Chole Tikka Masala (Chickpea Tikka Curry)

Tikka masala is a dish of chunks of roasted marinated meat like chicken or Paneer or vegetables in a spiced curry sauce. The sauce is usually creamy and orange-coloured. Tikka Masala is a popular dish in any Indian restaurant menu with paneer tikka masala being the favorite of all. But today I wanted to give a twist to the traditional recipe by substituting paneer with chickpeas. This substitution means you are replacing fat with good amount of protein in your diet. You will not have to compromise on the taste because it tastes equally good and if not better than paneer tikka masala.
I simply love to prepare tikka recipes as it is quick and easy to prepare, just marinate the main ingredients and roast but one can prepare spicy gravy in which tikka is added.

Below is the video instructions for preparing the Chole Tikka Masala, Puff Puris and Rice.

The BEST part about this recipe is that you may already have these ingredients in your kitchen. If not, they are so easy to find in any grocery store, you won’t need to go searching high and low to find them! Authentic Tikka Masala is usually made with yogurt marinated, skewered and chargrilled for incredible bbq flavours. For the sake of making this recipe much easier for us to make at home, I use a skillet or pot to cook it all in, while still keeping those amazing flavours. And skewer is good for meat or paneer tikka recipe and not suitable for this chole tikka so pan is the best option here anyway.

Chole Tikka Masala (Chickpea Tikka Curry)
Recipe Creator: Bhavna
For the Chole marinade:
  • 28 oz 800g Boiled chickpeas (Chole Chana)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt Dahi
  • 1/4 cup Tomato paste or 1/2 cup Tomato Puree
  • 1.5 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tbsp Kasoori Methi Fenugreek Leaves
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric Haldi
  • 1 teaspoon ground Coriander cumin Dhaniya Jeera powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili or 1/2 teaspoon ground red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Tandoor Masala if available for extra spicy curry
  • 1/2 tsp Chaat Masala if available
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper Kala Mari
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
For the sauce: Optional – Tikka can be dry or with gravy
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable/canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small onions or 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger finely grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 14 oz 400g tomato puree (tomato sauce/Passata)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili optional for colour and flavour
  • 1 teaspoon ground red chili powder adjust to your taste preference
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of heavy or thickened cream use evaporated milk for lower calories
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water if needed
  • 4 tablespoons Fresh cilantro or coriander to garnish
  2. In a bowl, combine boiled chickpeas with all of the ingredients for the marinade; let marinate for 10 minutes to an hour.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add some whole spices like cloves, bay leaves. When sizzling, add marinated chole. Cook till the marinated mixture changes color to dark for about 5 minutes on medium to high heat.

  4. Now, if making the gravy, follow the steps below but I like dry version of most tikka recipes.
  5. Melt the butter in the pan. Fry the onions until soft (about 3 minutes) while scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Fry for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
  7. Pour in the tomato puree, chili powders and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brown red colour.
  8. Stir the cream and sugar through the sauce. Add the prepared chole tikka into the pan and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Pour in the water to thin out the sauce, if needed.
  9. Garnish with cilantro (coriander) and serve with fresh, hot basmati rice.