Chole Masala without Tomato

Learn how to make Chole Masala without Tomato with step-by-step pictures.

Chole masala, a popular North Indian dish, is typically known for its rich and tangy flavors. Traditionally chole masala is made with an onion and tomato-based gravy.  Tomatoes are commonly used as a base ingredient in many North Indian curries to add a tangy flavor. They also help to create a rich and luscious gravy-like consistency.

However, there are situations like dietary restrictions or prices shoot up, and tomatoes need to be omitted. The price of a kilogram of tomato is now retailing at Rs120 to Rs160, as against Rs20 to Rs 40 a fortnight ago.

Worried about the new price? if you’re looking for a tomato-free alternative chole masala, I have an exciting recipe for you. Additionally, I provide helpful tricks to make velvety gravy.

chole masala without tomato

About Chole Masala without Tomato Recipe

This tomato-free chole recipe is as delicious as the authentic chole masala. Heaps of flavor coming from the onions, ginger, garlic, and warming spices make this chole masala curry absolutely perfect!

When preparing a tomato-free chole masala, it is essential to focus on alternative ingredients and cooking techniques that can replicate the tanginess and rich gravy.

One of the key elements that set chole masala apart is the balance of tanginess and sourness. The addition of amchur (dry mango powder) brings a delightful tangy and sour taste.

The easiest way to make tomato less chole masala curry is to use the blending method. Balance the flavors, adjust the spices to your liking, and make the chole masala even more enticing.

To achieve a creamy texture and help thicken the gravy without relying on tomatoes, we will grind a few cooked chole and cook with the spices. This will form the base of the gravy and adds a smooth and velvety texture to the gravy.

Although it is made with a few basic ingredients and without using tomatoes, it rivals any restaurant or take-out.

You can make this masala chole recipe into a dry, semi-dry, or gravy dish; the choice is yours. Also, the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.

There is no recipe like this one on the internet and I urge you to try it just once. I am so confident about this recipe that I can promise you this is going to be the best chole masala without tomatoes you will ever make.

You can make this chole gravy for a potluck, party or to entertain your guests for any celebration.

Reasons to try

Easy to make.

Unique flavor profile.

No fuss chole masala.

Finger licking good.

Perfect for everyday meals.

Vegetarian and Vegan.

Pro Tips

Making a scrumptious chole masala without tomato requires a few helpful tips and tricks.

1. Soak chickpeas properly: To achieve the perfect texture, soak the dried chickpeas for 6-8 hours or overnight.

2. Saute the onions well: finely chop the onions and sauté them until they turn light golden brown. This brings out their natural sweetness and contributes to the depth of flavor.

3. Saute the paste well: This chole curry requires bhunoing (sauteeing) the chole paste. As this warms up, the ingredients flavor it and will enhance the curry’s flavor.

4. Simmer the curry: To allow the flavors to meld together and for the spices to infuse the dish, let your chole masala simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.

5. Adjust the consistency: The gravy thickens as it cools. So make sure to turn off the flame when the gravy is a bit thin.

chole masala recipe without tomatoes

Ingredients

Chickpeas (chole): The main ingredient of the dish. You can use either dried chickpeas or canned as per convenience.

Oil: I use neutral flavor oil.

Onions: Forms the base of the gravy. Increase the quantity of onions in the recipe to compensate for the absence of tomatoes.

Ground Spices: turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and chole masala powder.

Other ingredients: cumin, coriander stems, Kashmiri red chilies or byadgi, kasuri methi, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves, and salt.

 I have even used dried red chilies for the beautiful color of this gravy. If you do not have whole dried chilies go ahead and use the ready-made Kashmiri red chili powder.

How to make Chole Masala without Tomato

1. Thoroughly rinse 1 cup of dried chole under running water to remove any dirt or impurities. Transfer the chole to a large bowl and add enough water to cover them completely. Allow them to soak for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

chole masala without tomato step 16

2. After 8 hours, the chole will absorb water and increase in size.

chole masala without tomato step 17

3. After soaking, drain the water from the chole using a colander or strainer. Transfer the soaked chole to a pressure cooker and add 5-6 Kashmiri red chilies. Close the pressure cooker with the lid and place it on high heat.

Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles or until they are soft. The cooking time may vary depending on the type and quality of the chole.

After the cooking time, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. This will take around 10-15 minutes.

chole masala without tomato step 18

4. Open the pressure cooker carefully once the pressure is released. Check if the chole are cooked to your desired tenderness. They should be soft and easily mashable.

If they are not cooked thoroughly, you can pressure cook them for a few more whistles.

Once the chole are cooked, drain 1/4 cup from the cooking liquid and let them cool down to room temperature.

chole masala without tomato step 19

5. Transfer the cooked and cooled chole to a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1-2 tsp red chili powder, Kashmiri or byadgi red chilies, 1/4 tbsp coriander powder, 1-2 tbsp coriander stems, 2 inch ginger, 6-7 garlic, and salt.

Blend to a smooth texture by adding little water. Keep it aside.

chole masala without tomato step 1

6. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot, 1/2 tsp add cumin and 2 bay leaves. Let them crackle and turn aromatic.

chole masala without tomato step 2

7. Add 3 medium onions finely chopped and saute until they change color to golden brown.

chole masala without tomato step 3

chole masala without tomato step 4

8. Now add the ground chole paste and give a good mix.

chole masala without tomato step 5

9. Cook the paste over medium flame allowing the spices to release their flavors. Stir frequently and cook until the water reduces and oil separates at the sides of the pan.

chole masala without tomato step 6

10. Add 1/2 tbsp chole masala powder and 1 tsp amchur powder. Give a good mix and cook for 30 seconds.

chole masala without tomato step 7

11. Add the cooked chole and stir for 1-2 minutes.

Ensure that the chole are evenly coated with the masala mixture.

chole masala without tomato step 8

chole masala without tomato step 9

12. Add 1.5-2 cups of water and mix well. Turn the flame to high and let the gravy come to a boil.

Taste test and add salt and spice powder, if needed.

chole masala without tomato step 10

13. Turn the flame to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

chole masala without tomato step 11

14. After 15 minutes, the gravy will thicken.

If the gravy is too thick, add water to adjust the consistency.

chole masala without tomato step 12

15. Add 1 tbsp kasuri methi. Give a good mix and continue to simmer the curry for 5 minutes.

Dry roast kasuri methi on low flame and crush before adding to the curry. This step will get rid of the moisture, if any.

chole masala without tomato step 13

16. Turn off the flame and add chopped coriander leaves.

chole masala without tomato step 14

Chole Masala without Tomato is ready. Serve hot or warm with rice or choice of flatbread.

chole masala without tomato step 15

Serving Suggestions

Chole masala can be served as a main course or side dish that pairs wonderfully with various accompaniments, enhancing the overall dining experience. Here are some serving suggestions:

1. Rice: Serve the chole masala alongside steamed plain basmati rice or flavored rice like jeera rice, bagara rice, or mildly spiced veg pulao for a comforting and satisfying meal.

2. Indian bread: Pair the chole masala without tomatoes with a variety of Indian bread – naan, roti, chapati, layered paratha, poori, and bhature.

Storage Suggestions

If you have leftover chole masala curry or if you want to prepare it in advance, proper storage is key to maintaining its freshness and flavor.

Refrigeration: Transfer the chole curry to an airtight container. Make sure the dish has cooled down to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. Chole masala can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.

Reheating: Before serving, reheat the curry in a pan over the stovetop or in the microwave. If the masala appears too thick, you can add a small amount of water to adjust the consistency.

Variations

1. My special chole masala recipe is different because it doesn’t rely heavily on tomatoes, but you can still add a bit if you want more sauce.

2. When cooking chole under pressure, put in some whole spices for taste: 1 inch of cinnamon, 3-4 cloves, and 2 black cardamoms.

3. Add 1 tbsp Ketchup – This is one of the secret ingredients that chefs add to a few North Indian curries. It gives a nice tang and sweetness to the curry.

