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Chana masala.jpg
Category: Chickpea recipes
Time: soak: 12 hours
prep: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Cholley, also chole, choley, cholay, white cholay, chana masala, is a popular and versatile Indian and Pakistani chickpea dish, that is sometimes referred to as chana or channa. It is commonly cooked in Northern India (especially Punjab) and Pakistan for breakfast, but is not limited to the first meal of the day, being regularly found at dinner parties, picnics, wedding receptions and other special events. Cholley features chickpeas, onions, tomatoes and spices, with variations including additions of potato (alu). This dish works well with a range of accompaniments including samosas, puri, roti, naan, rice and bhatura.

See also: Masaledaar chole



  1. 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 (10 minutes at 15psi in a pressure cooker).
  2. Subsequently, heat the oil in a thick-based pan. Add the coriander seeds, and optionally the cumin and nigella seeds, cooking them briefly until they crackle. Quickly add the onions, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté until the onions are transparent. Add garam masala, tomato and salt and cook for one minute before adding the boiled chickpeas.
  3. Reduce the heat, and allow the cholley to simmer for around 15 minutes. Check that the gravy has thickened before removing from the heat.
  4. Once done, place the cholley in a serving bowl, add your coriander garnish and serve with samosas, rice or bread.

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