Sunday, 16 September 2012

Channa Batura

My first ever glimpse of a channa batura was at woodlands drive inn hotel...those of you familiar with chennai would remember this quintessentially beautiful place with a never ending row of huge trees and lush greenery all over...this was the place where the family went to on Sundays...were people in love met to have a cozy rendezvous,where college students,read New college because of its close proximity,hung out and a place where "everybody knows your name".....This place was the best restaurant to serve the channa batura,it was huge enough to fill a hungry stomach and easy enough for a near empty first impression was whats such a big poori doing on my plate...the first bite was the kicker...this breakfast just draws you to it...i make this on and off,and do a simple batura,avoiding the yeast and adding curd instead...the more elaborate batura asks to be kneaded and kept overnight,but i do the simpler,easier one and its still delicious....

Ingredients for the batura:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup fine semolina (sooji,rawa)this one has to be the fine variety,if you live in chennai,you get it at Bombay General Stores BGS(T Nagar)
2 tbs thick curds
oil for frying
1/2 tsp sugar
2 big pinches of salt
Mix the flour with the semolina into a bowl
Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the curds,sugar and salt,mix it and allow it to sit for awhile...gradually add in the flour with some water to form a firm dough,cover and let it rest for some time...keep it longer if you want to go for the sour taste...i prepare this just before i start the channa...whenever your ready,form big balls and roll out into big discs...much bigger than the average poori ..heat the oil in a large kadai and gently fry flipping just once....

Ingredients for channa:
1/2 kg white kabuli channa washed and soaked overnight
2 onions chopped
2 tomatoes skinned, seeds removed and chopped
2 green chillies chopped
1/2 cup or bunch coriander leaves cleaned
3 inch piece ginger cleaned and cut into small pieces...leave some ginger for the garnish
1 inch piece cinnamon,3 cloves
1 tsp chillie powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tbs dried pomegranate seeds (anardana)also available at BGS  or a tea bag...use either of the two as the channa will turn too dark almost blackish ,i like the pomegranate seed taste better than the tea leaves vote goes to it...
1 tsp coriander powder
A couple of spoons oil
1/2 tsp cumin
salt to taste

Throw away the water used for soaking the channa and fill with fresh water,place in a cooker,if your using the tea bag this is the point where you add it,if your not using it proceed with cooking the channa till done..cooker 5-8 whistles depending on your cooker...don`t add too much water to boil,add just enough..once cooked,if your using the tea bag remove it now...take a few channa and mash well,mix it back in and set aside....Grind the pomegranate seeds along with all the powder spices to a paste adding some water to it,set aside....Take a heavy bottom vessel add some oil,heat and add cinnamon and cloves,saute well,add the chopped ginger,cumin and green chillies,fry for a while and then add the chopped onions  fry till it turns golden brown,add the ground spices mixture and saute well.....keep adding some water along the way and continue to cook the mixture....add the tomatoes and keep sauteing till the oils are this point add the cooked channa and mix thoroughly...allow to simmer gently..serve garnished with ginger julienne and a slit green chillie...

There is a tangy taste which comes in this channa recipe,but if you feel you need some more you can add tamarind paste along the way.....  salt and spices can be adjusted as per personal choices...Rolling the batura can be a bit challenging for some,but with practice a perfect one can be achieved...Enjoy your channa batura,remember to serve with love and kindness....


  1. Wow.... All along I did a different variety of channa... But this sounds better and I had always wondered how to get the bhatra nice and puffed up. Now I will try this. Great going Tasneem

    1. you must jamuna its a fantastic recipe and turns out so well