Meatless Monday: Indian Chole Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Happy “Meatless Monday!”

Indian Chole Masala

Chickpeas are one of my favorite ingredients.  There are so many things you can do with this humble (and cheap!) ingredient, that I always have a stash on hand.

As I’m still not feeling all that well, I’m going to keep this post short.

Piyush was going to pick up Subway for dinner tonight after he finished golfing; but the more I thought about it, the less I wanted a sandwich.  I was craving vegetarian…and I wanted something filling.  I also didn’t want to spend much time cooking; because–let’s face it–I’m exhausted.

This recipe takes about a half hour from start to finish, but tastes like it simmered all day long.  The flavor is outstanding.

Using ingredients I had on hand (unfortunately this means no coriander leaves, I used mint instead!), I decided to make chole masala–otherwise known as chickpea curry.

Chole Masala

Because I had some produce from my garden that needed to be used,

Tomato from my garden

I also made a quick cucumber relish to garnish and stir into the masala.  It was simply some chopped onion, cucumber, tomato, salt and lime juice.  Easy.

Chole (chickpea) Masala Recipe

Serves 4

This dish cooks quickly–in less than half hour–but tastes like it simmered on the stove-top all day long.

  • 2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)- drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. oil (or ghee)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion- diced finely
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger- minced
  • 3 chilies- slit (I used thai chilies)
  • 3 medium tomatoes- diced (I used 2 roma and 1 small heirloom)
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • chili powder- to taste (I left this out)
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala (substitute chole masala–available at Indian grocers or online)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp. chaat masala (optional)
  • salt- to taste
  • pepper- to taste
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat.  Add the cumin seeds.  Once the seeds begin to pop and crackle, add the onions and the slit chilies to the pot. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the turmeric, ginger, coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala (or chole masala) and bay leaf.  Stir often and be sure the spices don’t burn.  Cook until the onions turn translucent and become soft.
  • Once the onions are cooked, add the diced tomatoes.  Continue cooking until the tomatoes break down.  Add a little water if the mixture seems dry (I added about 1/2 cup of water).
  • Once the tomatoes have broken down, add the chickpeas.  Stir until everything is well combined; and cook until the gravy becomes thick.  About 10 minutes.
  • Add fenugreek and chaat masala (if using); and check seasoning.  Add salt and pepper as necessary. Let the mixture cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • Serve garnished with cucumber, fresh ginger, diced tomato, raw onion and mint or coriander (cilantro) leaves.

My Dinner! Chole Masala (chickpea curry) with Tomato and Cucumber “Relish”

 By the way…how awesome is the copper/brass/stainless steel dish I put the curry in?!  I found it at the thrift shop (along with a few others) a couple weeks ago.  They were all in perfect condition, and cost me a whole $4.00.


Easy and Fast Chole Masala


9 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Indian Chole Masala (Chickpea Curry)

    1. Shari Post author

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

      Chickpeas are definitely a power-food! They’re also a wonderful meat alternative! 🙂

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