When you visit North India, you must try Cholle Bhature. This dish will be available at every food stall and restaurant. It’s served with Indian fried bread, steaming hot chickpea curry, and Coriander-Mint sauce and pickles. You could not find a dish more North-Indian than this one. It is loved by youngsters and elders alike. Once you taste it, you will not forget it. Just the thought of it has made my mouth water.
The style with which Indian foods are cooked, no matter if it is North Indian Pav Bhaji or South Indian Sambhar Dosa, is always going to be different in every household. Everyone has their family recipe, which makes the dish more personal. You can always buy Cholle Bhature from the restaurant, but when you prepare something yourself, it tastes even better.
How to Prepare Cholle Bhature
The recipe I am going to share is my own take of the Cholle. I usually serve them with Puris (Fried Bread) and Chutney ( coriander-mint sauce).
Here is what you are going to need to prepare Akanksha’s Chickpea Curry Recipe. Don’t worry – you will find everything in your nearest store or you can always order online.
- Large Onions – 3 (Slice them nice and thin)
- Large Tomatoes – 2 (Chopped. You can use canned tomatoes if you want)
- Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tablespoons
- Vegetable Oil – 2 tablespoons. (I prefer Mustard oil, but you can use Canola oil, Olive oil, or Sunflower oil)
- Bay leaves – 2
- Green Cardamoms – 4
- Peppercorns – 5
- Cumin – 1 teaspoon. (If you don’t like cumin in your food at least use Cumin powder, it is the base of the taste, can’t be avoided)
- Coriander Powder – 2 teaspoon
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 teaspoon (1 teaspoon if you like spicy food)
- Turmeric powder (very important) – ½ teaspoon
- Garam Masala (allspice) – 1 teaspoon
- Kosher Salt (or the normal one) – to taste
- Water – enough to make gravy
- Chickpeas – 1 bowl
- Ginger – 1 inch (julienned, for garnish)
- Fresh Coriander – 2 tablespoon (chopped fine, for garnish)
If you want to avoid waiting time, you can use canned chickpeas. Get two canned chickpeas if you are going for that. I like to use dry ones.
If you buy the dry chickpeas from the market, the preparation starts a day prior to the actual cooking day. A night before, clean and soak 1 bowl of chickpeas (enough to serve 2 to 3). After soaking overnight, drain the water and boil them in a pressure cooker or any utensil with half a teaspoon salt until soft.
Once boiled, drain the water and set them aside.
Take a deep, thick bottom pan and place it on the stove top. Add the vegetable oil, and let it heat for a few minutes
Add cumin, let it crackle. Don’t overheat the oil and keep the flame on low to avoid burning the spices. Add bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and peppercorns. Saute till dark in color and you can smell the flavors
Add Onion, fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry till the oil start separating from the paste
Add tomatoes, plus a pinch of salt to the paste and fry till the tomatoes turn into a paste. You can keep stirring lightly to avoid the paste sticking to the pan.
Add the dry spices now. If you are using cumin powder, add it at this stage. Add coriander powder first, and then turmeric and chili powder. Saute, stirring frequently, and let cook for 5 minutes.
Add the chickpeas you had boiled (or the canned ones) to the masala you just made, mix well.
Now you have to add boiled water, enough to make the gravy. I pour water until my chickpeas are well submerged. Add 1 teaspoon of salt into this, you can add later if you find the quantity of salt less than needed. Add the Garam Masala. Mix well.
Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the curry turns into a thick gravy. You can put a lid on if you think your chickpeas need to be a little softer.
Totally optional. You can use a potato masher or a flat spoon to mash some chickpeas coarsely.
Garnish with ginger, lots of butter, and coriander leaves.
Tip: When you add chickpeas into masala, you can add boiled and mashed potatoes too. It will make the gravy thicker, and taste better.
Serve the Chickpea curry you just made with your favorite bread, the chutney that you love, plus some pickles.
Chickpea curry can be kept refrigerated and eaten the next day too, it will taste the same. But, it is better to eat hot and fresh to enjoy the full flavor.
Akanksha is a budding Blogger and Digital Marketer. She loves to talk about her dog, (the best elder sister), and her passion for writing. You can read her blogs at How To Wiki, and she has more upcoming projects that you will love. Make sure you catch her on her Twitter.