Thursday, 18 June 2009
Chole batura is a Punjabi classic, that I absolutely love. The chole (aka chana masala) part refers to the chickpeas and the batura is a type of bread that manages to combine the crisp flakiness of a paratha with the soft chewiness of a naan. Making this entirely from scratch would undoubtedly be quite time-consuming but I've recently discovered that my local Asian grocery store Al-Amin now sells ready-made batura. They come vacuum packed and are made in Southall (which puts my authenticity fears to rest). All you need to do is heat them through in a dry pan, turning frequently, until they become golden and crispy on the outside. Batura are usually shallow or deep fried so can be greasy, but these examples were exceptionally non-oily.
For the chole I used a tin of chickpeas and the Mangal spice mix I've described previously. Impatience meant that I only quickly fried off some onion before adding the chickpeas, spices, and some water, rather than the ginger, tomato, etc, that I'd normally add. You can probably see from the picture that this resulted in a slightly paler chana masala than I'd normally expect, but it still tasted delicious.
There's a gap on the plate above that would normally be filled with a tomato and onion relish, or yoghurt raita, or even some green salad. But have to admit on this occasion I omitted those extras and risked burning my fingertips to scoop up little mounds of chole with the straight from the frying pan-hot batura.
Unfortunately I don't remember what brand the batura were, and they might just have been called Punjabi Baturas. However if they've made it down to Cambridge then I'm sure they'll be in other Asian supermarkets too.
Cost: Approximately £1.60 for four
I rate them 8.5/10