cook in a curry

Chole Bhature – Punjabi Spiced Chickpea Curry with chillies & pomegranate

Punjabi Chole Bhatura

So here’s to my first blog post on my shiny new website! I am hugely proud and gleaming with excitement to see it all finished and looking lovely. Make sure to have a good look around and I do hope you like it.

Though as I type this, the weather is cold, damp and chucking it down with rain. Let’s just say for summer it isn’t quite what you’d expect however it keeps reminding me of Indian monsoons. Watching the rain hit my window pane while I’m sat indoors, scoffing hot pakoras and chai and generally indulging in some of my favourite foods to bring along that warmth, spice and good old comfort feeling. Chole Bhature most definitely ticks all those boxes and then some!

Spicy warm chickpea curry slow cooked to perfection with a slight pomegranate tang & heat from fresh ginger and chillies. All scooped up with bhaturas; a typical north Indian deep fried bread made with plain flour, baking powder and a leavening agent (in some cases yoghurt) of sort for that pillowy soft puffy bhatura.

For my spicy chick pea curry I cook it the way my mum does and most Indian households will have their take on it. I always add a teabag whilst cooking the chickpeas. A very common practice in Punjabi households in India. It lends a rich smoky flavour to the curry in addition to a deep colour which enhances the overall result of the curry. If you can get hold of loose tea leaves they might be worth adding as some grades of tea can have a stronger colour. Just a teaspoon or so of loose tea tied in a muslin while simmering the chick peas.

Pomegranate is another gorgeous addition to this dish. I use the powdered variety lending a tangy flavour to the dish. If you can’t get hold of it you can use a smaller quantity of pomegranate molasses or even some tamarind paste which have that required sour quality along with a dark colour.

This isn’t an instant curry so the longer you cook the chickpeas the better your curry will taste. A thick spiced gravy with deep fried puris of bhatura and some crispy onion rings perks up any rainy day.



250gms dried chick peas

1 PG Tips Tea bag

2 medium onions thinly sliced

1” piece ginger

2 green chillies

2 medium tomatoes

1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)

2 tsp heaped coriander powder

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp pomegranate powder

½ tsp black salt

Salt to taste

½ tsp garam masala

1 tbsp lemon juice

Fresh coriander roughly chopped for garnish

Slivers of ginger for garnish

Punjabi Chole Bhatura (2)

Soak the dried chickpeas in plenty of water overnight. Drain them and place in a saucepan with fresh water (about 2litres). Bring to a boil, simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours until they are tender. Drain, discard the tea bag and reserve the cooking liquid. Mash a few of the chick peas with a potato masher.

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a frying pan for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off as it starts to release all the warm spiced aromas. Crush to a coarse powder in pestle & mortar or a coffee grinder. Set aside. Blend the ginger and green chillies to a fine paste in a wet grinder and set aside. Blend the tomatoes to a puree as well separately and set aside.

In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil. Add the sliced onions and cook on a medium heat for 7-10minutes. Stir frequently and as they start to change colour tip in the ginger & chilli paste. Fry for a minute and add the blended tomatoes and fry for 6-8 minutes as the sauce begins to thicken.  Add all the powdered spices including the coarsely ground cumin. Stir for 2 minutes cooking the spices through, now add the chickpeas and mix well. Also add the pomegranate powder & black salt. Pour in the reserve liquid (about 800mls). Bring the curry to a boil & simmer for a further 25minutes. Stir half way through making sure the gravy has thickened but does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a little more water if you feel it’s too thick. Taste the curry and season if required, stir through garam masala & lemon juice.

Serve this chickpea curry warm with deep fried puris or bhaturas and sliced red onions. Also garnish with fresh coriander and fresh ginger.

Punjabi Chole Bhatura (3)
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  1. Posted July 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    This looks delicious Maunika!

    Loving your shiny new website too. I just need to find time to have a proper look at it.

  2. Posted July 18, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    looks great!

  3. Posted July 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic new website! And the chole don’t look half bad either 😉

  4. Alan Wilson
    Posted July 19, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Lovely website, lovely recipes, cooking the Chickpea curry today as a side dish to a Lamb curry.

  5. Posted July 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow! I go away for ten days and I come back, ready to catch up with my favourite blogs and look what I see! The website looks great – you must be very happy!

    And the recipe looks great! Well done Maunika.

  6. Posted July 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Great web site,And the best Indian Food recipes I have seen ever,Well done

    • maunika
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Thanks everyone! So glad you like the new website. Keeping checking back for more recipes, exciting news and food events. Maunika.

  7. Samina Tariq
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Lovely website with beautiful colours .

  8. Cynie
    Posted February 25, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    This is the only pomegranate powder I could find locally. Would this work for the recipe? I am not sure if it is made from ground seeds or what.


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