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I believe that salt is to food, what food is to life. In right proportions, it can heighten the taste of what you eat..and in the wrong - destroy! Even the most delicious sweets come added with some salt...to taste!

As for me, I've never enjoyed cooking. And as contrary to my owning a food-blog as it may sound, I always think about daily, routine cooking as a chore. But my tryst with the pots and pans began when I got a kitchen all to myself...I began experimenting and exploring new worlds in my own home. Some outcomes were excellent and some plain disasters. Then sprouted the need to keep track of all those good ones...and hence this blog!

Here, I share those experiments that pleased more than one palate!

February 11, 2010

Chole Bhature

I had clicked this picture a long time ago, but I never got the mood to sit down and type the recipe (Why? It's long!) for this absolutely delicious Punjabi preparation. Today, as I skimmed through my collection of photographs I thought, why not give this little guy his piece of space on my blog. I would not want to call this comfort food, because it can get way too comfortable and you might end up stashing on extra calories making this too often! Most people have their own versions of preparing Chole. Some even claim that adding a tea bag to the cooking process of the Channa adds more flavour. But, in this recipe, I've kept things just as simple as I could and the outcome was still very satisfying. I gorged down three Bhaturas myself....and not to forget, pigged out on left-over Chole the next day. So, try this one and let me know!
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Ingredients for Bhature
2 Cups All purpose flour (You could replace half of it with whole wheat like I normally do to feel less sinful!)
1/2 Cup Yogurt, beaten
1/4 tsp Sugar
A pinch of Baking powder
Oil (For kneading and frying)
A napkin (either a large paper towel or a cotton one will suffice)
And, of course, some salt to taste!

Method to prepare Bhatura
- In a large mixing bowl, toss in the flour, sugar, salt and yogurt and knead
- Use oil generously to knead further into a soft dough
- Wet the napkin and cover the dough for about 2 hours or until it rises a bit. If you use wheat the amount that it rises is not too much, so do not worry!
- Heat oil in a large wok
- Make balls about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter and roll out like you would rotis/chapathis, but do not make it too thin
- Deep fry in hot oil

Ingredients for Chole
1.5 Cup - Whole Channa, washed and soaked 8-10hrs or overnight (The quantity more than doubles after soaking)
1.5 Cup Onions - Finely Chopped
2 Cups Tomatoes - Finely Chopped (You can use puree too)
2 tsp Chilly powder
2 tbsp Coriander powder
1 Cup Yogurt
2 Green chillies
2 Sprigs of fresh coriander
2 tsp Garam Masala powder
2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp Turmeric powder
And, of course, some salt to taste!

Method to prepare Chole
- In a pressure cooker, cook the channa along with the water its been soaked in with salt. Set aside.Make sure the channa is very well cooked and breaks on touching. This takes a good number of hoots!!
- Blend together the green chillies, coriander, tomatoes and yogurt and set aside
- In a deep saucepan, heat oil and add Cumin seeds
- Once they splutter add the chopped onions and fry until transparent
- Add the ginger garlic paste and stir
- Toss in tomato mixture that you just blended
- Add the coriander powder, chilly powder, garam masala and turmeric and stir until the entire concoction is well cooked
- If you find that the water content is too less you can add the water in which the channa was cooked. This gives the dish more flavour
- Cover and simmer for 2 minutes
- Now, add the cooked channa and stir well
- Adjust spices and salt to your taste
- Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes (Longer the better but take care of the liquid content. Slow cooking has its benefits really)
- Serve hot with freshly made bhature, lemon wedges, green chillies and chopped onions

SERVES 5 (about 2-3 bhaturas per person)


  1. Chole is my all time favourite comfort food :-)
    I will be trying your version of the recipe sometime soon.
    I think the teabag is being added to give it a darker color. I did it once but didn't notice much change in the flavor.

  2. yummy looking meal Deepti...sinful but good...keep posting!

  3. Carol...do try out his version and let me know! You could try throwing in some kasuri methi for added taste just before closing the channa to simmer.

    And, thanks for the inputs on the tea bag funda. Now that its of no avail to the palate, Id rather skip doing it :)

  4. Pallavi, yup sinful it is. But like I said, once in a way is fine. Of course, given a chance I dont mind going to Bhagatram on Comm. St. everyday to eat this and gulaab jamun :D I loved the old small store better than his modified one. Was not as commercial and was wayyyyyy tastier! You been there? I'm sure you have!! I love everything he serves (or shd I say served)

  5. Deepti, I made your chole yesterday. I was looking for a different recipe and since I have never made it with yogurt, I decided to try yours. I think my tomatoes were a little green, so the gravy was a bit sour. I had to add some channa masala powder to fix it. But, it tasted great after that. The gravy was thick and creamy unlike how I am used to. I will definitely make it again.

  6. Caroline.. I'm so glad you liked this version. Yes, it is a keeper! The yogurt aids the creamy texture. If your channa is well cooked and mashed up that really makes a difference too. Some people even grind a portion of the cooked channa to a fine paste and add it to the gravy to thicken it up!

    Try the Bhature to go with it when you make it next.