There is no north Indian caterer, who would not be judged on his skills, by this dish. The quintessential 'Punjabi Chole' or 'Channa Masala' .Better known as the versatile chickpeas curry. Use it for main course, as the mighty Chole. Use it in appetizer like 'Chole tikki' by serving fried potato patties and chutneys mint & tamarind/date. As 'chaat' by topping a samosa or kachori. Serve it as breakfast as the Channa bhatura or Chana bhatura or Punjabi Chole Bhature.
Basically, fried pancakes served with chickpeas. This is one of the best served snacks. We lovingly make it for Sunday breakfast. You will fall in love with this curry over and over again. You can make it many ways. Also, serve it in many ways.
There are many people who owe a living to chole bhature or chole kulche across north India. Some sell it on carts while others at their hotels or sweet-shops. There is one chola bhatura counter at every north Indian wedding. It is the first choice of snack at get-togethers and birthday celebrations at home. Such is the love for this chickpea masala. Punjabi chole bhature rocks ! The taste may vary and change with every cook in the house yet it conquers all.
What are the chole bhature ingredients ?
- Chana masala/Pinda chole - Chickpea curry cooked with onions, tomatoes and spices
- Bhatura - Fried Indian bread made with wheat flour fermented with yeast, soda or yogurt.
What goes well with chole bhature?
Serve it with rice or tandoori roti if making it a vegan meal.
Serve it with chapati or bread for a vegan option.
Other ways of serving it for vegetarian options, serve it with chapati/kulcha/naan or the best Bhature. Pickled onions and lemon wedges go well with this meal. Top with a glass of mango lassi.
Ways of making Chickpea curry/chole
- Method 1: Make your own spice blend as in the below recipe. Soak chickpeas overnight and make it the traditional way.
- Method 2:Use canned chickpeas work for a quick fix of making the curry. This works if you got no time to cook.
- Method 3: Soak chickpeas in hot water for 3-4 hours if you want to make it for dinner. Although there is nothing like making it from scratch. I even love eating some boiled chickpeas on-the-go while I cook. Best part of this gravy is it makes the dish plentiful. You serve it with love and richness.
Why this bhatura is better than normal one?
There are ways of making bhature too.
- Method 1: Use plain flour + yeast
- Method 2: Use plain flour +soda+ yogurt
- and Method 3: Use plain flour+ wheat flour ,results in darker ones.
Traditional method is using plain flour and frying it. However, the plain flour ones get really rubbery and hard to eat if you leave it for a while. You cannot eat them on room temperature. We gave it much thought.
How to improve the bhatura?
Method 4: Our method below with flax-seeds. We added flax-seeds to this traditional recipe. Use our method to make bhature with a difference. Flax seeds increase elasticity yet doesn't give you that rubbery feel at room temperature. Fiber content of bhatura also improves and thus, your junk food becomes tad bit healthy. One big concern for all mums with growing toddlers and kids.
What is in the chole masala ?
The masala mix for this recipe can be prepared in advanced and stored in the fridge/freezer for months.You may use punjabi chole masala instead of preparing the below homemade chole masala. The ingredients include
- Black pepper
- Cumin seeds
- Fenugreek seeds
- Green cardamom
- Black cardamom
- Coriander seeds
- Red chilli
- Bay leaves
- Dry roast the spices and allow it to cool
- Grind the spices to a fine powder
Choice of ingredients that can add the sour taste to the curry. There are different options to choose to add sourness to the curry. I prefer a combination of tomatoes and 'anardana'/ dried pomegranate seeds.
Step-by-step pictures for making chole / chana masala.
- Soak the chickpeas with channa dal overnight
- Cook until soft (lid covered/pressure cook for 2 whistles) ,then add a tea bag.
3.Cook with the tea bag for 10-15 minutes, remove the tea bag (you may add black tea water as well if you do not have the tea bag)
4.In a seperate pot,heat oil, cook the onion, ginger and garlic until brown. Add tomatoes and cook until dark in colour.
5.Mash a small amount of cooked chickpeas/chole
6.Add the chole to the pot of onion/tomato paste
7.Cook until the chole are soft
8. Add the anardana powder(any other ingredient for sourness) with chole masala.
9. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chickpeas have cooked and mixed with the curry. You may need to cook more if the curry is too watery for you.
Step by step pictures for making the bhatura/fried bread
We have used powdered flax seeds to make the bhatura a bit healthier than the one without it, you may skip it if you want to.
1.Knead a soft dough with above ingredients,adjust water accordingly
2.Roll into a soft bread/puri
3.Cook in hot oil
4.Take out when golden brown.
Serve with pickle onions and Punjabi chole
Need more chaat ideas to pair with this yummy chole masala
Read the chole bhature recipe below
You can also make puri with aata and serve with chole ,this is called chole puri.
You can also make the chole in a simpler way,refer to our recipe for vegan chana masala here.
chole bature recipe | chole bhatura recipe
Chole Masala spice mix
- 1 cinnamon stick/dalchini
- 1 teaspoon black pepper/sabut kali mirch
- 1 tbsp. cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 teaspoon methi dana/fenugreek seeds
- ¼ cup tbsp coriander seeds/dhania
- 2-3 bay leaves/tej patta
- 1 to 2 dry red chillies/sookhi lal mirch
- 3-4 cloves/laung
- 4 small elaichi/choti elaichi
- 2 Black cardamom/badi elaichi
Channa masala curry
- 2 cup chole/chana/chickpeas. soaked overnight
- ½ cup chana dal/split chickpeas soaked overnight
- 3 medium onions chopped
- 1 to mato pureed
- 2 tablespoon channa masala* above spice mix
- 2 tablespoon anardana/dried pomegranate seeds powdered or amchur/dried mango powder
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 tablespoon adrak mirchi/ginger-chilli
- 1 tea bag/1 cup black tea optional
- Salt as per taste
- 2.5 cup maida /plain flour
- ¼ cup flax seeds+ ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon soda
- ¾ cup dahi /yogurt
- 2 tbsp. sooji/semolina
- For frying: oil
- Roast the spices on low flame in a metal pan,till they get extra browned.
- Let theses roasted spices cool and then grind them finely in a dry grinder.Store this in an air-tight bottle for future use.
For chole/channa masala
- In a pressure cooker,heat oil and add ginger-chilli to it.
- Add chopped onions to it with salt.
- Let it cook,once it has turned dark brown, add tomatoes and mix well.
- Keep a small portion of chickpeas aside and add remaining the chickpeas.
- Mash the small portion of chickpeas and add it to the pot to boil.
- Add the tea bag with 2-3 cups of water.
- Let it cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Now,add dried pomegranate powder/mango powder with chole masala.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chickpeas have cooked and mixed with the curry. You may need to cook more if the curry is too watery for you.
- Mix the flax seed meal with 1 cup warm water and keep it aside.
- Mix the flour,soda and semolina with a spoon.
- Add yogurt and flax-seed meal to it.
- Knead well and let it rest for 30 mins.
- Later,Divide the flour in equal portions.
- Roll them with a rolling pin and fry them in hot oil in a wok.
- Serve hot with pickled onions,pindi chole and lemon wedges.
2. If you don't have dried pomegranate seeds then you can use tomato puree/mango powder/tamarind in the curry.
3. Although home masala masala provides a nice aroma to this recipe you can also use pre-packed chana masala or garam masala