This is Pamela Timms' (of the blog Eat and Dust) domestic-kitchen version of Sita Ram's famous street snack. Traditionally, this is eaten for brunch at the weekend. Soak the chickpeas overnight.
- 300 g (1½ cups) dried chickpeas, rinsed, soaked overnight
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
- 1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground amchur (see Note)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground chilli, plus extra, to serve
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- thinly sliced red onion, chopped coriander and lemon wedges, to serve
- 250 g (1⅓ cups) plain flour
- 50 g (¼ cup) semolina
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- 2 tsp peanut oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 2 hours
To make bhatura, sift flour, semolina, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add sugar, yoghurt, peanut oil and ¼ tsp salt. Gradually add 125 ml (½ cup) warm water and combine to make a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and rest dough for 2 hours.
Rinse chickpeas under cold running water. Place in a large saucepan with 1.5 litre water, bay leaf, ginger and bicarbonate of soda. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until chickpeas are soft but still hold their shape.
Stir in amchur and ground spices and return to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Melt ghee in a small pan over high heat until smoking. Stir in cumin seeds, then pour into chickpea mixture. Add ½ tsp salt and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove and discard bay leaf.
Divide the bhatura dough into 12 golf ball-size balls. Roll out each ball on a work surface lightly dusted with flour until an 8 cm round.
Fill a large saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 10 seconds). Using a slotted spoon, carefully slide one round of dough into the hot oil and push down to submerge; it should instantly puff up. Fry bhatura, turning halfway, for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Remove a little of the chickpea mixture and roughly mash, then return to the pan. Season with salt and chilli.
Scatter onion and coriander over chickpea mixture and serve immediately with bhatura and lemon wedges.
• Ground amchur, also known as ground dried green mango, is available from Indian food shops; substitute the juice of 1 lemon for every teaspoon of ground amchur.
• Frying spices in hot ghee is called 'tempering'. The hot ghee disperses the flavours, giving the chickpeas an intense spicy kick.
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2.