I grew up having Chhole Bhature from an famous shop in my hometown. It used be our Sunday brunch at least once a month. Every time Dad and I went to the shop to buy Chhole Bhature, Pinki uncle (the shopkeeper) would give us gulab jamuns while we wait for his assistants to make fresh bhaturas and pack for us. Those memories are still afresh in my mind and the taste alive on my tongue. I don’t think I will ever be able to replicate that taste, for it was not just the magic of special hands and masalas, but also the pleasant smile of Pinki uncle and the drive to the shop with Dad. Well, some things needn’t be replicated, they are only meant to be cherished as memories. Nevertheless, I tried my hands on chhole bhature. Here is what I did:
- Chickpeas – 1 cup (soaked overnight)
- Tea bags – 2
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cloves -2
- Black Cardamom – 1
- Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tbsp.
- Chhole Masala – 1 tsp
- Mango powder – 1 tbsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Tomato – 2 medium (roughly chopped)
- Clarified Butter (Ghee) – 2-3 tbsp
- Green Chilies – 2 (slit length wise)
- Ginger – 1 inch (julienned)
- Water to boil chickpeas
- Boil the Chickpeas along with tea bags, bay leaf, cloves, and black cardamom, until they are tender. I kept them on high flame to 1 whistle and then on medium flame for 10 minutes. Use less water to boil them; we don’t need more than ¼ cup of it.
- Once boiled, strain them in a bowl and keep the liquid aside. We will use some of it.
- Add salt, cinnamon powder, chhole masala, mango powder, cumin powder, and red chili powder to the strained chickpeas. And, let them marinate for approx. 20 minutes.
- Heat a skillet on gas stove and add the marinated chhole. Add tomatoes, ginger (save some for garnishing), and chilies.
- While they are roasting up, heat a pan and add ghee. Bring it to smoke point and pour it over the chhole.
- Let them roast to the extent where the tomatoes are tender but not mushy.
- Garnish with some julienned ginger.
- Refined flour (maida) – 2 1/2 cups
- Yogurt -1/2 cup
- Baking powder -1/2 tsp
- Soda bicarbonate – a pinch
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 2 tsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Luke warm water for kneading
- In a bowl, sieve in flour, baking powder, soda bicarbonate, salt, sugar and yogurt.
- Lightly knead the dough using luke warm water. Use little at a time.
- Smear oil on the dough and cover it with a wet cloth or cling film. Keep it aside for an hour.
- Divide dough into equal portions. Make golf size balls. Cover with cling film or wet cloth and rest it for another 10 minutes.
- Grease your palms with a little oil and flatten the balls.
- Roll out into oval shape, using your rolling pin or you can use your hands if you have enough practice to make chapattis with hand. It will automatically turn into oval due to its elasticity. You know how I mean, don’t you? 😉
- Heat sufficient oil in a skillet and deep fry the bhaturas on high heat till light brown on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper.
- Serve hot with chhole.