What is Bhatura?
Bhatura is a deep-fried and puffed Indian bread from the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. We prepare it from refined flour and yogurt. Bhatura is a widely popular bread in northern India and has a crispy texture on top and soft on the inside. It is mildly sour in taste due to fermentation. We usually served it with chole and consume it in breakfast or lunch. When we serve this Bhatura recipe with Chole, we call it Chole Bhature.
- 250 grams of refined flour (मैदा)
- 50 grams semolina (सूजी)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar powder (चीनी पाउडर)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (नमक) or as per taste
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (बेकिंग पाउडर)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (खाने का सोडा)
- 2 teaspoon oil (तेल) to make a dough
- 1/2 cup curd (दही)
- lukewarm water (गुनगुना पानी) or kneading dough
for frying Bhature
- oil (तेल) to deep fry
How to Make Bhatura Dough
- In a deep bowl mix refined flour along with semolina.
- Now add salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda to it and mix well.
- Then add curd, 2 teaspoons of oil and mix well. Then add lukewarm water in parts and begin to knead. Knead into a soft dough with water.
- Knead the dough properly for at least 10 minutes.
- Apply some oil over the dough and keep covered with a wet muslin cloth and keep in a warm place for at least 2-3 hours.
How to Make Bhature Recipe
- After 2-3 hours remove the cloth and you will find dough has puffed out. The dough should nearly double in volume. Now, again knead the dough a little and ensure it is soft and smooth.
- Divide the dough into 8-10 round balls. Then roll each part in your palm to make balls and place all the balls in the same bowl and cover it with a moist cloth.
- Apply some oil on the rolling board and also on the dough balls. Roll each ball with the rolling pin to make a flat slightly thick circular disc of around 5-6 inch diameter. You would find that the dough would shrink. This is a sign of perfect resilient dough.
How to fry Bhaturas
- Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. To check, drop a pinch of dough in the hot oil if it comes up briskly and quickly then the oil is sufficiently warm to fry the Bhatura. When you fry the Bhatura, make sure the oil is sufficiently hot else the Bhatura won't puff up and will absorb a lot of oil.
- Now lift one Bhatura from rolling board; hold it with both hands and stretch a bit. Do not overstretch as it may tear the Bhatura and Bhatura will not bulge.
- Then gently slide them through the sides of the pan into the oil (be careful not to dip your fingers); it will sink but will then return to the surface and begin to sizzle.
- Gently press the Bhatura into the oil with a strainer. It will puff up. Turn the Bhatura over after a few seconds and allow it to cook for a further 20-30 seconds. Fry till it turns golden from both sides.
- Take out the Bhatura from pan and drain the Bhatura on the kitchen napkin to remove excess oil. Your Bhatura is ready to serve hot.
- Keep going this way for each Bhatura.
- Serve hot immediately with Chole.
Why use semolina in Bhatura?
I add Semolina to Bhatura to make it a little crispier. It will make Bhatura so much crisp that if you make a hole in the bulged Bhatura, it will not flatten.
If you like a soft Bhatura, then you can reduce the quantity semolina, or can also skip it altogether. For softer Bhaturas, you can also knead the dough with milk.
Why curd is an important part of the Bhatura recipe?
Curd provides the essential bacteria required for the fermentation process of the dough. For Bhaturas, curd along with baking soda and baking powder. This helps in rising up the dough. And also gives your Bhaturas the required elasticity and stretchability.
Why add sugar & oil in the dough?
Sugar helps make the dough soft and tender by absorbing some of the water. It also helps in slowing down the formation of gluten strands. Sugar also feeds the bacteria, resulting in a faster rise.
The oil enhances the volume of the dough. When we use oil in our dough, it helps to impede the migration of moisture. Thus, results in a potentially crispier crust of Bhatura even while soft from inside during frying.
What fermentation agents can be used for preparing Bhatura?
Popularly yeast is used as a fermenting agent. However, you can replace it with baking soda and baking powder as some people are allergic to yeast.
In India, some people also use Eno Powder – an antacid (manufactured by GSK) which contains a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, and sodium carbonate.
What are the variations of Bhatura?
Variations include Aloo Bhatura (Bhatura filled with potato) and Paneer Bhatura (Bhatura filled with cottage cheese).
A no-fry variant is a Kulcha, which is baked or cooked on a flat pan and is garnished with coriander leaves. We cook Kulcha from the same dough of Bhatura.