Archive for August 18, 2013

Make Bhature While The Sun Shines!

here come the sunflowers!

here comes the sun, and the sunflower! this one has a double blossom…

Make hay while the sun shines, the old farmers’ proverb says.

Take advantage of your opportunities, and make good use of your time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s what’s been happening here in the woods. No hay, but a lot of projects underway.

Last week, workers finished the new roof and a little sun porch which was enclosed and fitted out with five brand new windows! Dear G has been painting the house from dawn till dusk, as long as there is light to see by. I have been running back and forth to my two little jobs. Today was a welcome day off. Since I am not much good with roofing nails or house paint, I indulged myself by working in the kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

Some while back, my dear kitchen fairy gifted me with a new pressure cooker. It’s been packed away all this time, waiting patiently for its inauguration celebration. Reorganizing the fridge and freezer was just the beginning for me (thanks again, Nupur!).
A few days ago I did the same for the kitchen cupboards; there is space now for a few of my treasured cooking vessels and this big beautiful Presto is a gem. Today was the long-awaited day to break it out and make an inaugural curry. I chose something I have been craving — spicy rich chole. I even made an attempt at bhature.

I read several (ok, many) recipes for chole bhature, some old and some new. Finally I settled on the version at Tasty Appetite.
I liked the way the chick peas were pressure cooked *with* the masala rather than separately. I changed up the chole ingredients a little, and the bread has the odd addition of dhokla flour, since I have no sooji!?! I loved the way the chole turned out, and the bhatures weren’t bad for a first try with the wrong ingredients ๐Ÿ˜‰

Chole Bhature
mostly from Tasty Appetite’s recipe here

3 c dried chickpeas (measured after soaking overnight)

2 TB canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 black cardamom
2 green chiles, slit
1 dried red chile without seeds

1 TB ginger paste
1 TB garlic paste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 c fresh tomatoes, measured after grinding

1 heaping TB chana masala powder (I used Badshah brand, yum)
2 TB anardana powder
salt to taste


Heat the oil in your shiny new pressure cooker. When hot, fry the cumin seeds for thirty seconds, then add the other whole spices and chiles.

sizzling whole spices
inauguration photo ~ frying the spices in the new cooker!

Cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant, then add the ginger and garlic pastes. Cook another couple of minutes, then add the onion. Cook until onion has browned and softened, then add the tomatoes and cook a few minutes longer. Add the chana masala and anardarna powders and combine well. Cover and cook on low until the oil starts to separate — this took about 5 minutes for me.

mmm... smells so good!
the rich spice mix

Add the soaked chick peas and 2 c water and mix well.
Now it’s time to test the new cooker!

ready to close the lid!
before pressure cooking

Bring the mixture to a boil, then put the lid and weight on and lower the heat to medium. When the pressure comes up, set the timer for ten minutes. When the timer goes off, remove from the heat and allow the pressure to come down on its own. Remove the lid and mash a few of the chick peas into the gravy.

smells even better now!
after pressure cooking

If you prefer thicker chole like I do, simmer the mixture for a few minutes, uncovered, before serving.

again with thanks and credit to Tasty Appetite ~ I made only minor changes

2 c flour
(I used what I had on hand — 1 1/2 c bread flour and 1/2 c all purpose)
1/4 c dhokla flour (substituted for sooji)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 c yogurt
2-3 TB water (my addition, as the dough would not come together for me without it)
salt to taste (I forgot to add salt!!)


Sieve the flours together with salt, sugar and baking powder into a medium bowl, mixing well. Add yogurt and a little water. Mix to form a (stiff) dough.

**Aside: was my dough stiff due to dal in the dhokla flour, or the use of bread flour perhaps?**

Knead until smooth, at least ten minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest 4 hours in a warm place.

After resting, the dough was much softer as promised in the original recipe. Divide the dough into 8-10 balls.

making bhature for the first time!
making bhature for the first time

Roll them out one by one…

handy little roller tool!
how is this for a handy little rolling pin ~ from dg’s wide assortment of utensils!

…and deep fry one by one. Keep the dough submurged using a spatula until it puffs up. When golden on one side, flip and fry the other until also golden.

frying bhature ~ it puffed!
frying the first bhature ~ look mom, it puffed!

Drain well and serve hot with chole.


chole bhature
chole bhature plate ~ I love this because everything except the onion is homemade or homegrown!

Also, dg started the pickle jar tonight! More on that later ๐Ÿ™‚

dg dills
dill refrigerator pickles ~ an annual tradition for dg, and now me

A few garden photos to end this lovely day…

cukes climbing
straight eight cucumbers make good use of the teepees we built in june…

at last, brinjals! these are fairytale variety and they grow in little clusters

long bean flowers
long bean flowers had closed for the day when I took this, but were light purple in the morning… look to the left and see where the dear deer have been feasting on the tender leaves ๐Ÿ˜‰

afternoon sun on squash
lebanese zucchini bathing in afternoon sun


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