Slow-Cooker Channa Masala and Fluffy Bhatura
Slow-Cooker Channa Masala and
Happy New Year! Firstly, I’d like to say I’m sorry I’ve been
AWOL for some time now. I promise I have a good reason. We did
it; we finally bought our first house!
It has a small kitchen, huge amounts of natural light and wait
for it… room for a photography studio! I can’t believe I have
a space fully dedicated to my passion. 8 years ago, I started
out with this blog, no camera and no clue. Now I have actual
shelves just for props. I hope I’m able to produce more
delicious recipes to share with you this year, all from my
little studio in my little house. Totally overjoyed.
So I’ve been spending the last few months working out what we
need to furnish it, upcyling old furniture (which I am loving,
btw) and spending my life on Pinterest. Although we’ve still
got a fair way to go with getting the house finished, I’m in a
good spot to get back on track with blogging. I kid you not, I
have a list of 89 recipes waiting to be shared this year so
Throughout the winter months, I crave belly-warming dinners to
soothe my soul after a long day at work and a chilly commute.
This traditional Channa Masala with Fluffy Bhatura (or Chole
Bhature, if you like) does the trick every time. I make a big
batch of my own spice blend, keep it in an airtight jar and
sprinkle it into an assortment hearty bean and lentil dishes
to ramp up the flavours. It includes a medley of cinnamon,
cloves and nutmeg predominantly – earthy and aromatic enough
to engulf the chickpeas in the wave of intense flavours they
I add a shot of strong-brewed black tea to my chickpea curry,
for both a rich colour and aroma. If you’re using dried
chickpeas, add two teabags and soak overnight before boiling
and adding to the dish. However, I’m all about the shortcuts,
so use tinned chickpeas and add the tea straight into the
sauce for a whack of flavour and unashamed ease.
This dry curry with hot and sour flavours makes it the ideal
partner for fluffy fried bread and a tall glass of ice-cold
lassi. Go on, the weather is crap and your belly needs this.
Slow-Cooker Channa Masala and
Fluffy Bhatura (Chole Bhature)
For the Homemade Channa Masala Spice Mix (makes enough for
this recipe plus leftovers):
2 tbsp green cardamom seeds
3 black cardamom pods
4-inch piece cinnamon
6 tbsp coriander seeds
tbsp cumin seeds
tsp amchur (dried mango)
tsp anardana powder (dried pomegranate seed)
tbsp black peppercorns
For the Channa Masala (serves 6):
2x 400g tins chickpeas
300g passata (sieved tomato pulp)
240ml strong brewed black tea (1 teabag steeped in hot water
for 8 minutes, squeezed)
1 large onion, chopped
4 green chillies, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2-inch piece ginger, grated
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric
3 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp homemade channa masala spice blend
For the Fluffy Bhatura:
135g plain flour
120g plain natural yogurt
Juice ½ lemon
120ml warm milk
7g fast-action dried yeast
30ml sunflower oil
¼ tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1 tsp salt
Oil, for deep frying
1. To make the Homemade Channa Masala Spice Mix, toast all the
ingredients in a dry frying pan until aromatic. Don’t take
your eye of it because it’ll burn quickly. Grind in a coffee
grinder. Pass through a fine-holed sieve and store in an
2. To make the channa masala, heat the butter in a large pan,
add the cumin seeds and chopped onion. Cook until browned,
about 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to
combine. Pour into your slow cooker and cook on high for 5
hours. Stir it every hour.
3. Next, make the dough for the bhatura. Combine the yoghurt,
lemon juice and milk in a large bowl (it will increase in
volume and get frothy). Stir in the yeast and set aside for 10
minutes. Next, mix in the sunflower oil, ajwain, flour and
salt. Bind to make a dough, kneading for 10 minutes.
4. Place in a large, deep bowl, cover with a damp cloth and
leave in a warm place to double in size for two hours.
5. Once risen, knock the air out of the dough and knead
6. Get the oil ready for deep frying. Pour into a large, deep
pan (I use a wok) and heat to 160C.
7. Make yourself a cup of tea.
8. Use a rolling pin and wooden board or flat worktop to roll
out the bhatura dough to approximately 3 inches in diameter
and 3-4mm thick. Place it into the hot oil very carefully and
use a slotted spoon to agitate it. It might take some practice
to get them to rise each time but you’ll get there, I promise.
9. Drain in a colander lined with a paper towel.
Some bhatura tips:
I found that the smaller I rolled them, the more they
rose so try not to make them too thin.
Use your hands to pick up the dough, swivel it round and
roll again to make a circle.
Only ever roll one side of the dough, not both.
Serve your channa masala and bhatura with sliced red onion,
chillies, yoghurt and far far, (because who doesn’t love those
multi-coloured crispy crackers?), plus a glass of salted