samosas, rice or bread.

Laliey trained as a chef in India before moving to Australia to study. You can find more of Laliey’s recipes, along with cooking demonstrations and tips, online at Laliey’s Cooking With Gusto! Ezine ( cooking.with.g.us.to cooking.with.g.us.to).

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