Channa bhatura

Serve up a hearty Indian veggie chickpea curry served with fried bread. The addition of spices such as black cardamom impart an irresistible smoky note 

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
    plus 2 hrs rising and infusing
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 789
  • fat 27g
  • saturates 8g
  • carbs 106g
  • sugars 11g
  • fibre 15g
  • protein 24g
  • salt 2.3g


  • self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • small bunch fresh fenugreek or coriander, finely chopped
  • 250-300ml lukewarm milk
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 tsp black loose-leaf tea, brewed in 1 litre hot water
  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 black cardamom pods, bruised
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp anardana
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kala namak
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • sliced red onion and yogurt, to serve
  • ½ small bunch of coriander, leaves picked, plus extra to serve


  1. Mix the flour, fenugreek and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the milk until it comes together, then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise for at least 2 hrs or overnight in the fridge.

  2. Meanwhile, strain the tea and discard the leaves. Tip in the chickpeas and leave to infuse for at least 1 hr. 

  3. Melt the ghee in a large saucepan, then add the onions and cumin seeds. Fry over a low heat for 20 mins or until the onions are caramelised. Add the black cardamom and fry again briefly, then add the ginger, garlic and chillies, and cook until fragrant. Add the cinnamon, fenugreek, coriander, ginger, chilli and anardana (if using), and fry for 1 min.

  4. Tip in the tomatoes and tomato purée, and cook again until the tomatoes have broken down, about 20 mins. Add the turmeric and chickpeas along with the brewed tea. Sprinkle in the kala namak, pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Let it come to the boil, then turn down the heat to low and leave to simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 mins. Add more water if you would like the curry to be looser. 

  5. Fill a large pan a third full with sunflower oil. Heat to 180C on a thermometer or until a cube of bread sizzles immediately when lowered in and browns within 30 seconds. Take golf ball-sized chunks of dough, roll into balls, then flatten and roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until you have a saucer-sized disc, about ½cm thick. Gently lower into the hot oil with a slotted spoon and let it rise to the surface – it should puff up. Fry for 1-2 mins until golden, then drain on kitchen paper. Serve with the channa, red onion, a little yogurt and a sprinkling of coriander.

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