Bhature

Bhature

Chole Bhature is one of the tempting and flavourful dishes from the Punjabi Cuisine. ‘Chole Bhature’ is a Hindi phrase, and in that ‘Chole’ is a spicy and tangy chickpea curry and the fried flatbreads are called bhature/bhatura. The combination of both is known as ‘Chole Bhature’.

This dish is one of the most eaten breakfast/snacks in the Northern part of India. Every single thought about this dish makes me nostalgic and takes me through the memory lane. Whenever I go to India, the first dish I eat is Chole Bhature.

Chole Bhatura evokes lot of amazing memories in my mind. My college in India was near a popular place called Bengali Market in Delhi. My friends, Rasneet and Vasu and I would often (at least twice a week) walk to Bengali Market to eat chole bhature at Nathu’s. In those days there was no air conditioning at Nathu’s and we would sit under the fans, in 40C heat eating chole bhature in a full service restaurant sweating like mad. Many a times we had to queue in the heat, but it was worth the wait. The bhature were crisp on the outside, soft inside and had a satisfying doughy taste. And when you break off a piece of bhatura and scoop up the chole with it … that’s when the real magic happens! Some onion and pickle with it and you are in heaven!

Now that I live in the UK, my friend Ruchika often has a chola Bhatura party. I am the official ‘Bhatura’ person as she makes the chola and I make the Bhatura. There is something nostalgic about coming together and cooking. The dish Chola Bhatura is synonymous to friends for me. It just revokes lots of memories of the past, present and I am sure we will continue to make special memories in the future too!

This is an adapted recipe of my bhabie’s (sister-in-law) recipe for those days when you have time to make dough and keep it for an hour or so.

I call this recipe my ‘holiday bhatura’ recipe as I need more planning and organisation compared to my instant Bhatura recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup plain flour (maida)
3 tablespoons fine semolina
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon melted ghee/oil
½ cup warm water (approx)
oil for deep frying

Directions

Step-1

Add the plain flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda, salt, plain yogurt and melted ghee in a bowl and mix.

Knead to a pliable soft dough adding water as required. The best way check that it is the right consistency is when you break it apart and the dough is slightly stringy. Cover the dough with a moist cloth or cling film and leave to rest for at least 1 hour.

 

Step-2

After an hour knead for a couple of minutes again. The dough should be more pliable after the resting. Divide into equal pieces and make balls out of the dough. You should be able to make 5-6 balls from this dough.

Roll out the balls into oblong shape till it is 2-3 mm thick.

Step-3

Heat oil for frying. To test the temperature of the oil, drop a small piece of dough in the oil and if it rises to the top quickly then the oil is ready.

Slide in the rolled bhatura gently into the oil and wait a couple of seconds. Then, press on it with the back of a slotted spoon. The bhatura will puff up. Turnover and let it fry for a few seconds before removing it from the oil onto some absorbent kitchen paper.

Serve hot with Chole, salad and pickle.

Tips & Variations

  1. The bhatura dough should not be hard. If the dough is too hard then the bhature will be hard when fried.
  2. It is particularly important to rest the dough for it to develop gluten.
  3. While rolling the dough ball, dip the end of the ball in some oil and that would help in rolling.
  4. Make sure the oil is hot, but not so much that it starts giving off fumes. If the oil is too hot, the bhatura will burn on the outside and the dough will remain under-cooked inside.
  5. If the oil is not hot enough, the dough will not rise, and the bhatura will absorb a lot of oil.
  6. Semolina helps in giving the bhatura that crispy layer hence I always add fine semolina while kneading the dough.
  7. I would highly recommend using warm water while making this dough as it helps to activate the baking soda and powder.

2 Replies to “Bhature”

    1. Thanks Nidhi Kundra@ You would remember our Nathu’s trip too! The walk to Bengali market to eat those delicious Chole Bhature! The recipe is an ode to those beautiful moments we spent together.

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