If you’ve read the best places in Delhi to eat Chole Bhature then you know I’m crazy about this delicious savoury and spicy quintessential Delhi dish. Some days I’d eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The best Chole Bhature restaurants keep their recipe a guarded secret. Their unique recipe is the reason for their success. I wanted in on this secret. People told me “you’ll never work the recipe out, it’s a secret.” That made me more intent on getting as close to the famous Delhi chole stores as possible.

After three attempts, I found the holy grail of chole. Your search for the perfect and authentic Old Delhi style Chole Bhature recipe ends here. I’ve tried and tested the below recipe, so you don’t have to. The recipe and instructional video are from the amazing (you’ll see why when you watch the video) BharatzKitchen.

Note: This is just the Chole recipe, not for the Bhature bread. I prefer to eat this with healthier roti or rice.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For Boiling the Chickpeas (Chole)

  • 200 g (1 cup) chickpeas (unsoaked)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp powdered)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 1 medium sized pomegranate skin (not essential if you don’t have it)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda

    Half way there. Even at this point, the Chole taste amazing! Photo © Karl Rock.
    Half way there. Even at this point, the Chole taste amazing! Photo © Karl Rock.

Chole Masala Spice Mix

  • 
3 ½ tsp coriander powder (duniya poweder)
  • ¾ tsp ginger powder (soonth powder)
  • ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp pomegranate seed powder (anar dana powder)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 2 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter) to cook the spices

For Frying & Cooking

  • 5 Tbsp vegetable oil, such as olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp hing powder (asafoetida powder)
  • 1 finely chopped medium sized onion
  • 6 x 1-inch long sliced fresh ginger sticks
  • 2 green chillies
  • ¼ cup beaten and strained unflavoured natural yoghurt (I leave this out of the recipe! No idea why it’s in there, it doesn’t change the taste)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • ½ Cup Water

Instructions

Preparation and cook time is around 1 hour all up.

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