Quick Pindi Chana

June 29, 2015

Pindi Chana epitomises all that is so wonderful about authentic Indian restaurant-style dishes from the North West frontier region of the country. This dish of sauteed chickpeas is actually called Rawalpindi Chana, often shortened for ease. Hailing from Rawalpindi in Pakistan Pindi Chana is traditionally served with a delicious puffy deep fried flatbread called Bhatura, it has a sublime taste that is the end result of a seemingly endless list of ingredients. Oh and the chickpeas need to be soaked overnight in tea liquor for that characteristic deep and rich colour.

There’s not much solace I can offer about the ingredients list, but my recipe for Pindi Chana uses a tin of chickpeas and takes 30 minutes to cook. On the upside, you better stock up on these spices because the first time you make this definitely won’t be the last.


Pindi choley


  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • Half tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp anardana powder (pomegranate)
  • Half tsp garam masala
  • Half tsp amchur (mango powder)
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 tea bags (builders tea!)
  • 1 tin chick peas
  • Drop of black colouring (optional)
  • Pinch of sodium bicarbonate
  • Whole spices – 1 bay leaf, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste




Make a strong cup of black tea with the tea bags. Rinse and wash the chick peas then place them in a mixing bowl with the tea liquor and the sodium bicarbonate.

While they are soaking, roast the cumin and coriander seeds with the anardana powder lightly for about 20 seconds on a low heat. Then take off the heat and let cool.

Peel the ginger, garlic and puree to a smooth paste along with a couple of teaspoons of the tea with the roasted spices. When you’re paste is ready, deseed and julenne slice into strips the green chilli. You may want to reserve some of the ginger to julienne too for later.

Now, bring a wok or kadai to medium heat with the oil. When it’s hot, drop in the whole spices. As they sizzle up, spoon in the spice paste. Cook this for a minute, then add the chilli powder, the green chilli strips and the chick peas with the tea. Cook this on medium for 20 minutes until the water evaporates.

Finish by stirring through salt to your taste, the garam masala powder and the amchur. If you want to deepen the shade of brown on your pindi chana, you can add a drop of black colouring but it’s not compulsory.



5 Responses to “Quick Pindi Chana”

  1. Mallika Says:

    September 17th, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks so much for letting me know Shrishti, will do xx

  2. Shrishti Says:

    September 12th, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I tried this recipe and it came out just awesome. Keep posting new ones :)

  3. faeri Says:

    July 22nd, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    can i use a can of kala chana for this or does is the tea necessary for this recipe

  4. Mallika Says:

    July 22nd, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Excellent x

  5. ann Says:

    June 30th, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Sounds good……I have everything except the anardana powder and that will be rectified very soon.
    Thank you.

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