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Chole Bhature


This recipe for Chole Bhature comes from India and was commissioned to compliment the earlier published article entitled Indian Cooking . . . how did it become so popular?

Chole or chickpeas are one of the first domesticated legumes. In ancient times, it was used mainly for medicinal purposes for increasing sperm and milk and in ancient Europe it used to be eaten as a salad.

As a special curry dish it is mainly originated from north India, another name for this dish is chana. It is made of chickpeas and is eaten with rice, puri, potato tikki, kulcha (Indian bun) and with naan, but the most popular combination is bhature. Chole bhature is one of the most popular fast foods of north India and is usually eaten as a late morning brunch in many north Indians home.

Chole is high in carbohydrate and protein. Highly nutritious for children, it can be given to children only after boiling it as a salad or add some lime juice and chopped onions in it if they like. Diet conscious people can reduce the amount of oil and use olive oil for tempering, which has unsaturated fat, and enjoy it with boiled rice instead of bhatures. For people who really love food and know how to eat and burn calories, chole bhature is something they cannot avoid.

Ingredients for Chole Bhature

Ingredients for Chole:
Onion (chopped)
Ginger and garlic paste
Tomatoes (chopped)
Fresh coriander
Red Chilli powder
Chole masala
Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Tea bag

Ingredients for Bhature:
Maida (refined wheat flour)
Baking powder (optional)
Ajwain (optional)

How to make Chole Bhature

How to make Chole:

  • Wash and soak chickpeas overnight. Boil them in a pressure cooker and add a teabag to give the chole a dark brown colour. When they are soft remove the teabag and drain into a pan, keeping the water.
  • In a different pan heat some oil, add some cumin seeds and then add some chopped onions and ginger and garlic paste and fry for a few minutes until it gives a nice aroma. Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, chole masala, turmeric and salt.
  • Add the drained chole and 2 cups of the water the chole were boiled in. Simmer on a low heat for an hour, stirring it every so often.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander.

How to make Bhature:

  • In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder (optional), ajwain (optional) and a bit of oil. Mix in water slowly and knead until you have a soft dough (curd can be used instead of water). Cover with wet muslin cloth and keep aside.
  • Roll bhature into oval or any desired shape and deep fry in very hot oil. Press the bhature in the middle whilst frying to help them become fluffy.
  • Serve hot with chole, and with onion and lemon wedges as salad.

These are very filling and heavy so best choice for Sunday brunch - invite your friends and neighbours and serve them with quick, filling and delicious chole bhature.

"Just a comment about the quantity of ingredients in this series of recipes, I would say that most people add in different amounts according to how they like it. Recipes are either normally passed on or people learn by experimenting with different amounts of spices until they get the taste they like, for example, I know I put different amounts of thngs into curries than my family and friends do, everyone does tend to work out how much they like."

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Harpreet Virdee



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