Tawa Chole (Spicy Chickpea Stir-fry)


Indian chickpea stir-fry (tawa chole)

This recipe for tawa chole, Indian spiced chickpeas, meets all the criteria necessary for these times and exceeds all flavor expectations. It is:

  • pantry friendly
  • really affordable
  • quick and easy to make
  • super flavorful

I’ll go ahead and give (my own) recipe an A+. Better yet a medal. And then I guess I’ll go ahead and wear that medal since I mean, the chickpeas obviously can’t. 🥇

Indian chickpea stir-fry (tawa chole)

In all seriousness, can we please take a second to discuss why certain recipes can be considered award-winning? Why is it okay for cookies or cakes or chili to win awards but not chickpeas? I suppose if I’m being honest with myself, I’d be terrible at judging a chickpea competition. I’d probably award gold medals to my recipes for mango chickpea curry and chickpea sundal too. But to be fair, they deserve them.

I guess we should get back to this recipe…

What is Tawa Chole?

Tawa chole just means “stovetop chickpeas.” I suppose I could also call this Punjabi sukhe chole, which just means “dry chickpeas.”

These pan-fried chickpeas are coated in spicy, savory, and tangy spices. This is a simple recipe with complex flavor, thanks to the blend of spices I use here, which includes amchur, a tangy and fruity powder made up of dried green mangoes.

Tawa chole is different from the better-known chana masala, which is a chickpea curry that takes a bit longer to make (though well worth it on a day when you’re not in a rush). Both of these chickpea dishes are North Indian recipes. If you’d like to try a South Indian chickpea stir-fry, try my Tamilian sundal.

Parent Approved.

Every now and then, I’ll get a little nervous before sharing a recipe on the blog. Usually, the nerves only come when I share a classic dish that carries high expectations, like gajar halwa or rajma. But for some reason, I was a bit nervous about sharing this recipe. I kept thinking it was too good to be true, considering how simple it was to make. Normally, when I get this feeling, I’ll ask my parents for their feedback before posting a recipe here on the blog.

But because of social distancing, I haven’t been able to have them over and cook for them. Instead… being the thoughtful daughter that I am (lol), I mailed them some measuring cups and spoons and asked them to test some of my recipes for me. A *huge* ask (especially when it comes to Indian parents who eyeball everything), I know. They are amazing.

This is the text they sent me after trying this recipe. I took my dad’s advice and the updated recipe is what you see below. They loved it and I’m confident you will too.

They are the best.

Indian chickpea stir-fry (tawa chole)

There are a lot of things that you can do with these spicy stir-fried chickpeas:

  • Serve with Indian pickled onions and lemon wedges on the side as a tea time (chai!) snack.
  • Pair it with Indian flatbread to make a meal.
  • Get creative and make Indian chickpea tacos!
  • Top with crispy sev and chutneys to make chaat.

Let me know how you decide to eat/serve the tawa chole. I’ll just be over here (wearing my medal) waiting to hear from you. 🙂

Indian chickpea stir-fry (tawa chole)

Tawa Chole (Spicy Chickpea Stir-fry)

Indian chickpea stir-fry (tawa chole)

Tawa Chole (Spicy Chickpea Stir-fry)

5 from 9 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 cans chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-2 green chilies minced, to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon amchur
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • tsp cayenne optional, to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • Cilantro garnish


  • Add oil to a dutch oven (heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat and once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds brown, add the green chilies, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for 1 min.
  • Add the spices (all at the same time), stir, add chickpeas, stir, then quickly add the lemon juice and turn off the heat (you don’t want the spices to burn). Continue mixing (with the heat off) until the chickpeas are heated through.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.


This recipe is part of my “chickpea series.” Cook a big batch of dried chickpeas (see this blog post), and try one of my recipes that calls for cooked chickpeas! You can also use canned chickpeas but dried beans taste better.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Rajinder says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, how are you?
    Yummy recipe again.
    Had a couple of samosas and this worked beautifully, and quick too to make chaat.
    Next time will make by freshly boiled chickpeas.
    Thank you 😊

  2. Sam says

    This is such as easy and extremely flavorful recipe. I made it using canned chickpeas, it was quick and tasted great. Ashley’s recipes have an authentic North Indian Punjabi taste that is easy to reproduce with accurate measurements and time saving tips.

  3. Nikhil says


    Why are the channas pressure cooked in this recipe for 20 minutes but in the chhole recipe for 35 min, even though in both cases they are soaked over night?


    • My Heart Beets says

      In my boiled chickpeas recipe there is more water in the pot which increases the amount of time it takes to come to pressure and also to release pressure, and so even though it calls for 20 minutes of cook time, it’s actually cooking for longer than that. The chana masala recipe has less liquid than the 6 cups the boiled chickpeas recipe calls for which affects the cook time. I have tried cooking chana masala in a shorter amount of time but prefer the 35 min time for that recipe in terms of softness. Hope that helps!

  4. Pawan says

    5 stars
    I’ve tried most of the vegetarian recipes posted here and love all of them, but this recipe deserves a special mention. It’s like a firecracker of flavor burst in your mouth. I used a crushed aloo samosa as base and ate it as a chaat. A hit with the family ! Thank you

  5. Amisha says

    5 stars
    Very good recipe. I cut down the garam masala to half Since 1 tsp seemed like a lot and it was delicious. Next time I’ll cut down the spice so my kids can eat it too!

  6. Maneesha says

    This is on the menu for tonight! Can’t wait! I agree with you, Ashley – parents’ thumbs-up on a recipe/cooking is the ultimate compliment!

      • Maneesha says

        5 stars
        SO DELICIOUS! I loved it! I agree with your dad – the lemon addition was too good! Such a great recipe! It’s nice to have on its own (which is what I did last night) and also with a salad (which is what I’m doing today for lunch)! Yum! Definitely will make this again!

paneer lababdar

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