Introduction: Chole Bhature- Delicious Spicy Chickpeas and Fried and Puffed Flatbread

Chole Bhature is a combination of chole (spicy chick peas) and fried bread called bhatoora(made of all purpose flour). It is one of the most eaten breakfast in north India. If you have ever been to Delhi and tasted the street side or Haldiram’s Chana Bhatura, you know what I am talking about.

Chole bhature are served with onions, carrot pickle etc. Chole Bhature is a breakfast invented in Delhi post partition and nowadays, it is popular breakfast around north-west India and other parts of the Country.

I cant resist this yummy snack on my "cheat days".

Preparing this recipe is not as difficult as it sounds, it just requires collecting all the ingredients.

so, moving on to our list of ingredients-

1. Boiling chickpeas(chole)-

Chick Peas/ Garbanzo beans- (White Chole/Kabuli Chana)- 1 cup

Salt- 1 Tsp

Water- 1.5 Liter

2. Ingredients for Making Chole:
Salt- 1/2 tsp

Punjabi Chola Masala- 5 Tbsp (Recipe shared in next sections of this ible).

Bay leaves (Tej Patta)- 2

Onion (You can also use more as per your choice)- 1 pureed (med-large sized)

Tomato Puree- 1 Cup

Coriander leaves- To Taste

Ginger (sliced into fine julienne)- 1-2 Inch and 1 tsp/ 1/2 inch for gravy

Green Chili (split)- 2

Oil- 2 tbsp

3. Ingredients for Bhatura:

All-purpose-flour (Maida)- 2 cup

Yogurt (Dahi)- 1/2 Cup

Salt- 1/4 tsp

Baking soda (or baking powder)- 3 pinch

Semolina (Sooji)- 1 tbsp

Dry Yeast- 1/4 tsp

Sugar- 1/4 tsp

Sufficient Soda Water (To knead bhatura dough)

1-2 TbspOil (For Dough)Sufficient Oil (For Frying)

Step 1: Initial Prep..

++++Boiling chickpeas..

Soak chickpeas in water overnight or for 7 to 8 hours. Add 1/2 tsp Salt, water and close the lid and switch ON the stove on high flame. After 1 whistle, turn the stove on low flame. Let it cook for another 20 minutes now. After 20 minutes, switch OFF the stove for Chickpeas. Do not open the cooker lid. Let the steam take its time to go Off on its own.

Once the cooker runs out its steam, we now have the boiled Chole. Drain their water and take them out in an open pan.Do not throw the drained out water from chole. Keep it aside for later use. You can use it if you find your chole too dry.

++++chole masala(special spice mix for chole)..

Here is an attempt to match that taste, flavor, aroma and looks of authentic street style chole. This recipe will help you make the charismatic Punjabi Chole Ka Masala that you would not find in any ready-made masala boxes available in market.

NOTE: All the spices (Masala) that we have used in this recipe are in powder form. If you have their whole spice version, then we would request you to first grind them to make a powder and then use.

Coriander powder (Dhania)- 3 tsp

Garam Masala- 1/2 tsp

Roasted Cumin powder- 1 tsp

Raw Mango powder (Amchoor)- 1 tsp

Pomegranate seeds powder (Anardana)- 2 tsp (not in the pic)

Black Salt- 1/2 tsp

Dry Fenugreek seeds (Kasoori Methi)- 2 tsp

Red Chili powder- 1 tsp

Asafoetida (Hing)- 1/8 tsp

Black pepper powder- 1/4 tsp

Carom seeds (Ajwain)- 1/4 tsp

Javitri Phool OR use Star-Anise (Chakra-phool)- 1

Cinnamon powder (Dalchini)- 1/4 tsp

Black Cardamom powder (Badi Elaichi)- 4

Clove powder (Laung)- 4

Well, the toughest part in this recipe is collecting the long list of ingredients. If you have conquered that step, you are all set.We just need to mix all the spices well and remove all the lumps with a spoon.That is it. You have the Punjabi Chole Ka Masala ready with you. You can now safely dive into the world of professional Chole Bhature making!

