Alu Chole


For Christmas, I got a bunch of awesome spice packets from Kalustyan’s from Phil.  Looking over our larder last night, I realized we still had some dried chickpeas left and they are a key ingredient in Alu Chole (chickpeas with potatoes) Masala.  Kalustyan’s deserves its own blog post, as it is a New York treasure of spices, teas and delicious food.  Fortunately, you can order almost anything from the store online and here is where you can get the Alu Chole spice, which I received in my stocking.  The spices include: Onion, Coriander, Garlic, Cumin, Ginger, Salt, Red Chili, Safflower Oil, Bay Leaf, Corn Starch, Clove, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Dry Mango Powder, Fenugreek Leaves, Green Coriander, Turmeric & Pomegranate Seeds.

The dish I prepared was very easy to make and very delicious. I followed the directions on the packet of spices pretty closely – omitting the large amount of oil was the only change. You could probably come up with a mix of these spices on your own, but I am sure there are  masala spices out there.  Points for this dish: quick, delicious and inexpensive if you have the spices and use dried beans.

Alu Chole Masala


splash of olive oil or a pat of butter (or you could use ghee if you have it)
1 28oz can (or 2 cups) diced tomatoes, with juices
1/2 cup water
3-4 tbsp (I used 4) of masala spice
32 oz boiled chickpeas (canned is fine)
16 oz (about 2 medium potatoes) boiled cubed potatoes

Optional: lime wedges, chopped onion and chopped fresh coriander or parsley to serve.

To Do:

  1. If you haven’t cooked your potatoes, start them now – they’ll finish while steps 2-3 are going.  If they are cubed, they won’t take too long.  If you already have the boiled and cubed potatoes, go to step 2!
  2. Heat up the oil or butter in a large pot and then add the tomatoes. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the spice mixture and water.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chickpeas and cooked potatoes and mix thoroughly.  Add salt to taste.
  5. Serve hot and garnish with lime wedges, onion slices and fresh chopped coriander (we only had some parsley).

5 Comments on “Alu Chole”

  1. Di Hickman says:

    Ooooh that looks awesome! Gonna write that down and try it for sure!

    Masala spice, are you talking garam masala? I have a ton I need to use up so this could be great for that! I imagine this is low calorie yet med/high protein too!

    Grocery budgeting is coming along, I am working on tomorrows grocery post now 🙂 Not quite at your level, but baby steps!! lol!

  2. tinaspins says:

    I think this one was a specific blend (I listed all the ingredients in the post), but I am certain it would be tasty with garam masala too! Try it out and let me know! The chickpeas provide tons of protein, there is no cream, just water and the spices and you could always use less potato if you’re worried about carbs. Let me know if you make it!

  3. Sarah says:

    I LOVE Kalustyan’s. Thanks for the recipe – this sounds like a great use for the dried black chickpeas I have.

  4. P says:

    Yeah, some things there are more reasonably-priced than others (store-brand spices more, prepared foods less), but you can’t sneeze at a place that sells five different blends of zaatar.

  5. Thumbs up! I made it with dried great northerns, soaked overnight then cooked in the morning before I started making the dish. I used Parampara’s “Chilli Milli” mix — which we usually blend with yogurt and veggies. But it was great with the tomatoes and potatoes.

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