Khatte Chole Aur Bhature

Chole‘ or chickpea curry is very popular street food in the northern parts of India.The curry is known for its blackish color due to use of tea bags while boiling it and has dominant flavor of roasted cumin.In my house, dry pomegranate seeds or anardana is added to this curry along with lots of tomatoes to make it more tangy or ‘khatte‘.This curry is not hot but is spicy.The chickpea curry is traditionally eaten with bhatura or a fried leavened puffed bread.Some people make a yeasted version of bhatura too.What I am posting is an instant recipe which requires an hour of resting time.

Khatte Chhole

Printable Recipe

Ingredients: [Serves 2]

  • 1/3 cup dry chickpeas [substitute with canned garbanzo beans]
  • 1/8 tsp cooking soda
  • 2 black tea bags
  • Water for boiling
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 green chillies, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 black cardamom [badi elaichi]
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dry pomegranate seeds [anardana]
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup mustard oil [or canola oil]
  • Salt to taste


  • Soak the chickpeas over night in 3 cups water with cooking soda.Once soaked, drain the soaking water and discard it.
  • Boil the chickpeas with enough water, tea bags & 1 tsp salt in a pressure cooker till 80% cooked.About 15 minutes on high and 2 whistles. [Omit this step if using canned garbanzo beans]
  • Once cooked, drain the chickpeas and preserve the water.We will use it in curry later.
  • In your coffee blender, coarsely crush the dry pomegranate seeds, cloves, pods of black cardamom and roasted cumin seeds.Add the cinnamon powder to this spice mix.Set aside.

  • In a cooking vessel with lid, add the oil and heat it up on high till the oil starts smoking slightly.Once smoking, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and cook till golden brown.After this add the bay leaf & saute for 2 minutes.
  • Next, add the grated garlic, minced chilli & ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes along with chilli,coriander,turmeric powder,crushed spice mix made in 4th step and salt.Cook this curry masala on low heat till the oil starts separating from the mix along the sides of the vessel.
  • Tip in the boiled beans into the vessel and combine well so that all the beans are covered in the masala.Saute for about 3 minutes.
  • Next add 1/2 cup or more of preserved water depending on how thick you like the gravy,cover and let the gravy come to a boil on a low heat.
  • Once the curry has simmered for 10-15 minutes, add the garam masala, stir well and let simmer for another 5-6 minutes till the chickpeas are soft,
  • Remove from heat, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm bhatura

Ingredients: [Makes 6-8 flatbreads]
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small boiled potato, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt mixed with 1 cup milk, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes (as required for kneading a soft dough )
  • Oil for deep-frying.

  • Combine the all purpose flour with semolina and soda thoroughly.
  • Whisk oil, sugar and salt in the buttermilk.
  • Add the grated potato and buttermilk mix to flour mix.Start with 1/2 cup of butter milk and knead well to make dough.You may need to adjust the buttermilk quantity.The dough will be slightly sticky but pliable and soft.Knead for about 5 minutes.
  • Cover it with wet cloth and keep it in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Make a lemon sized balls of the dough.On a floured surface, roll the flour balls into an elliptical shape, about 1/4 ” thick.

  • Heat oil in a deep-frying fan.A quick way to check the temperature of oil without thermometer is to pinch a small quantity of dough and put it in oil.It should sizzle to the surface immediately.
  •  Once oil is heated, tip in the rolled bhaturas into the oil sliding from the sides of the pot.Be careful because the oil may splutter.Fry the bhaturas flipping them  as till they turn slightly golden on both sides.Make sure that you don’t fry the bhatures long because you want them to be soft and light golden.
  • Drain from the oil and place on paper towel.
  • Serve them with chickpea curry, salad and raita.

50 thoughts on “Khatte Chole Aur Bhature

  1. Marvelous! Superlative ! Mouthwatering! No matter how many compliments I write, it will not be enough for the chole bhature that you have created. Great preparation.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. Love your bhaturas! And the chola looks very tangy indeed. I noticed that you use tea bags for the color. I have experimented with several different kinds of tea while cooking chola and I found that Lapsang Souchong gave the chickpeas that robust smoky flavour that is a trademark at most restaurants. Try it if you haven’t already, you’ll love it! I am going to make a batch of these with pomegranate seeds like in your recipe. I usually use aamchur or tamarind.

    Once again, love your bhaturas. I miss them! 🙂

  3. My God,thats totally authentic and yummy.Super clicks as usual.Have found many battura recipes,but this sounds unique.lemme try and see.Thanks.

  4. Tangi Kebab .. Yes! I need to use my hand and bite every inch of meat from the bone and then suck it up (how uncivilized do I sound now ??!! 😀 )
    Chole Bhature is such a comforting meal for me. I like add little lime juice .. some raw red onion and I can finish one full bowl of chole just like that… Thanks for sharing the Bhature recipe .. i didn’t know how to make that ..

