Channa bhatura served in a bowl with Indian breads

Channa bhatura

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(1 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr plus 2 hrs rising and infusing

More effort

Serves 4

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 

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal789
  • fat27g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs106g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre15g
  • protein24g
  • salt2.3g
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  • 400g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • small bunch fresh fenugreek or coriander, finely chopped
  • 250-300ml lukewarm milk
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

For the channa

  • 2 tsp black loose-leaf tea, brewed in 1 litre hot water
  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp ghee



    The Indian version of clarified butter (ie a butter that has had its milk solids removed, making…

  • 2 onions, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 black cardamom pods, bruised
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp anardana
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 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 rest 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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Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
9th Sep, 2019
The whole thing is delicious and well worth making. I have already made it twice! I was wondering why the recipe tells you to leave the bread to rise when there is no yeast in it?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Sep, 2019
Thanks for pointing this out. It should say 'rest' and we have now amended the method. The dough is left to rest for a while before it is used so the gluten can reform itself into long protein chains. This gives a lighter bread and makes the dough easier to roll and shape. The gluten works in the same way whether the raising agent is yeast or baking powder.
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