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How To Make Punjabi Chole Masala

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Chole Masala Powder

This chole masala is a must in a good Punjabi Chole curry!

I’ve never been one who likes doing things by halves. If a recipe like Punjabi chole curry calls for a special spice blend like this chole masala powder, I make it. I guess it’s just because I like to experience new flavours and enjoy my time in the kitchen too.

That isn’t for everyone though. I included this chole masala recipe on my blog for those who want to make a good Punjabi chole curry just as it’s made in India. That said, you can cheat. 

I have seen chole masala powder and many Asian grocers and it is generally very good. You could also substitute chaat masala and then just add some dried and ground pomegranate seeds. The pomegranate seeds and the flavour of the black salt, which is in both chaat masala and chole masala are important ingredients. 


Punjabi Chole powder

First roast your cumin and coriander.

chole masala powder

Allow your cumin and coriander to cool and then roast the remaining whole spices.

I should point out that this recipe is very easy. If you have ever tried an authentic Punjabi chole curry, you will want to make this. The ground spice blend will last for at least three months in an air-tight container and will most certainly have a better flavour than anything you can buy off the shelf.

Punjabi masala powder

Once your spices are roasted and ground, add the remaining ingredients. Perfect in a Punjabi chole curry!

Yield: 1 cup

How To Make Punjabi Chole Masala

Chole Masala Powder
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried pomegranate seeds
  • 12 dried red chillies – seeds remove if you don’t want it too spicy
  • ½ teaspoon ajwain
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Seeds from 2 black cardamom pods or 4 green cardamom pods
  • 3 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 x 10cm (4 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp dried mango powder (amchoor)
  • ½ teaspoon dried ginger powder (soonth)
  • 1 tsp dried garlic powder


  1. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and toast the cumin
    seeds and coriander seeds together until warm to the touch and fragrant but not
    yet smoking. This should only take a couple of minutes.
  2. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Now add the dried pomegranate
    seeds, dried chillies, ajwain, fenugreek seeds, cardamom seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves to the pan and toast lightly for about aminute but again, not yet smoking.
  3. Transfer to the pan with the cumin and coriander. Once
    cooled, place in a spice grinder with the remaining ingredients and grind to a fine powder. Store in an air-tight container and use as required.

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I hope you get a chance to make this authentic Punjabi masala powder and use it in a good chole curry. Although this spice blend is made specifically for that curry, there really isn’t any reason you couldn’t try it out in others. 

If you enjoyed this chole masala recipe, please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you. 


Sunday 8th of November 2020

Thanks! Quick question, though: recipe calls for fenugreek leaves to be toasted with the whole spices, and the picture looks like fenugreek seeds, which makes more sense. Is it supposed to be seeds? Or maybe leaves are supposed to be added with powders??

Dan Toombs

Monday 9th of November 2020

Hi You are correct so thank you for noticing, I will change the recipe now. It should be fenugreek seeds. Kind regards Dan

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