Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bhature - A Punjabi Flat Bread

I just came back from a 10-day vacation. My plan, apart from doing everything else you do while on vacation, was to catch up with blogging. In anticipation, I loaded up a few pictures, and saved a couple of draft versions of posts.  While I was doing that, I realized that this space of mine has become therapeutic to me. Writing relaxes me; but I have also become addicted to all the lovely comments that you all leave me. The last 10 days, I actually had severe withdrawl symptoms.

The one day I remember, is while visiting some family in Sweden. She made Chole-bhature for dinner. But somehow, her dough for Bhature got too sticky. They were hard to roll, and wouldn't puff up. I asked her her recipe, and realized it was quite a bit different from mine. So I figured, I'd share how I make this quintessential Punjabi flat bread. This may not be an authentic recipe, but this is how my mom told me I could make a fairly sticky dough manageable...and it works quite well.


Maida/ AP Flour 1 cup
Fine Sooji/ Semolina 1/3 cup
Dahi/ Unflavored thick yogurt 3-4 Tbsp
warm Water as required
Oil- 1tsp
Oil to deep fry

  1. Mix the AP flour and Sooji together as well as you can. Then add in the yogurt, and crumble with your fingers till you get a bread crumb texture.
  2. Using warm water, one Tbsp at a time,  knead the dough into a slightly firm, elastic dough.
  3. Work the dough for about 5 min.  Roll it in 1 tsp oil, make a ball, cover with a damp muslin cloth and let the dough rest for at least 30 min.  
  4. Break the dough into ball sized portions, roll and deep fry immediately in hot oil.
  5. Serve hot with Chana Masala, with pickled onions on the side, for an authentic Punjabi meal.
My two cents: Getting a workable dough is the trickiest aspect of making bhature. Resting the dough is essential- it doesn't rise while resting, but the dough does soften. Resting time can go as long as 4hrs., if needed. After that, it's best to refrigerate, as the dough gets stickier with time. Using dry flour for dusting while rolling tends to make the bhature crustier. I use a bit of oil on the rolling surface instead. The final thing is to try and roll the bhature as thin as possible- they spring back as you lift them off the rolling surface, making them thicker.  Using semolina along with AP flour reduces some of that springiness, and make the rolling experience less frustrating!