  5. Like Sneh said I too end up adding aamchur. And I have anardana for ages and always forget using it in anything. I’m so going to try using it next time. This looks great and no one loves Bhatura like me but I rarely make it. The deep frying is such a turn off but the taste …mmm

    P.S. – is it you I see in the spoon ? 😉

  6. I grew up eating with a spoon too…and I wanted to eat with my hands like the grown-ups too. It is impossible to eat any of the breads with a fork and knife!
    The khatte chole aur bhature looks delicious, and sounds healthy.

  7. like your dry spices in the chhole, I never have found anardana so to add something I end up using amchur. will try your method. very well explained and lovely presentation Tanvi.

  8. Oh Tanvi… I wish that you are like my neighbor! This looks wonderful! I’ve been over at my Indian friend’s house so many times, but I just can’t get enough. Do you eat like this everyday? Well I’m sure you are… arh so enviosu!

  9. yum yum.. this looks like a dish I can never turn down. I love your bhaturas, it looks really really good and the photos are just amazing.

  10. I don’t normally eat a lot of chickpeas daily but you are definitely making me want to give them a try. I love the garlic, ginger, cumin, and other spices in this dish as well Tanvi 🙂

  11. I liek the idea of adding aamchur like Sneh and Kulsum recommended. Your bhature look rather professional girl!!! And I so agree about Indian culture of eating with hands and yet expecting the children to eat with forks and kknives!

  12. same pinch on rowdy (kiddish i know) that my nick name in college…shhh!
    Tanvi, its the same here, for lunch at work i’m use cutleries but i make sure one meal at home i have it with hand it gives me a great sense of satisfaction and even when i invite my foreign for Indian dinner i insist and teach them to eat by hand, beauty is they do try, but it cute to see adults eating like a kid 🙂 and bhature i’m sold out babes! promise me to cook whenever i get to meet you!

  13. I actually like piling everything on flatbread and eat it that way. I am a messy eater, so I only do it at home! Can I bake the flatbread instead of frying?

  14. I’ll be honest, I would almost always rather eat with my hands. Probably inappropriately so. 😛

    This looks so delicious! I love the spices in it! I truly think it’s going to have to make it to my menu this week. So good!

  15. I love a good chole, but although I’ve tried about 5 different recipes, I’ve never made one that I’ve been really happy with. Your version looks excellent, and I love it that you made bhature to go with it. Awesome.
    *kisses* HH

  16. I eat with my hands all the time – sandwiches, ribs, fruit 🙂 But i grew up in Europe and Asia so i was raised with knife and fork and then chopsticks. In Thailand you eat with fork and spoon and in the US ONLY a fork 🙂 I laugh about it since to me eating ettiquette is very different in each county even the western ones. Great post – and i LOVE indian food and i just usyally stuff my naan and just eat with my hands. I could eat Indian all the time.

  17. Mexicans eat very similar to Indians. We use our bread, tortillas, as spoons for many of our dishes that are similar to curries. Somethings call for cutlery but sometimes it’s best to just eat your spoons 🙂 The Khatte Chole looks amazing!

  18. Speaking as a non-Indian, one of my favourite parts of Indian cuisine is eating it with my hands! Love all those flatbreads.

  19. i recently discovered the art of rolling dough and the first experiment was a batura..oh how i loved it.the chole recipe im gonna bookmark cos i never seem 2 get it right

  20. This looks spectacular! I just stumbled upon your blog and am absolutely loving it. I’m definitely going to follow your site. 🙂

  21. Hey tanvi…I’m a very recent visitor on your blog and quite an amateur at cooking…cooked yr chicken manchurian recipe yesterday and tried the bhunna murgh today… Both turned out awesome…
    Really wanna try these bhaturas…they remind me of our trips to India when I was young…one quick question though… Can we substitute buttermilk with anything else….?’s not available where I live… Yoghurt maybe??if yoghurt, which one…?? The desi sour one or the packaged one?…
    Thanks and once again great recipes!!!
    Will appreciate a quick response…want to make this Tom!!!

    1. thanks for trying out Tooba 🙂 glad that you liked the recipes.
      As far as buttermilk substitute is concerned, you can thin out the plain yougurt with water and use. Just take care that your yogurt is sour and the quantity requiredto knead the dough will be lesser than buttermilk.You can use anything- curd (dahi) from indian stores or plain yougurt from american grocery stores. Hope this helps 🙂

  22. Thank you so much tanvi…made this today…turned out great though I used a buttermilk substitute made from milk and vinegar rather than youghurt….they were delicious!!!

  23. Tanvi, just came across the recipe; was comparing the different chole recipes.
    What garam masala did you use here?

    1. Hi Shri,
      I use homemade garam masala (my mom sends me a batch every now & then). If I were to buy, I find MDH brand’s taste the best. Thanks

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