The food from the state of Punjab is extremely popular throughout India and one can find many restaurants catering to this world famous cuisine. I am sure everyone is fond of the world famous combo food Chana-Bhatura but as it’s high on oil and calories we eat that once in a while.
Today I share this extremely popular combo food recipe cooked in my style and in a healthy way. I guess all Indian food blogs will surely have the recipe to this, so one might ask, what’s new here?
New is that, I have still not read any one contributing to a NO OIL CHANA, yes this recipe has absolutely ZERO OIL but is high on taste and one surely does not miss out the oil factor.
I had learnt this recipe from my colleague who is a Punjabi Sikh. She would bring this in her lunch box and we all used to love it. She used to call this 'Keechad Chana' or Cheekad Chana, which translates to 'Muddy Chana' in English, probably for the blackish colour of the curry. When I had asked her for the recipe, I was shocked and surprised to hear that it had absolutely no oil, as one can’t make out that difference. I found it a very unusual recipe, very healthy, low on calories and still scrumptious….unbelievable, right?!?! Do try this and then believe it. As for me, as I finished cooking S entered the kitchen saying, “What are you cooking? It’s smelling good” .
A normal bhatura is made with refined flour and yogurt and the process of fermentation takes 3-4 hrs. This Bhatura recipe is my Mom’s. I have repeatedly mentioned that she is a marvelous cook and I still can’t match the speed with which she cooks. My Mom uses bread which has natural yeast in it so it helps fermenting fast and the bhatura can be rolled in half an hour after the dough is kneaded.
I have always found Bhatura made in this way is crispy, does not soak the oil and also it does not turn chewy on becoming cold unlike the regular bhaturas. One can make this completely with refined flour but being a health conscious Mom I replaced the 'All Purpose Flour' largely and made a whole wheat version.
The Combo made in this fashion becomes a healthier substitute to the normally high fattening version. So next time you are scared on binging chana-bhatura try my method and you will never regret.
Normally after eating Chana-Bhatura for lunch I would have skipped my dinner too, as I find it very heavy to digest. But today with this version I was hungry by 4 PM to have some snacks. This version is surely easy to digest and light on the stomach.
Ingredients For NO OIL Chana4 hand full of Chana/ Garbanzo soaked overnight
a tsp salt salt
a pinch of cooking soda
3 black cardamom
a cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamom
6-7dry amla/gooseberry pieces
Fresh Whole Spice Masala
1-1/2 tsp carom seeds/ajwain
3-4 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp rock salt
1 tsp white pepper pwd
2 tsp red chili pwd
1 tsp kashmiri chili pwd
1/2 tsp clove pwd
3 tsp anardana pwd
1-1/2 tsp amchoor pwd
1 tsp ginger pwd
& like I said – NO OIL
Soak Chana/garbanzo overnight.
In a pressure cooker take the soaked chana, cooking soda, salt, green and black cardamom, cinnamon and dry amla. Cook it on a high flame till the first whistle then simmer and cook for 20 mins.
The chana should be cooked soft. When the pressure drops remove the whole spices and amla.
Roast the carom, coriander and cumin seeds. Grind it along with the other ingredients mentioned under whole spice masala.
Add this to the cooked chana and mix properly. Now using back side of the ladle crush some chana. Add a cup of water and cook this on low flame for another 15-20 mins or till the chana absorbs the masala.
Sprinkle some finely chopped onion on the chana and serve hot with the Bhatura.
Ingredients for Whole Wheat-Bread Bhatura
8-10 bread slices
3 cups All Purpose Flour/ maida
2 cups Wheat Flour
1 tsp salt
Remove the edges of the bread and soak it in water and mash it into a smooth paste ( I used my food processor).
Add the salt and both the flours. Using water knead a soft dough, cover it with a lid and leave it to rise for half an hour in a warm place.
Heat oil in a pan (use medium high).
Take a small portion of the dough (as big as ping pong ball).
Grease the dough ball lightly and on a marble slab pat it into a 6inch circle, 3-4 mm thick (Like poori). If you find patting difficult, one can use a rolling pin.
Lift it gently and slide it into the frying pan, check that the oil is not extremely hot, else one can see the bhatura browning instantly.
Using a slotted spoon fry the bhatura and let it puff evenly.
Remove on a kitchen towel.
Serve hot with Chana.