Masaledar Chholay

A famous Punjabi preparation of chickpeas in a spicy tomato gravy


Adapted from How To Cook Indian by Sanjeev Kapoor

Two eternal favorites of  Punjabi home cooking are masaledar chholay and rajma (spiced red kidney beans). When I was a child, we had them in our house at least once a week. This dish is always a good choice for Sunday lunch. Serve it with steamed rice, raita,  garlic naan, and salad.


2-inch piece ginger, peeled
8 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped or smashed
2 small, thin green chilies, stemmed
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 red onions, finely chopped, toasted, ground
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon red chile powder
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
Salt to taste
2  1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (canned is fine)
Chopped cilantro (optional garnish)


Put the garlic ginger, garlic and green chiles in a spice grinder, and grind to a paste.

Place a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and dry-roast for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Cool and grind to a powder in a spice grinder.

Heat oil in medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring, until nicely browned, about 4 - 5 minutes. Add ginger-garlic-chili paste and sauté for 2 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, chili powder and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until the oil comes to the top.

Add tomatoes and salt. Cook, stirring, 8 minutes or until oil rises to top..  Add chickpeas and sauté for  2 minutes. Add the water and simmer 10 minutes.

Serve garnished with cilantro if desired; serve hot.


Yield: Makes 4 servings

Recipes: Vegetarian, Chickpeas, Indian Style, Parve, Kosher

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