4. Cheese: Add some grated processed cheese to make the gravy extra rich.

5. You can also experiment with variations by adding vegetables like spinach, and potatoes, or incorporating protein options such as paneer or tofu.

easy to make chole without tomato

More Related Recipes

Punjabi Chole Masala

Soya Kheema Matar

Aloo Gobi Masala

Aloo Gobi Matar Masala

Aloo Matar

If you’ve tried this Easy Chole Masala without Tomato Recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated. Also, please share the recipes with your friends and family members.

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Recipe Card

tomato free chole masala recipe

Chole Masala without Tomato

Author: d6e3f09ae55fe2878b2b1a4c03ff9647?s=30&d=mm&r=gSantosh Allada
Special Chole Masala recipe without tomatoes is one of the easiest chickpeas recipe you can ever make. It is a perfect main course and pairs wonderfully with tandoori roti, naan, roti, poori, bhatura, and even rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Soaking time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine North Indian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Chickpeas (dried chole)
  • 1/4 cup Oil (can reduce the quantity)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 3 medium Onions (finely chopped)
  • 5-6 numbers Kashmiri red chilies
  • 2 inch Ginger
  • 6-7 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1/4 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Chole masala powder
  • 1 tsp Amchur powder (or chat masala powder)
  • 1 tbsp Dried Fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 2-3 tbsp Coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 1.5-2 cups Water
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Thoroughly rinse the chole under running water to remove any dirt or impurities. Transfer the chole to a large bowl and add enough water to cover them completely. Allow them to soak for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.
  • After 8 hours, the chole will absorb water and increase in size.
  • After soaking, drain the water from the chole using a colander or strainer. Transfer the soaked chole to a pressure cooker and add 5-6 Kashmiri red chilies. Close the pressure cooker with the lid and place it on high heat.
  • Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles or until they are soft. The cooking time may vary depending on the type and quality of the chole.
  • After the cooking time, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. This will take around 10-15 minutes.
  • Open the pressure cooker carefully once the pressure is released. Check if the chole are cooked to your desired tenderness. They should be soft and easily mashable.
  • If they are not cooked thoroughly, you can pressure cook them for a few more whistles.
  • Once the chole are cooked, drain 1/4 cup from the cooking liquid and let them cool down to room temperature.
  • Transfer the cooked and cooled chole to a food processor or blender. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, coriander stems, ginger, garlic, and salt.
  • Blend to a smooth texture by adding little water. Keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot, add cumin and bay leaves. Let them crackle and turn aromatic.
  • Add finely chopped onions and saute until they change color to golden brown.
  • Now add the ground chole paste and give a good mix.
  • Cook the paste over medium flame allowing the spices to release their flavors. Stir frequently and cook until the water reduces and oil separates at the sides of the pan.
  • Add chole masala powder and amchur powder. Give a good mix and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the cooked chole without liquid and stir for 1-2 minutes. Ensure that the chole are evenly coated with the masala mixture.
  • Add 1.5-2 cups of water and mix well. Turn the flame to high and let the gravy come to a boil. Taste test and add salt and spice powder, if needed.
  • Turn the flame to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, the gravy will thicken. If the gravy is too thick, add water to adjust the consistency.
  • Add kasuri methi. Give a good mix and continue to simmer the curry for 5 minutes. Dry roast kasuri methi on low flame and crush before adding to the curry. This step will get rid of the moisture, if any.
  • Turn off the flame and add chopped coriander leaves.
  • Chole Masala without Tomato is ready. Serve hot or warm with rice or choice of flatbread.

Notes

Ensure that the chickpeas (chole) are soaked overnight and cooked until tender. They should be soft enough to mash lightly between your fingers. The cooking time can vary depending on the quality and size of the chickpeas.
Chole typically has a tangy flavor. As this recipe is without tomatoes, add amchur powder to achieve the tanginess.
Adjust the quantity of spices according to your preference.
Simmer the curry on low flame for at least 15 minutes or longer if possible. This slow cooking process helps develop the rich and deep flavors.



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