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Chole Bhature!!! North Indians especially if you are from Delhi can have Chole Bhature at any time of the day. In Delhi and some North Indian states, it’s one the favorite street food or brunch item. In mornings especially on weekends, you can see people queuing at shops selling Chole Bhature. I love Chole Bhature. Mom made these especially on weekends but not very frequently to avoid the fried food. It was more of Kadhi Rice( in Summers), Chole-Rice or Rajma-Rice or Matar Pullav (in winters) Sundays at our home. But whenever she made Bhaturas I totally relished them. I have enjoyed Chole Bhature a lot when I was living in Delhi at some of the best places INA market, Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Connaught place or at Halidiram’s. I don’t make Chole Bhature often as deep-fried Bhature are quite heavy on the stomach. But since I love Chole Bhature I make these, once in 3-4 months, whenever I have Chole Bhature carvings. My kids too love and enjoy eating Chole Bhature.
For those who don’t know Chole Bhatura, Bhatura is a deep-fried Indian bread, made with leavened all-purpose flour/maida (traditional)/whole wheat flour. The dough is leavened with yeast or curd, baking soda, and baking powder. The kneaded dough is kept for 2-3 hrs during summers and 5-6 hrs in winters. Chole is chickpeas curry made with Indian spices, with or without onion and tomatoes. The most popular combination with Chole is Bhatura, but rice and Kulchas can be equally enjoyed with Chole masala. Chole masala a simple curry made with onion tomato masala and is best enjoyed with rice, I have a separate post for that Chole/Chana Masala. Here I am giving the recipe of Chole that is served in Delhi sweet/shops Bhaturas. Call it Dilliwale Chole or Halwai wale Chole. This recipe of Chole Bhature will take you to the Delhi lanes where people queue outside shops to get a plate of warm Chole and Crispy Chole Bhature.
This is going to be a long post as I am giving the method for both Chole and Bhature so please have patience while reading it, don’t skip the lines as you may miss some pointers in the recipe.
For the characteristic color of Chole/Chickpeas I have used pomegranate peel while boiling Chole, you can use 1 tea bag or dried amla. No need to add tea bag if you are using pomegranate peel or amla.
Let’s see the ingredients and method to make the tangy, spicy Chole and crispy fluffy Bhature.
For Dilliwale Chole:
For boiling or cooking Chole/ Chickpeas:
- Kabuli Channa/Chickpeas–250 gms
- Sabut Garam Masala / Dry Whole Spices:
- Tej Patta (Bay Leaves) –1 or 2 small
- Dal Chini (Cinnamon Stick)– 1 small / 1 inch
- Laung (Cloves)— 4-5
- Kali Elaichi( Big Cardamom) –2-3
- Salt — as per taste
- Onions–1 medium sized
- Tomatoes Pureed — 2 medium sized
- Curd–4 tbsp
- Ginger–1 inch
- Chole/ Channa Masala(Store bought or Homemade*)–2-3 Tsp
- Desi Ghee(Indian Clarified Butter)/ Oil(any)–2 + 1 Tbsp
For Homemade Channa/ Chole Masala or Spice Mix:
- Corriander Powder—1tsp
- Cumin Powder—1/2 Tsp
- Red Chilli Powder-1/2-1 Tsp
- Amchur Powder(Dry Mango Powder)-1/2 Tsp
- Anardana–1 Tsp
- Soonth/ Dry Ginger Powder–1/4 Tsp
Mix all the dry masala/spices and with a mortar and pestle and keep aside.
Above mentioned spices are available in Indian Grocery stores, outside India.
Method for Boiling/Cooking Chole:
- Soak Chickpeas/Chole overnight or 5-6 hrs. To boil chickpeas drain the water from soaked chickpeas, add in a pressure cooker with enough fresh water to soak the Chole just an inch or two above, let it boil for a minute if scum gathers on top discard it. Add the dry whole spices/ sabut masala and pomegranate peel. Add salt as per your taste.
