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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cholay Bathura

cholay chola bhatura bathura recipe indian vegetarian

Also, known as Channa Bathura, this is one of my favorite foods: Cholay is chickpea curry and Bathura is fried indian bread. It can be served as a snack, or as a meal along with rice pilaf or biriyani, and raita.

Poori is also fried indian bread, but, is usually made with whole wheat flour whereas bathura is usually made with all purpose flour; pooris are smaller than bathura: poori is about 4 inches in diameter, whereas bathura can be about 8-10 inches in diameter.

Since i don't have a large enough pot for frying 8 inch diameter bathura, I make what i call "mini bathura" which is about 4 inches in diameter, the size of a poori.

Bathura to me is sort of the savory version of Elephant Ears, and can be served as first course with any north indian meal, and can be paired with any other curry besides cholay.

Here's one of my versions of this popular north indian dish.

cholay chola bhatura bathura recipe indian vegetarian


For Bathura:

2 cups all purpose flour
salt to taste
oil for frying

Preparation: Bathura
  1. add some salt to all purpose flour and knead it into a soft dough by adding a little buttermilk at a time
  2. cover with a damp cloth and set aside, and make the cholay recipe below
  3. when cholay is simmering, heat some oil in a pan for frying the bathura
  4. divide the dough into golf-size balls (or smaller if you want smaller bathuras)
  5. roll out each ball into a flat round shaped bathura, about quarter inch thick and 5-6 inches in diameter (if you have a larger pot for frying them, make the bathuras even larger in diameter); dust frequently with all purpose flour so the dough doesn't stick to the roller pin
  6. when oil temperature is about 350 F, fry one bathura at a time till it puffs up, turns golden brown on both sides
  7. drain on a paper towel lined dish, serve hot with cholay


For Channa/Cholay:
3 cups of cooked chickpeas, drained
1 medium yellow onion,diced finely
2-3 medium tomatoes, diced finely
2-3 medium potatoes, diced
4 cloves of garlic
2" piece of fresh ginger
2-3 Tbsp Cholay Spice Mix*
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish
salt to taste
1 cup water, as needed

*Cholay Spice Mix:
3 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
3 dry red chilies (more if you like the heat)
2 indian bay leaves
2 2" Chinese cinnamon bark(Cinnamomum cassia(L.) Presl)
1 star anise
3-4 cloves

Preparation: Cholay
  1. Ginger-Garlic Paste: Pound/blend the ginger and garlic to a smooth paste and set aside
  2. Spice Mix: Dry roast the Spice Mix ingredients and blend them to a fine powder; this spice mix can be stored in an air-tight container for a month or two; also, can tweak the proportions of the ingredients for the Spice Mix to suit your taste
  3. Potatoes: Boil or microwave half the diced potatoes till they are cooked but firm and hold the shape, set aside; cook the rest of the potatoes till they are mushy, then mash them and set aside
  4. Sauce: heat the oil in a large enough pot, add the onions, pounded ginger+garlic paste, small amount of salt and 1 Tbsp of the Spice Mix and sautée till onions turn translucent; add the tomatoes, brown sugar and sautée some more; add 1 cup of water and the mashed potatoes (add more water if you prefer a thinner gravy) and stir well
  5. Chickpea Cholay: add washed cooked chickpeas, cooked diced potatoes and adjust the spices and salt to taste; simmer for about 10-12 mins till the flavors are well-rounded and the consistency of the dish is somewhat thick
  6. Garnish: off heat, stir in 2 Tbsp lemon juice and garnish with cilantro
  7. serve warm with lime wedges and slit green chilies on the side, along with bathura

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