Chole bhatura

  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 regular tea bag
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pod cardamon, bruised
  • 2cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large thumb-sized pieces 
ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 (about 200g) tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp gram flour
  • 1 large potato, peeled, diced and cooked
  • 1/2 
lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground dried pomegranate, optional
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste


  • 200g 
plain flour
  • 25g wholewheat or chappati flour
  • 25g fine semolina
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 75ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for deep-frying

To serve

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2cm 
ginger, finely shredded
  • a bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, wedged
  • fried whole green chillies, to serve optional


  • STEP 1

    For the bhatura, sieve the plain flour into a large bowl and add the wholewheat flour, semolina, 1 tsp. salt, sugar and the yeast.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the milk with 100ml water in a small pan until lukewarm, stir in the vegetable oil and gradually add enough liquid to the flour until it resembles a soft but not sticky dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth, then cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for about 20 minutes.

  • STEP 3

    Lightly oil a baking sheet and divide the dogs into 10 balls. Roll each bad to a 12cm circle, around 3mm thick.

  • STEP 4

    Fill a pan with oil to no more than 1/3 full and heat to 180C, or until a piece of bread browns in 30 seconds. Deep-fry each bhatura, one at a time, for 3 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through then draining on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining bhatura.

  • STEP 5

    Put the chickpeas and tea bag in a medium-sized pan and pour over 400-450ml cold water to cover generously. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse.

  • STEP 6

    Heat a frying pan over a medium heat with 2 tbsp oil and add the bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon and fry for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry until golden, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli powder and fry for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée and fry for 5-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the gram flour and cook for a minute.

  • STEP 7

    Discard the tea bag from the chickpeas and add these, along with their cooking liquid and the cooked potato, to the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.

  • STEP 8

    Stir in the lime juice, garam masala, ground pomegranate (if using), ground cumin and tamarind paste, and simmer for another few minutes, then leave to cool.

  • STEP 9

    When you’re ready to serve, reheat fully, then scatter with the onion, shredded ginger, and coriander, and serve with lime wedges, fried chillies and bhatura.


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