Chole: Indian-Spiced Chickpeas

Chole: Indian-Spiced Chickpeas | Food & Nutrition | Stone Soup
Photo by Sarah Pflugradt, MS, RDN

This chole (cho-lay) recipe is another amazing suggestion from my neighbor and I hope they just keep coming. She sent me a text with a name (chole) and a list of ingredients – onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chickpeas, cloves, turmeric, cumin… it was the perfect text. I knew I had to figure it out on my own. I love recipe development – it’s the best part of my day!

I did a little research on this dish and it’s traditionally served alone without any rice, but I love the addition of rice. You could also serve this with naan or just eat it plain.

The dish itself is super simple and comes together quickly, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dish. It’s the spices though – those spices just turn tomatoes and chickpeas into this delicious and warm meal that you are going to wish you made double. Actually I suggest it, make double. This will give you four portions if you pair it with rice, but only two to three if you don’t. So, your choice.

Let’s talk for a second about the stunning nutrition right here. I really only have a handful of vegan main dishes that I rave about and let me tell you, there is nothing else needed with this one. It really is the good of the good stuff – it’s official (as if it wasn’t before), I’m in love with Indian food!

My two big nutrition winners in this dish are the antioxidant power of the onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric and the fiber from the chickpeas.

If you are not accustomed to eating beans, I would probably split this into four servings. You never know how your body will react to you exponentially increasing your intake of beans. They are so good for you, but our bodies do unpleasant things when consuming larger than normal portions of food, even healthy foods. And I know there are some of you out there who don’t like onions – this may not be the dish for you – they are essential and you can’t leave them out. I absolutely love the flavor of onions!

I hope you try this, I have a feeling this will make it into the monthly rotation of family dinners.

Indian-Spiced Chickpeas

Serves 2 to 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (start with ½ teaspoon and taste at the end)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice (optional)


  1. In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, onion and chopped tomatoes.
  2. Sauté until the onions are soft, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add ginger and garlic, stir and sauté for an additional minute.
  4. Add chickpeas, tomato sauce, water, salt and all the spices and stir.
  5. Let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes for the chickpeas to warm through.
  6. Serve alone or with rice.


If adding rice, this serves 4 people, if not using rice, it serves 2 to 3.

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Sarah Pflugradt
Sarah Pflugradt, MS, RDN, is a freelance writer, blogger at Salubrious RD. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.