Chikar Cholay


I never thought to cook my chickpeas in tea, but now I can't imagine doing it any other way



Curry lovers will surely love Pakistani chikar cholay because it offers an amazing blend of flavors and spices that create magic in your mouth. The dish includes chickpeas simmered in spices, and at first, it may seem like just any other chickpea recipe. However, chikar cholay comes with a twist – a black tea infusion that brings delightful flavors and makes it truly special. When Arooba from Pakistan shared this recipe with me, I couldn’t wait to try and see what the blend of simple ingredients can do. 

According to Arooba, Pakistani chikar cholay is the VIP meal in special gatherings in her country. Her parents and grandparents passed down the sacred art of making it, so now, she can do it herself. As she says, it’s a magical dish that brings people together, and as soon as I tasted it, her statement was clear as day.   

You can’t beat that unique combo of chickpeas and whatever other ingredient you combine it with – puri, naan, or rice, take your pick! But here’s the real secret: tea. It’s like the superhero ingredient that swoops in and makes everything taste extra fantastic. Due to this fusion of ingredients, chikar cholay is the cool kid on the culinary block! 

The magic of Pakistani chikar cholay lies in that surprising twist of spicing up chickpeas and creating a flavorful mix with black tea. It’s like a culinary plot twist that keeps you hooked. The moment I took a bite, I realized that this aromatic dance was going on, and it was not just the usual suspects – the spices. It’s the unmistakable presence of tea that adds this subtle but unmissable layer of flavor. You taste it, smell it, and you’re like, “Hold on, is that tea in there? Crazy!” That unexpected kick that comes from it turns it from a regular dish into a taste adventure. It’s a dish where chickpeas meet tea, and magic happens!

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Chikar Cholay


  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp mango powder
  • 1 Tbsp loose black tea or 2 teabags
  • garam masala to taste
  • poori, naan, or rice for serving


  • Stir fry chickpeas until it starts to break, add salt to taste. Add red chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, mango powder and stir fry it until all the chickpeas are coated in the spices.
  • In a pot, bring 2-3 cups water and tea to a boil. Let simmer about 3-4 mins. Strain and add to chickpeas.
  • Reduce the water up to your preference and add garam masala to taste.
  • Serve with poori, naan, or rice. Enjoy!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Region: Asia
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian


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