Charanji | How to make Charanji

By Namita Tiwari  |  29th Jun 2018  |  
5 from 4 reviews Rate It!
  • Charanji, How to make Charanji
  • Prep Time


  • Cook Time


  • Serves





About Charanji Recipe

Charanji is a Kumaoni dish prepared on festive and special occasions. It is mild, sweet, rich and aromatic without an overload of spices. The gravy is thick and flavoursome with a slight tang from the curd that is cooked in masala. It is served with ghee smeared chapatis, jeera rice, raita and dhania pudina chutney. All the ingredients of Charanji and accompaniments like ghee, curd, bay leaf, rice, herbs are home made and home grown. This gives Charanji a pure taste. This is my grandmother’s recipe with her own improvisations.


Ingredients to make Charanji

  • 4 handfuls white gram (chola)
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 big ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 teaspoons jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 teacup fresh, sweet, creamy and thick curd
  • 1 teaspooon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teacup paneer cubes (cottage cheese cubes)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green coriander
  • salt to taste

How to make Charanji

  1. Soak chole overnight or at least for 6 hours.
  2. Pressure cook with 1 teaspoon salt till done. The Chola should not overcook.
  3. Grate onion, tomatoes and garlic. Add turmeric and coriander powder. This is masala for gravy.
  4. Heat ghee in a large wok. When heated, add jeera. When jeera begins to splutter, add bay leaf and green cardamom. Add masala.
  5. Cook masala on medium to low flame stirring continuously. Cook till the raw smell goes away and masala begins to dry up. Turn off the heat when ghee comes up.
  6. Beat curd till smooth. Add to the cooked masala. Mix well.
  7. Cook on medium heat stirring continuously. The gravy will begin to reduce. At this stage, cook on low heat or else it will scorch at the bottom.
  8. Cook till the water evaporates. Masala should turn pink, ghee should come up and masala should come together while stirring. Add red chilli powder. Turn off the heat.
  9. Take about 1/2 cup boiled chole in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Add boiled chole and mashed chole to masala. Stir well. Add salt.
  10. Cook charanji on low heat for about half an hour. Gravy should be just enough to cover chole. Add more water only if needed.
  11. Turn off the heat. Add garam masala. Stir.
  12. Add paneer cubes and fresh coriander. Do not stir. Stir once only before serving.
  13. Serve with ghee smeared chapatis, jeera tempered rice, raita and dhania pudina (coriander mint chutney), cucumber and onion slices.

My Tip:

Use thick creamy and sweet curd only. Cook masala on low flame. Gravy should not be watery. It should be just enough to cover the chole. Charanji should be prepared in advance so that it gets at least an hour for the flavours to emerge.

Reviews for Charanji (4)

Gayatri Sharma3 months ago

We prepare Punjabi chole like this

Richa 7 months ago

My mum makes charanchi with kaale chane. Would love to try this one as well!

Shikha Roy8 months ago

Nice one.

Iiws Greater8 months ago

Excellent recipe