Amritsari Punjabi Chole – No Onion No Garlic Recipe

Amritsari Punjabi Chole Bhature Chickpea Recipe Enhance Your Palate

Instant pot version of Amritsari Punjabi Chole recipe without onion, garlic and tea bags, but still the same authentic flavors and deep brown color derived from 18 different spices used. A very unique and delicate balance of spices with four recipe enhancements to create a perfect aroma to entice everybody and please your palate. This recipe can also be vegan, if we do not add paneer cubes at the end or substitute with extra firm Tofu. The authentic Amritsari Punjabi Chole recipe requires onion and garlic, however several people do not use onion or garlic in their meal preparations. Therefore, I am sharing my take on onion and garlic free version of this most popular Amritsari Punjabi Chole recipe.

A very unique and delicate balance of spices to create a perfect aroma to entice and please your palate.

Chole Bhature – The Heavenly Combination

Chole Bhature, just the thought of this combination is heavenly.  This popular combination comes from the region of Punjab, North India. Chole or Chole Masala is the hindi name for the popular Indian chickpea recipe with tangy curry simmered in lots of spices, green chilli, ginger, onion tomatoes. Bhature is leavened deep fried Puri. One just can’t resist a hot serving of chole with puffy bhature.

Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)

Note: Photoprop details are at the bottom of this post. 

Global Popularity of Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans

While growing up in India, I thought chickpeas or chole can be used only for this Amritsari Punjabi chole recipe. However, since I started traveling abroad, I realized the popularity of chickpeas or garbanzo beans as a key ingredient in different cuisines . Chickpeas or garbanzo beans were originally cultivated in Mediterranean region, and has spread all over the world due to its culinary versatility. Garbanzo beans is one of the healthiest foods full of good carbs, healthy protein and fiber. It has low GI making it an ideal and gratifying option for the people who are suffering with blood sugar problem.

How to Soak and Cook Dried Chickpeas?

Chickpeas are available all year round in grocery stores in dried beans version or boiled canned version. When cooking the dry beans, it is important to separate debris or foreign objects before use. The beans need to be soaked at least 6-8 hours in cold water before cooking to obtain the right texture of the beans. If you are in hurry or lack enough time, you can also soak in hot water for 4 -5 hrs. Keep changing the hot water as the water cools down to maintain the temperature. After soaking, discard the soaked water and cook in fresh water in a pressure cooker.

Ancient Ayurvedic Spices

Cooking with incredible list of ancient Ayurvedic spices, like ginger, cumin, carom, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardomoms, cloves, black pepper, dry annardana, turmeric, and tamarind further supplements the health benefits. These spices are excellent sources of potassium, and calcium with powerful anti-inflammatory properties while aiding easy digestion.

Amritsari Punjabi Chole Enahance Your Palate

Enhancements to Authentic Punjabi Chole Recipe

Those who follow my recipes know that I always try to enhance my recipes to make them more healthy, flavorful and unique. In this recipe you will find some key modifications compared to the authentic recipe, which I have developed over the years with many experiments and trials.

  • First and most shift is that you don’t need to use tea leaves or tea bags to bring out the dark tone or hue of chole. I use a healthy ingredient ‘dry amala (gooseberry) slices‘ which also increase the iron content of overall dish.
  • Second, have you ever cooked Punjabi chole in mustard oil? Try it next time when you cook, it enhances the flavor of overall dish so much.
  • Third, adding a boiled mashed potato in the gravy is totally a game changer. It helps in thickens the gravy and brings the dish to another level.
  • Fourth, addition of roasted and ground cumin seeds, cardomom seeds, dry amla powder, while using tamarind pulp instead amchur powder brings out much more flavor of these dark toned Amritsari Punjabi chole.

Last but not least don’t forget to add few paneer cubes towards the end of cooking process. So, are you excited and ready try my version of onion,garlic -free Amritsari Punjabi chole? Let’s go!!

Punjabi Chole Ingredients:

Amritsari Punjabi Chole Enhance Your Palate

From Pantry:

  • Chickpeas – boiled and some mashed 2 cups dry
  • Tomatoes – 10 tomatoes puree ~ 4 cups puree – 1 kg
  • Potato – boiled mashed 1 medium 200 gm
  • Paneer – small cubes
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece 20 grms julienned
    Greenchilies –  3-4 slit (as per spice level)
  • Cilantro


Punjabi Chole Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Put soaked (read general guidelines in the text above for soaking)  and washed chickpeas in pressure cooker with 2.5 times water for dry chickpeas quantity. Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)I started with Instant Pot, but now I use the Mealthy Multi-pot.
  2. Add 2 tbsp dry amla as well.
  3. For Masala Bag, take all the ingredients from the masala bag group and crush them in mortar and pastel. Put them in a spice bag or make a potli using cheese cloth.
    Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic) Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic) Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  4. You can use either conventional pressure cooker, electric pressure cooker or Instant Pots. which are more common these days. If using instant pot, pressure cook on High for 25 minutes. NR (Natural Release) after 25 minutes are over. Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  5. TIP: To save time, I have prepared the masala simultaneously on cooktop in a pan while chickpease are getting pressure cooked.
  6. Heat oil in a pan.  In the pictures below. I am using a Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 14-1/4-Inch Wok with Glass Lid.Amritsari Punjabi Chole Enhance Your Palate
  7. Add hing, cumin seeds, ajwain and bay leaves.
    Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic) Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  8. Crush annardana in a mortel and pastel and add to hot oil.
    Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic) Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  9. Sauté them for few seconds. Now add jullien ginger and chilies. Sauté for a minute.
    Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic) Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic) Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  10. Add tomato puree and mix well.
    Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic) Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  11.  Covered and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. At the end it should look like second picture below.
  12. When you achive that consistency (like second picture), then add all the spices and mix well.Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  13. Add boiled and mashed potato Mix well, and cook for 5 minutes.Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  14. Add cooked chickpeas mix well. Add some water if needed. Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  15. Add tamarind pulp. Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  16. Add paneer cubes and cover to simmer for 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)
  17. As an option, you can also crush some kasoori methi in your palms and sprinkle. I did not do in this recipe.
  18. Amritsari chole are ready. Serve with any of your flatbread and enjoy.
Amritsari Punjabi Chole (No Onion-Garlic)

For condiments, some people prefer spiced green chillies. However, I like to have these with sweet and sour green mango launji. Both of these are shown in the picture below. 

Hope you are motivated to try this recipe. Please leave comment on how your friends and family liked it. Stay Enhanced!

“For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.” 

― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader

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Recommended Bhature Recipe:

I do not have my own Bhature recipe published yet. Hence, meanwhile, I would recommend using CookingShooking Bhature recipe. Making soft puffy bhatures is no easy ask and I have had my struggles with it. This is the recipe with which I have had the most success.

Other Chickpea or Chole recipe on EYP: