Channa Bhatura

Last night I updated my recipe for channa bhatura a little, so thought I would re-post. Channa or chole bhatura is chick pea or garbanzo bean curry with big puffy fried bread. A while back, Tejas and I had channa bhatura at a restaurant called Annapurna in Culver City. It was totally different than other chole I’ve had; it was lighter and creamy and oh so delicious. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Panjabi style too! But I had to give this one a go. I googled chole with sour cream because I had this feeling that sour cream would give it a similar taste and found this recipe on sifybawarchi, which my recipe below is adapted from. The sour cream really worked! We used frozen bhatura, but maybe someday, I’ll try and make that too. Or maybe not considering my ill luck with breads 🙂

2 tablespoon oil
2 small onions or one big onion chopped
3 small tomatoes chopped
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
1 Trader Joe’s frozen garlic cube (or garlic paste)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon rajma masala (or channa masala, they are similar)
2 small cans cans (14 ounce) or 1 big can (29 ounce) garbanzo beans drained and rinsed (we get Indo-European brand from the Indian market and the chole is very soft and ready to go, other cans you really need to cook first to get them soft enough)
Squeeze of ketchup
1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste (how much you use really depends on how red and juicy your tomatoes are)
2-3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 tablespoon more oil
1 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
Cilantro chopped

  1. Heat oil in a medium stock pan.
  2. Add onions and cook until really soft and translucent.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes soften.
  4. Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, chili powder, coriander, garam masala and rajma masala and cook until the mixture is like a paste.
  5. Throw this mixture into the blender with 1/4 of the garbanzo beans, the ketchup, tomato paste, sour cream, and some water, and blend until smooth.
  6. Add back the mixture to the pan, add enough water to get the consistency you like.\
  7. In a tadka or other small pan, heat the remaining oil and jeera and cook until the jeera is toasty. Throw into the chole.
  8. Cook for at least 15-20 minutes to let the flavors meld.
  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve with bhatura, onions (sprinkled with lemon & chaat masala), and sliced lemon.

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