Daily Archives: June 20, 2020

Chole – (Chickpeas in a creamy tomato curry)

Chole (pronouced Cho-lay) is a popular vegetarian dish in India usually served with rice or paratha. It is easy to make and can be ready very quickly if you use canned chick peas, making it ideal for a fast weeknight meal. Sometimes, I’ll add chopped spinach leaves to make it a true one-pot meal. This recipe is not from any particular tradition but one that I have developed over the years to my own taste.


  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chickpeas in a spice tomato gravy(curry)

Garam Masala is a blend of warming spices like cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and black pepper that can be made fresh at home or bought at any Indian grocer. I often find it in the International aisle of many supermarkets also.


  • 4 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 15.5 oz can chick peas, drained
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 Cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)


1. In a large sauce pan, heat the canola oil with the cinnamon stick on medium heat.

  1. When the cinnamon starts to sizzle, add the chopped onion and stir until it softens.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and salt and stir to combine and cook for 1 minute until the spices are fragrant.
  3. Add the garlic & ginger and stir and cook for one more minute
  4. Add the tomato paste and combine thoroughly with the onion & spices. Continue to cook until tomato paste starts turning brown from caramelization.
  5. Add 1 Cup water and stir.
  6. At this point, add the spinach if using and cover to cook until just wilted (about 2 mins).
  7. Add chick peas and stir to heat through.
  8. Finish with garam masala & cilantro, if adding stirring to combine
  9. Serve over hot basmati rice or with paratha, roti, or naan. I also like chole with a good baguette.

As many of my friends turn to vegetarian or vegan options, Indian food becomes the perfect choice with its many ways to cook vegetables and legumes. Chickpeas, when combined with a starch like rice or bread, form a complete protein, thus providing a nutritious alternative to meat. I hope you will try this recipe at home and enjoy it as much as we do.

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