Browse All Recipes

Spiced Indian chickpeas with bhatura bread (Chana masaledar)

Australian Gourmet Traveller Indian snack recipe for spiced Indian chickpeas with bhatura bread (Chana masaledar)

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 4
Spiced Indian chickpeas with bhatura bread (Chana masaledar)
Spiced Indian chickpeas with bhatura bread (Chana masaledar)

Garam masala
A traditional Indian spice blend with many variations, 'garam' literally means spice and 'masala' means blend. It can be as simple as a mixture of two or three spices, while other blends can contain a dozen or more depending on the region and the cook. The highly aromatic mixture is generally added towards the end of cooking to retain its aroma. In its basic form it may include cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper and mace, which are toasted before being ground. It is mostly ground in small quantities as needed but will keep for up to three months if stored correctly.

Inspired by Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe in <i>An Invitation to Indian Cooking</i> (Ecco).


  • 180 gm dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 125 ml vegetable oil (½ cup)
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • To serve: long green chillies, halved lengthways,
Bhatura bread
  • 150 gm plain flour (1 cup)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 1½ tbsp plain yoghurt
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil


  • 1
    Drain chickpeas and place into a large saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 1 ½ hours or until tender. Remove from heat and stand until required.
  • 2
    Heat oil in a large frying pan, add cumin and stir over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant, then add onion and stir occasionally for 8 minutes or until golden. Reduce heat to low and add garam masala and coriander, then garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes or until toasted. Add tomato puree and stir to combine, then drain the chickpeas and reserve ½ cup cooking liquid. Add chickpeas and reserved liquid to frying pan with ½ tsp salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  • 3
    For bhatura bread, sift together flour and baking powder into a bowl, add egg and begin to mix, then add yoghurt and combine together and knead to a soft, smooth dough. Mould into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for 3 hours. Heat 5cm of oil in a deep frying pan until hot, meanwhile knead dough again and divide into eight balls. Roll out a ball on a lightly floured work surface to 12 cm, place into oil and cook, pressing down with a slotted spoon until dough puffs, then turn and cook for 1 minute or until golden. Drain on an absorbent paper-lined plate and repeat with remaining dough.
  • 4
    Serve chickpeas with tomato, onion and chillies and the fried bhatura bread passed separately.
  • Author: Rodney Dunn