Chole bature- Chandani Chowk to NJ

Hello Dearies!!!! Today we bring to your attention the humble dish on any Punjabi or chat menu card that reads chole and bature. Most dhabas and most udipi restaurants have taken this dish out of Chandani Chowk in Delhi and given it their own tadka and made it into a Indian dish. Like Idli sambar is not  a madrasi dish anymore, so is chole bature not a punjabi dish anymore. Pardon our ignorance, but living in Bombay for 25 yrs does that to you, you kind of divide the lower south into madrasi and upper north into punjabi. There are no individual states and cuisine in Bombay.

This dish was not a most wanted dish in Ashland until Donut tasted it at his friends lunch date. Suddenly it became the most awaited and most wanted go to food. Like I said while growing up, I always thought that my friends moms were the best chefs around and my mom had a long way to learn things. Sadly so Donut thinks the same for his old ma, and claims he never tasted  chole better than what his friends mom had prepared. Was I happy? Yes certainly so; very happy that Donut was willing to finally shed his motto that Indian food is Spicy  and try tasting and even liking Indian spicy food.

More happy that someday when he will be older, he will start liking my food better than his own, after all we all agree that Moms food is always the best.

This dish will require some planning unless you are cracking the can of chick peas open, yet give it about 2 hrs to finish off this elegant dish, that will leave you craving for more.

We will see stepwise recipes for each of the dishes prepared. First starting with Punjabi chole.

Punjabi Chole

You will need
1 14 oz can of chick peas/ Garbanzo Beans
** Alternatively soak 1.5 cups of Chickpeas overnight and drain and pressure cook the beans with the  following spices.

Wash and drain the beans and in a pot take some water till the beans get soaked, add in whole spices like cinnamon sticks, 5-6 cloves, 1 inch ginger sliced, 5-6 peppercorns, 1 black cardamom, 1 bay leaf and 2 Assam tea bags, let it boil for 10 mins. Discard the ginger and tea bags after cooking.

**If pressure cooking the beans, add in all the above spices and pressure cook till the beans turn soft but not mushy.

2 Medium Onions
2 Medium Tomatoes
1 Tbspn Cilantro
1 Tbspn Mint-Optional
3-4 cloves Garlic
1 green chili
* The one I have on hand are really hot, adjust heat level as per your liking.

1 tspn Garam Masala
1 tspn Amchur/Dry Mango Powder
1 tspn Chole Masala
Salt to taste

1 tbspn Oil
1 tspn Cumin Seeds/Jeera

In the blender jar add the masala ingredients,and blend into a fine paste.

In a wok, take the oil and add the cumin, let it sizzle, add in the blended masala and fry till the masala gets fried and oil starts leaving the sides of the wok, add in the cooked beans. cook on medium heat till the beans get cooked with the masala, add in the seasonings and adjust it to taste. Garnish with onions and cilantro and ginger. Serve with batura and rice.

Whole Wheat Batura

You will need;
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup All Purpose flour
1 cup Sour Yogurt
Salt to taste
water , ONLY if  needed to knead the dough.
1 Tspn Clarified butter to grease the dough. -Optional

Oil for Deep frying

In a bowl add in the flours and the curd, salt and mix well, Add water only if needed to knead into  soft pliable dough. Grease with clarified butter and Set aside for about an hour or so. The more you keep is better for the batura to be light. Since we had hungry kids hovering over with "is it done yet!", we kept it for an hr only. Heat the oil for deep frying in a kadai/pot, and let it smoke once, once it smokes, reduce the heat to medium. Roll out the batura or poori as big as you want or depending on the size of your fryer. Since I have  small kadai, I made small poori to fry. Be extra careful when dealing with hot oil and frying and not splash the batura and spill oil all over you. Fry one side of the batura and then turn and fry the other side to ensure a full cooking of the batura. Enjoy with spicy and tangy Chole.

Jeera Rice

You will need
1 Cup Basmati Rice
1 tbspn Cumin/Jeera
Salt to taste
2 Cups Boiling water

Wash and drain the rice. Keep aside for 30 mins. In a pot, take the water, add salt. Once it comes to a rapid boil, add in the drained rice, jeera and cover and cook on medium for 10 mins. Switch off the gas and keep it covered for another 5-7 mins.

Enjoy the meal with you loved ones and cherish the memory that this plate is offering you. You might not have the best of everything, but to make the best of what you have is everything!!!!!

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