- Close the pressure cooker lid and cook till 2-3 whistles and then for 5-10 minutes on low flame. Cooked chickpeas should be soft and easily mashed with a spoon. Discard the teabag or pomegranate peel. This takes around 15-20 minutes. You can boil chickpeas in an Instant Pot. Check the Instant Pot settings for that.
- Drain chickpeas in a bowl/pan. Retain the water for later use.
- Prepare the tempering. In a pan, add desi ghee/oil, when oil is hot enough, add cumin seeds. Let it crackle. Desi ghee gives a unique aroma and taste to the dish. I have used desi ghee, you can use any oil of your choice.
- Add all the mixed dry masala/spice mix.
- Roast it for few seconds and add to the Chole, mix it well coating Chole with masala.
- Cover it and keep aside.
- Many people add 1-2 potato while boiling Chole that I don’t do as my folks don’t like potatoes with Chole. If you want, add a medium peeled potato while boiling chole/chickpeas. Once you drain the Chickpeas water, mash lightly the boiled potato and add with chole/chickpeas to the tempering.
- In another pan, add 1 tbsp of oil/ghee, add little cumin seeds, let it crackle. Add chopped onion, fry till it is light brown. Add tomato puree(grind ginger with tomato), cook for a minute then add curd and keep mixing it till it mixes with onion-tomato masala. Before adding curd beat it nicely to smooth consistency. Cook the masala really well till oil/ghee separates.
- Add Chole to it and mix nicely. Add chole/chickpea water . Mash some chole with a laddle or wooden spoon and let it cook for 20 minutes on low flame. Adjust the water if you feel the chole are too dry, also adjust the amount salt and the dry channa masala or spice level as per your taste. Use boiled chole water that we retained.
- After 20 minutes switch off the flame and keep the Chole covered. It helps to fully absorb the masala/spices. Reheat when ready to serve. Add some water if Chole curry thickens. We don’t need watery curry for this but too dry Chole won’t also go well with Bhature.
Let’s get to making Bhature!! I have used a combination of whole wheat flour/atta, all-purpose flour/maida and semolina/sooji, you can use any either whole wheat or all-purpose. Adding semolina makes bhature more crispy.
Ingredients for Bhature:
- Whole Wheat Flour–100 gms
- All-purpose Flour–80 gms
- Baking Powder–1 Tsp
- Curd–4 Tbsp
- Baking Soda–1/2 Tsp
- Salt–1/2 Tsp
- Sugar–1/4 Tsp
- Oil–2 Tsp
- Water for kneading flour
- Oil for frying
Method for making Bhature:
- Mix together all the flour, baking powder and soda, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center and add curd and mix in with the flour. Knead little lukewarm flour with water to a soft dough.
- Keep the dough covered in a well-oiled container for at least 3-4 hrs. If the weather is too cold, the dough may take 5-6 hrs for leavening. In summers or hot climate, it takes around 2-3 hrs.
- If you are going to use the dough later, keep it in refrigerator else the dough gets sour.
- Heat oil in a kadhai or thick bottomed pan.
- To make Bhatura, divide the dough into small portions and roll out the dough.
- Add the rolled bhatura in hot oil, and fry on both sides till light golden brown.
Serve hot Bhatura with spicy chatpatte (tangy) Chole, onions, pickle(carrots or mango), enjoy the treat!!
Many people like to stuff Bhature with paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese) masala, I skip that part. Instead sometimes put some pickle masala in the dough to be rolled and make Bhatura. It gives a nice spicy touch to Bhatura. If you want to stuff dry Paneer masala in Bhatura, take some crumbled paneer, finely chopped coriander leaves, add some chaat masala and salt and use as stuffing.
It is best to have fresh, hot bhatura, as Bhaturas made with all-purpose flour tend to get chewy once cooled. Whole wheat Bhatura remain soft, but it is best enjoyed with hot.
Make Chole Bhature on your special occasions, festivals and for your parties or just like that whenever you have the carving for bazaar wale( from the market) or halwaiwale Chole and Bhature!!
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