Hearty Winter Treat: Chole-Bhature (Spicy Chickpea curry with deep-fried, puffed bread)

Hello Foodies,

I am really excited for today’s post as this was on my to-do list for the longest time!! Chole-Bhature is one of most famous staple foods of Northern-India. It consists of spicy Chickpea curry, accompanied by a huge, puffed up fried, leavened bread. If done right, the results are foodgasmic. If you are ever in India, and that too especially in our country’s Capital Delhi, DO NOT miss a chance to gorge on one of the most famous street foods of that city- Chole-Bhature. It is even more fabulous to enjoy in chilly Winters!

I wanted to make it for my blog since a few months now, but I guess it kept getting delayed because of the calorie-rich nature of this dish. I have to warn you, there is a lot of oil involved in making the original version of this dish and also, the bread is also traditionally made of 100% plain flour or Maida. Nowadays, there are hundreds of health-conscious and wholewheat versions of this dish available on the internet, but I wanted to make the authentic Chole-Bhature, as a rare treat for my family.

It had also been ages since we all last had Chole-Bhature. I can’t imagine that most Indian restaurants in Ireland would prepare this dish aptly, and it’s surely not one of those dishes that even in India, is made and eaten in Indian households on daily basis. Thus, I wont be able to remember the last time I had it, to save my life.

Chickpea curry was pretty basic as I make a gravy version of traditional Pindi-chole with rice at home all the time. I just had to make a few adjustments and the semi-dry chickpea curry came out tangy, spicy and flavorful. The dark color which was desired was bang on as well. The challenge was the bread- the Bhature.

I did some research and decided against using yeast to leaven the bread. I am not a fan of yeast. I will avoid it if I can. I decided to make an easier version with yogurt and baking powder instead and the end result was phenomenal. I was really realllllyyy very happy with my dish.

If you are in a mood to indulge in a rich but lip-smacking, spicy Indian meal- try this recipe! To my Indian friends, this is a fool-proof Chole-Bhature recipe, I assure you all.

Give it a go, and enjoy!

Ingredients:

For Chole (Chickpea curry)-

3 cups Chickpeas, soaked in sufficient water overnight

1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste

2 Medium-sized Onions, grated or ground in a blender

2-3 ripe, Large Tomatoes, grated

1 tsp Tomato puree/paste

2 green chillies

1 large potato, peeled and chopped in medium-sized pieces

2-3 cloves

1 small Cinnamon stick

1 Star Anise

1 Bayleaf

3-4 Peppercorns

1-2 Black cardamom

2 Tea-bags or 2 tsp loose-tea leaves tied tightly in a muslin cloth

1 tsp Cumin seeds

2 tsp Chilly Powder

2 tsp Coriander Powder

2 tsp Kitchen King Masala (preferred)

1 tsp heaped, Dry Mango powder (Amchoor)

1 tsp Kasuri Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves)

1/2 tsp Garam Masala

A pinch of asafoetida

1/4 tsp Baking soda

3 tbsn Oil

1 tsp Ghee (optional)

Ginger Juliennes and chopped Coriander leaves for garnish

For Bhature:

2 Cups Plain flour or Maida

1/4 Cup fine Sooji/Semolina

2 tsp Yogurt

1 tsp Baking soda

1 tsp Sugar

A pinch of Salt

2 tbsn oil

Around 1 cup water, or as needed for a Soft consistency dough

Method:

To make your Bhature, combine- flour, semolina, yogurt, baking soda, salt, sugar and oil in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.

Adding water little by little, make a dough of soft consistency.

Knead the dough for 5-6 mins until it gets absolutely smooth. This is done to activate the gluten in the flour.

Apply some oil all over the surface of the dough and cover with a damp cloth. Store in a warm place, covered for at least 2 hours.

To make your chole, drain and wash the soaked chickpeas very well under the running water. Set aside.

In a large pressure cooker, heat your oil+ghee.

Add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Fry for a couple minutes.

Throw in the whole spices and fry for 30 seconds. Then add the slit green chillies and fry for arund 10 secs.

Add the grated onions and cook for 6-7 minute on medium-low flame, until they get browned and oil starts leaving the sides.

Add your ginger garlic paste and fry for another minute.

Pour in the grated Tomatoes and also, salt to taste. Cook until the Tomatoes are cooked well.

Add the tomato puree. Fry for 30 seconds.

Add all the dry spices and mix well. Cook the mixture for around 1 minute.

Throw in the chickpeas+ potatoes and roast for a minute. Add around 2 cups of water and mix well.

Lastly, put the tea-bags in the mixture and also 1/4th tsp of Baking soda. It aids in cooking the chickpeas faster. Close the Pressure-cooker lid.

Cook on low heat for half an hour, after the first whistle on high. When opened, the chickpeas should be soft and melt-in-the-mouth texture.

Squeeze the liquid from the tea-bags in the curry and dispose them off.

If the gravy is not semi-dry, cook uncovered till some of the liquid evaporates.

Garnish with chopped, fresh Coriander leaves and ginger Juliennes. Serve hot with Bhature, slices onions and lemon wedges.

To make your Bhature:

Divide the dough in 6-8 parts. Make smooth circle by rolling them between the palm of your hands.

On an oily surface, roll each one in a thin oval sheet, using a rolling pin.

Heat oil for deep-frying. Deep-fry the Bhaturas on high-heat till golden brown. They should puff up instantly. Fry on both sides and not just one.

Place on a kitchen towel to drain off excess oil. Serve immediately with steaming hot Chole! Enjoy!

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