Step 2: Preparing Chole..

++++Preparing veggies and getting ingredients ready..

chop onions and ginger piece,, grind it using some water, likewise chop tomatoes and puree them.

++++Ginger juliennes-

peel ginger and make thin slices. stack them over each another and chop in long stripes.

++++Lets get started with Tempering in parallel as this would save time.

Take a pan, add 2 Tbsp Oil and switch ON the stove on high flame.

Add 2 Bay leaves (Tej Patta) as soon as Oil gets hot.

Let it cook for 30 seconds and then add Onion ginger paste.Cook Onion till it gets golden brown in color.

Once Onion turns golden brown, add Tomato puree.Turn the stove on medium flame and cook the paste for 4-5 minutes. When tomatoes also gets cooked, add 5 tbsp of our prepared special spice mix for chole (Chole ka masala). cook it well, add boiled chickpeas, mix and leave it for 5 minutes, Switch Off the stove and then garnish with Coriander leaves. The Punjabi chole are now ready to go with Bhature.

Step 3: Bhature/ Bhatura(bread)..

Bhatura is an inseparable member of famous Punjabi Chole Bhature and is one of the most eaten breakfast dish in North India. There is something about them which always tempts us to have at least one plate when we go out shopping.

We are making these crispy Bhatura with Yeast and would use soda water too. Using Yeast and soda water helps ferment the dough faster. If you skip these two ingredients, you would need to double up the fermentation time.

Bhatura bread is nothing but a fried flat-bread served with Chickpea curry.

++++Steps for bhatura dough prep..

1. First of all, take a small bowl. Add Yeast and dissolve it in 3 tsp of warm water. (If you are not using yeast, skip this step.) (yes, i added yeast as it is as I was running short of time, but dissolving is the more preferred method).

2. Now take a big bowl and add All Purpose Flour, Semolina, Salt, Sugar, baking Powder and yogurt. Add diluted Yeast from step 1 and mix well with hands. Once mixed, add Oil (1tsp) and mix well again.Add Soda water gradually little by little and keep kneading to make a smooth dough. Smooth and fluffy dough will be ready in about 4-5 minutes.

Note: Add soda water carefully as all purpose flour absorbs less water/ liquid. If accidently dough becomes too moist and sticky add some semolina(2 tbsp) and knead again to settle the issue.

3. Add Oil to dough and knead 1-2 minutes for final touches. The dough should be soft and smooth. It would take about 10 minutes to knead this dough.

++++Frying the Bhatura..
Get your deep frying pan ready with Oil to fry Bhature. Fill the pan 60% with Oil.

Let the Oil heat up for about 2-3 minutes. The dough does not need any sitting time for fermentation.

Once the Oil heats up, grease your working surface and rolling pin with oil so its easy to work with the dough. Take a small portion of dough and roll it into a flat-bread. For rolling also, you need to keep few things in mind that since all purpose flour makes stretchy dough so it becomes difficult to roll the dough using to and fo motion of rolling pin, it wont stretch into a flatbread, so while rolling, just place your rolling pin on the centre of the bread/ dough and roll it outwards and leave, again start from centre and roll outwards( using light pressure of hands) in other direction, keep doing this until you get desired shape and size.

Do not flatten it to too-thin layer.

The flattened bread might shrink a bit while you pick and drop it in frying pan. Don’t worry, this is normal. You can strech it with your hands as well.

Drop the flattened bread in frying pan.

Use the spatula to press its corners and help it fluff.

Fry until it gets golden brown in color from both the sides and then take it out

.Eat and enjoy these Bhature with Punjabi Chole. You can fry more in a similar fashion.

Note: Tips for fully puffed bread:

1. dough kneading should be good, smooth and soft.

2. while making the doughball the top portion of ball should not have creases etc, it should be perfectly even.

3. Rolling should be even, try not to roll bread thick at some places and thin at other.

4. Oil should be hot.

5. use spatula to press its bubbles to puff the bread more.

6. turn the bread only when one side fries completely.

7. Practice, practice practice!

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