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Quick Punjabi Breakfast Chole

A simple way to make this desi chickpea curry with a depth of slow cooked flavour in under 30 minutes. Great for weekend brunch with some puri or for a quick weeknight dinner with some parathas or rice.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: pakistani
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4


  • 1 can chickpeas (approx. 340g)
  • 1 tea bag (orange pekoe or black tea is best)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 green chilli diced
  • cup crushed tomatoes (either from a can, or 2-3 fresh tomatoes blended till smooth)
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped for garnish

Base spices

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole cumin / jeera
  • ½ tsp kasuri methi

Curry Spices

  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp aamchur
  • ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)

Tempering Spices

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 whole dried red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder (optional)


Prepare the Chickpeas

  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas well.
  • In a large saucepan, add the chickpeas, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 tea bag and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium low for 15 minutes till the chickpeas are tender. Set aside.

Prepare the Curry

  • Meanwhile, chop the onion, green chilli and prepare the spice mixes in separate bowls so you have them ready to go.
  • In a large non-stick wok or saucepan, start to heat 2 tbsp oil. Add the base spices and allow to fry for 1-2 minutes till starting to sputter.
  • Add the diced onions and cook on medium until the onions start to turn golden brown. About 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the minced ginger, garlic and diced green chilli. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the curry spice mix and allow the spices to roast and get fragrant for about 1 minute.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and cook on medium low, stirring often, until some of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated and the oil starts to to separate on top of the curry mixture.
  • By this time the chickpeas should be softened. Remove the tea bag from the chickpeas and add the chickpeas with their boiling water into the tomato mixture.
  • Stir and bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. You can also add more water if you like. Or allow to boil for longer to evaporate the liquid for a dryer curry.


  • Just before serving, in a small frying pan heat 3 tbsp oil and add the tempering spice mix.
  • Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices are sputtering and become fragrant and pour this oil with the spices over the hot curry.
  • Serve immediately with some puri, paratha or rice. Enjoy!