Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Punjabi Chhole Recipe for Chhole Bhature

I find it fascinating to learn about local food traditions. And one of the ways I love to do that is by talking to people and asking them questions. My curiosity and love for food ensure that most of my conversations are sprinkled with questions and discussions about food.

It was during one of these conversations with my neighbour that I found out that there are two versions of chhole. One version is the curried version with the tomato and onion gravy that is had with rice. The other is what is had in the classic street food combination of Chhole Bhature. Bhature a fried bread made of a refined flour dough fermented overnight. Bhature are best described as huge (each is at least 10 inches in diameter), soft and spongy. 

Punjabi Chhole for Chhole Bhature

This made me curious, so I asked her for the recipe of the Chhole Bhature version of chhole. It turned out to be a very easy preparation with very basic dry spices. And it has no onion or garlic, which makes it perfect for Jain eaters. The trick of the dish is to let it simmer in the pan for as long as possible to bring out the spices in the dish.

Punjabi Chhole for Chhole Bhature

Punjabi Chhole Recipe for Chhole Bhature

Preparation Time: 8 hours (to soak the chhole)

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4


2 cups white chickpeas
4 cups water

2 tbsps oil
3 tsps roasted cumin (jeera) powder
2 tsps turmeric powder
3 tsps red chilly powder
2 tsps garam masala powder
4 tsps corriander powder
Salt to taste

Onion rings (optional) and lemon wedges to serve


Thoroughly wash the white chickpeas under running water. Soak them in the 4 cups of water overnight for at least 8 hours.

Pressure cook the chickpeas for 4 whistles till they're done. Drain the extra water from the chickpeas.

In a saucepan (preferably iron saucepan or kadhai) heat oil.

Lower the flame and add in the roasted cumin powder and the turmeric powder. Fry for about 15 seconds.

Bring the flame to a medium high and throw in the boiled chickpeas. Give it a good stir.

Now add in all the other spices - the red chilly powder, garam masala powder and corriander powder. Add in the salt to taste. Mix all of this well with the chickpeas.

Keeping the flame at a medium high, let the chickpeas simmer with the spices for about 5 minutes, ensuring that you constantly stir them.

Lower the flame and let the chickpeas cook with the spices for another 15-20 minutes. Stir constantly so that the spices don't burn.

Serve with lemon wedges and onion rings, parathas and dhaniya kadhi

Punjabi Chhole for Chhole Bhature Paratha and Dhaniya Kadhi