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Chole Paneer Recipe

Written by on June 7, 2023

Chole paneer is a spicy and delicious Punjabi curry made with Indian cottage cheese a.k.a. paneer, white chickpeas, aromatics, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Make this filling and healthy curry and serve with phulka, paratha, rice, jeera rice or tandoori roti for a satisfying meal.

chole paneer served in a black bowl

For Cooking Chickpeas
  • 1 cup dried white chickpeas – 200 grams
  • enough water– for soaking chickpeas
  • 3 cups water – for pressure cooking chickpeas
  • 2 small tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 2 inches cinnamon
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 dried Indian gooseberries (amla) or 1 black tea bag (optional)
For Gravy
  • 2 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions or 1 medium-sized
  • ¾ cup chopped tomatoes 2 medium to large
  • 100 to 150 grams Paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
  • 2 to 3 green chillies – slit
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  •  1teaspoon amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • ½ teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water or add as required
  • salt as required
For Garnish
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • ½ inch ginger – julienne
 Cooking Chickpeas
  • Rinse 1 cup of dried white chickpeas in fresh water a couple of times.
  • Soak the dried white chickpeas in enough water overnight or for 7 to 8 hours. Later drain all the water and rinse the soaked chickpeas in water and set aside.
  • Take the chickpeas along with the salt, black cardamoms, cinnamon, dried amla pieces (substitute one black tea bag in place of amla), tej patta and ginger paste in the stovetop pressure cooker. Add 3 cups water and stir.
  • Cover tightly with the lid and pressure cook the chickpeas for 10 to 12 whistles or 12 to 15 minutes on medium to medium-high heat.
  • Let the pressure fall completely in the cooker on its own and then only open the lid.
  • The chickpeas should be cooked well. There should not be any bite in the chickpeas. They should have a soft melt-in-the-mouth texture.
  • Discard the softened amla pieces or tea bag and keep the cooked chickpeas along with the stock aside.
Sautéing Onions, Tomatoes And Spices
  • In another pan or kadai, heat the oil and add the chopped onions.
  • Stir and saute on low to medium heat stirring often, till the onions are translucent or light golden.
  • Then add ginger-garlic paste. Stir and sauté for a few seconds or till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • Add chopped tomatoes. Stir the tomatoes. Sauté the tomatoes, till they soften and become mushy.
  • Add the spice powders – coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and turmeric powder.
  • Stir and saute for a minute.
Making Chole Paneer
  • Add the cooked chickpeas along with its spices. Stir well.
  • Then add 2 or 3 slit green chillies. Stir.
  • Add 1 cup of the stock or stock+water.
  • Season with salt as required. Do keep in mind, that 1 teaspoon of salt was added to the stock.
  • On a medium heat, bring the gravy to a simmer.
  • The gravy should thicken slightly. Mash a few chickpeas with the back of the spoon. This helps in thickening the gravy.
  • Now add paneer cubes, crushed kasuri methi and amchur powder. Dry mango powder or amchur can be added according to one’s taste.
  • Stir and switch off the heat. Otherwise the paneer can become hard or chewy.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves and some ginger julienne. You can also garnish with coriander leaves and ginger julienne instead of adding them.
  • Stir finally and serve the paneer chole with roti, poori, parathas or naan. Also, serve some onion slices and lemon wedges as a side accompaniment.
  • Store any leftovers in a covered container for 1 day in the refrigerator.

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