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Chola Gosht - Meat and Chickpea Stew


I love to cook meat and beans together as they seem to amalgamate so well. This North Indian style dish would not traditionally be made with beef, so this is my interpretation - you can even use lamb or goat meat. Meat on the bone will add even more flavor! I would serve Chola Gosht with Pooris (fried unleavened flatbread) or Bhatura (fried leavened flatbread) as they are perfect for mopping up the thick gravy, but it would taste equally good with plain or Jeera Rice. Add the salad like Kachumbar for more texture, a bit of crunch and to round off the flavors. Enjoy!

Yield: Serve 4-6 people


  • 1 can of chickpeas (400 gm can)
  • 1 kg kg/ 2 lbs beef rump steak cut into 1.5" cubes
  • 3 large onions, sliced thin
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsps garlic paste
  • 1 tbsps ginger paste
  • 3 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 3-4 green cardamoms
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsps garam masala
  • 3 large potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1" piece of ginger, julliened
  • 2 tbsps fresh coriander leaves chopped fine


  • Grind two of the onions, the tomatoes, ginger and garlic together into a smooth paste. Keep aside for later use.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a deep, thick-bottomed pan on medium heat.
  • Add the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns and sauté until the spices are mildly aromatic and turn a little darker in color.
  • Add the remaining sliced onion and fry till light golden. Add the onion-tomato-ginger-garlic paste and fry till the cooking oil begins to separate from the paste.
  • Now add the dry spices - cumin, coriander, red chilli, tumeric and garam masala powders. Fry for another 5 minutes. A well fried masala paste is the hallmark of a good Indian curry. There are no shortcuts to this step, so ensure you do it well. Stir often while frying masala, to prevent burning or sticking to the pot. Sprinkle a few drops of water if you find it getting too dry.
  • Once the masala is fried, add the meat and cook till well browned and fully sealed.
  • Drain the water in the can from the chickpeas and rinse them well under running water. Add the chickpeas and the cubed potatoes to the above masala. Mix well.
  • Add salt to taste and water to make gravy (about 1 1/2 cups).
  • Simmer and cook until the meat is fully done and tender. Most of the water should have been absorbed during this cooking and the gravy should be reduced.
  • Use a flat spoon to mash some of the chickpeas coarsely. Mix well. This thickens the gravy and makes it full of 'body' and perfect for scooping up with bits of flatbread!
  • Garnish with juliennes of ginger and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve piping hot with Poori/ Bhatura.
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