This bhatura recipe with curd is perfectly crunchy and golden on the outside while being soft on the inside!
Easy to prepare, all you will need to start knitting this glorious Indian bread, are a few dry ingredients, yogurt and oil, and a large bowl; as this recipe uses baking powder and baking soda rather than yeast, both preparation and resting time are reduced.
As this is a traditional deep-fried dish that is glorious with some chana masala, lowering the calories and unhealthy fats in the recipe, while still maintaining the flavor and texture was a top priority, as eating healthy to lose weight should not mean compromise, but moderation.
Get knitting the soft dough, heat the oil, and enjoy this delicious traditional Punjabi breakfast!
Let’s talk nutrition!
While semolina is used to give crunchiness to the bhatura dough once fried, it is also a very nutritious and healthy addition to the recipe.
Semolina is made of durum wheat; once durum wheat is milled, its most nourishing components are used and ground into what we know as semolina.
This coarse flour is rich in fiber and protein while being low in fats. Fiber and proteins are great nutrients as they help slow down digestion, making one feel full for longer, which may help, in the long term and together with a healthy and balanced diet, lose weight.
In addition to fiber and protein, semolina is also rich in Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine) and B-9 (Folate), which have multiple roles, such as assisting with the conversion of food into energy.
Because semolina is made of durum wheat, it is a good source of complex carbs; its high fiber content helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, assisting with the management of sugar spikes after a meal.
~~ Looking for ideas of versatile vegetables that are tasty while being low in carbohydrates? The 18 Best Low-Carb Vegetables
What is bhatura?
Bhatura is a deep-fried Indian bread that is made of all-purpose flour and a leavening agent; bhature has an oval shape and once fried are golden brown.
The perfect bhatura is crunchy on the outside while being fluffy on the inside, offering a great chewy texture to accompany a curry.
It is traditionally served with Punjabi chole or chana and it is a North Indian breakfast (or brunch) staple; this delicious meal is surely one of the most popular Punjabi recipes and many serve hot bhature for a Sunday brunch at home, although it is served in most Indian restaurants.
~~If you are looking for the perfect chana masala recipe to accompany spongy deep fried bread (not deep-fried in this case, yet as delicious), look no further, as I have shared the most fantastic Punjabi Chole Bhature Recipe right here (No need to wonder what is chole bhature any longer, as you have the right recipe to get you going in your hands!)
How to make bhatura?
To obtain the perfect bhatura, ensure you prepare the dough at least 30 minutes before you want to enjoy them, as that’s how long the dough will need to rest for the best results.
In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients (plain flour, fine semolina, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, and salt) and mix well.
Once all of the dry ingredients are well mixed, add the plain yogurt and mix once more; at this point, you will obtain a very crumbly dough, which won’t form a unique dough ball.
At this point start adding the warm water to the mix, ensuring you add only a bit at a time, as you will want a soft dough, but not wet.
Once the bhatura dough is ready, you will need to knit it by hand for about 5 to 10 minutes, to ensure a homogeneous texture is achieved. The dough can be prepared also in a stand mixer, in which case it will only need to be knitted for 5-6 minutes.
To rest, cover the dough with little oil or a damp cloth so that it doesn’t dry out while resting in a warm place, perhaps in your airing cabinet. You can rest the dough for as little as 20-30 minutes up to the next day; should you wish to use it the next day, then it is best to store it in an airtight container in the fridge and bring it back to room temperature before cooking.
Once the smooth dough has rested, divide it into equal portions (this recipe is for eight) and lightly work each piece into smooth balls. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball in oval shape until it is about 1/10 of an inch (3 mm) thick.
Heat oil in a medium-small frying pan (just big enough for one bhatura) on medium-high heat and, as soon as hot but not fuming, add the rolled dough to the pan and allow to cook halfway.
Bubbles will start to form on the top of the rolled bhatura and, once ready, flip over and finish cooking.
Once the hot bhatura is thoroughly cooked, remove it from the oil using a slotted spoon and put it on a plate that is covered with a paper towel, so to eliminate the excess oil.
Do not add all of the oil to the frying pan straight away, but add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan (see in the below step photos) and then add more as and if needed. To check the hot oil is ready to be used, you can use a small piece of dough; if added to the pan it starts frying straight away, then the oil is ready, if it doesn’t then wait, as oil that is not hot enough will result in soggy, full of oil softer bhatura, while you want a crispy outside and a fluffy chewy inside. Ensure the temperature of the oil is not so hot that the bread cook outside while remaining raw on the inside; normally a medium flame works best.
