Make The Best Pindi Chana With Chef Kunal Kapur’s Secrets

Pindi Chole or Pindi Chana is a dish straight from the heart of North India. Originating in Rawalpindi, This popular variation on chole masala may seem similar but has some subtle differences in terms of colour and texture from the original. For example, chole masala has a thick gravy whereas Pindi Chana is drier. Its dark colour comes from the use of tea leaves during the cooking process which imparts a unique colour and flavour. 

Celeb Chef Kunal Kapur has always championed traditional Indian flavours and although he’s served his creations all over the world, this revered Indian Chef, restauranteur and media personality is happy to share his secrets. Below is his recipe for Pindi Chana, so you can enjoy an authentic meal from the comfort of your home.



  • 2 cups Kabuli chana (small size)
  • 6 cups Water
  • 3-4 slices Amla (dried)
  • 1½ tbsp Tea Leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1½ tsp Baking Soda

Chole Masala

  • 3-4 Dry red chillies
  • 1-2 Bayleaf
  • 6 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp Cumin
  • 10-12 Peppercorns
  • 7-8 nos Cloves
  • 7-8 nos Cardamom
  • A piece of Mace
  • 3 1-inch Cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ Nutmeg
  • 3 nos Black cardamom
  • 2 tsp Ajwain
  • 2 tbsp Kasoori methi (dried)
  • 4 tbsp Anardana Powder
  • 2½ tbsp Amchur powder

Wet Masala

  • ½ cup Oil
  • ½ tsp Heeng (asafoetida)
  • 2 tsp Garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger chopped
  • 2 slit green chillies
  • ½ cup Onion chopped
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • ¾ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp Chole Masala
  • ¾ cup Tomatoes (freshly pureed)
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Salt to taste
  • 2tbsp Tamarind Water
  • Water

Tempering (Tadka)

  • 1 tbsp Desi Ghee
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder


  • Boiled Potato diced
  • Paneer Cubes
  • Pickled Chilli
  • Onion Rings


Chole Masala

  • Dry roast all the spices and grind them into a powder and mix them together.

Prepping the Chickpeas

  • Soak the chole overnight. Drain water and add fresh water (6 cups) and place them in a pressure cooker. 
  • Separately, boil tea leaves in 2 cups of water for 2 mins, strain and add the tea water to the pressure cooker along with salt, baking soda and a few dried amla slices. 
  • Allow to cook for 6-7 whistle on medium flame. 
  • Once done remove from heat and keep aside.

Wet Masala

  • Heat oil in an iron kadai, add heeng and then add onion and brown them. 
  • Add ginger, garlic and chillies. Add turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder. Now add chole masala and cook it. 
  • Once the masala leaves oil add in the boiled chole. Cook them without much water till they leaves the oil. 
  • Press them gently to mash some of them to make them thick. 
  • Add amchur and a dash of tamarind water, salt, black salt and water. 
  • Now let it boil and thicken up the chickpea stew.
  • Check and adjust the seasoning, add diced potato, paneer and chopped coriander.


  • Separately heat ghee and add chilli powder, now add it to the chole and serve them hot.