All South Asian languages: chickpeas


Senior Member
Am. English
Good morning!

I was hoping someone could help me disambiguate a bit between chhole and chana masala. In my house, chickpeas are called "chhole" and chana are the split Bengal gram daal (in Hindi). But that same daal is called "chholeyaaN dii daal" in Punjabi. I'm not used to calling chickpeas anything other than chhole.

Any thoughts or comments here?

What do you call the Bengal Gram whole or split?
What do you call a chickpea?
And is there ever any ambiguity here?
  • Alfaaz

    Senior Member

    چنے یا چھولے - chane yaa chole

    کابلی چنے - kaabuulii chane
    کالے چنے - kaale chane
    چھولیا - chholiyaa

    چنے کی دال/چنا دال - chane kii daal/chanaa daal

    Examples of usage in names of various dishes: چنا چاٹ، چکّڑ چھولے، مرغ چنے/چھولے، آلو چنے، آلو چھولیا، وغیرہ
    - chanaa chaaT, cikkaR chhole, murGh chane/chhole, aaluu chane, aaluu chholiyaa, waGhairah


    Senior Member
    English, Hindustani
    In my family, chane is chickpeas of either variety (the bigger lighter "Kabuli" variety or the smaller darker "Desi" variety), so there is some room for ambiguity. When we need to disambiguate, the smaller ones are consistently kaale chane. The bigger ones are sometimes chhole, but other times we just say things like "white" vaale chane or baRe vaale chane.

    The daal is chane kii daal. Sometimes we say baRii piilii daal, to contrast with the smaller yellow ones (dhulii muung and arhar), but this is probably idiosyncratic (my mom tells us that she said this at some point when we were very young to remind us which one "chane kii daal" was, but the description stuck and turned into a name :)).


    Senior Member
    In my parents' house chhole is only ever used to describe kabuli channe that are prepared in a very Punjabi way (i.e. chatpata with aamchoor, kala namak, bhuna jeera, and anardana powder). So to be clear, chhole are never going to be kabuli channe prepared as a standard onion, tomato, ginger, garlic sabzi. Otherwise the big white garbanzos are just kabuli channe. But I agree with aevynn that channas on their own refer to the big ones. If kaale channe are meant, then we say so.

    Channe on their own don't refer to daal in our house. If we mean the daal, we say channa daal. In my house we don't really ever say channe kii daal.

    (we are Punjabi, in case relevant).
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