Should you prefer, instead of using a kitchen towel, a cooling rack can be used to drain the drops of oil; the important part is not to let the bhature sit in oil when the extra unhealthy fat and calories can be removed.
Follow the same process until all of the dough is used and enjoy your chole bhatura meal!
Bhatura vs Puri
While both bhatura and puri are Indian bread recipes, the first one is made of white flour and goes through a fermentation process that uses either yeast or baking powder, while puri is made of whole wheat flour and doesn’t have a raising agent. In addition, puri tends to be soft, while bhature has a crunchier outside compared to a soft inside.
This bhatura recipe won’t puff as much as the traditional one as it doesn’t deep fry the bread, however the taste will remain the same.
How many calories in chole bhature?
Punjabi chole bhature is made of two parts; these bhature have only 154 calories per piece, while this chole recipe (spicy chickpea curry) has only 227 calories per portion.
Bhatura Recipe: In the pan and ready to eat
A few notes:
There are a few elements of this recipe that will help achieve a better result (tested!), and these are:
- Tissue paper: although this is a very basic suggestion, ensure you remove the excess oil from your bread using some absorbent paper; this doesn’t only make it less fatty and calorific, but it also keeps the bhature crispier while you cook the other ones.
- Yeast bhatura: yeast can be used instead of baking powder for bhatura; if going for this option, remember that yeast needs to be activated in water with sugar and allowed to rest before using.
- Fruit salt: should you not have baking soda and baking powder, you can substitute this ingredient with fruit salt (eno), which is made of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate as well as citric acid, which would act as the acid acting ingredient. If you are going for this option then you need to use double the amount of eno compared to baking powder; make sure that you prepare the bhature straight away as this product acts immediately when water is added to it.
- Rolling the dough: should you find the bhature dough is sticky while rolling, add a little flour to its surface so the rolling pin doesn’t stick.
- Deep-fried bhatura: If you are looking to use your deep frying pan and not count calories, you can prepare this dough and cook it the traditional way, although the recipe card below doesn’t count this option in.
- Whole wheat flour: should you decide to prepare brown bhature or equal parts maida and whole wheat flour, then you will need to adjust the water quantity, as whole wheat flour absorbs much more of it.
- Semolina: if possible, try using fine sooji (semolina), as this gives the best texture and it plays an important role not only for the final taste but also look.
- Rava: should you not have fine semolina, you can use a Tbsp of rava instead for more coarse crispiness.
A delicious easy recipe with its unique flavor and story, this traditional North Indian Punjabi recipe is great any time of the day, not only for breakfast.
This Chana bhatura recipe the easy way will become a family favorite and with a healthier, lighter version it doesn’t need to be too much of an occasional treat!
If you like this bhatura recipe, have a look at these too:
- 150 g White Flour
- 30 g Semolina
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 50 g Full Fat Set Yogurt Curd
- 1/2 tsp Sunflower Oil or Vegetable Oil
- Water as needed room temperature or slightly warmer, not cold
- 4 Tbsp Sunflower Oil or Vegetable Oil
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl; if liked, the flour can be sieved prior to mixing, although this is not strictly necessary.
- Add the yogurt (curd) to the dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated; at this stage you won't have a uniform soft dough, but crumbled dry dough.
- Start adding the warm water slowly and knit the dough well until a uniform, soft (but not sticky) consistency is achieved.
- Keep on knitting the dough for 5-8 minutes; if using a stand mixer, knit for 5-6 minutes.
- Form a ball with the dough and use 1/2 tsp of sunflower oil to ‘wet’ the surface of it and allow it to rest 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a damp tea towel to keep the bhatura dough moist while it rests.
- Divide the dough into eight equal parts and knit each part into a ball.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough of each ball to about 1/10 inch (3mm) thickness in an oval shape.
- In a small frying pan, add enough of the frying oil so that the bottom is well covered; use just enough oil, if less than 4 tablespoons are needed, better.
- Warm up the oil on medium-high heat and once ready fry the bhature.
- Shallow fry the bhature in the pan until golden brown then flip and finish cooking; as there are baking powder and baking soda in the mix, the dough will fluff up and ‘balloon’ in some areas as it will create air bubbles while frying, making them look much bigger than what they actually are!
- Add a tablespoon of sunflower oil in between frying bhature if needed; allow it to warm up again before frying the next one. To ensure the oil is hot enough, you can use a small piece of dough and if it bubbles straight away once in the oil, it is ready.
- Once the bhatura is ready, remove it from the frying pan and rest it on a piece of paper towel, so to remove the excess oil.
- Do the same until all the dough has been used and enjoy!