"It's just such a yummy breakfast."
Halwa puri cholay, some may have heard of it while others have not. However, if you have not heard of it, you are well and truly missing out!
It is a scrumptious breakfast dish which originates from the country of India. With its exquisite flavours, it is very enjoyable.
When you take one bite, you feel a thousand different flavours bursting into your mouth.
From the sweet, smooth halwa, the spicy cholay and the puffy puri, halwa puri cholay is a popular dish amongst thousands of Desi people.
DESIblitz explores what halwa puri cholay is, where it comes from, how to make it at home and where to find it.
What is Halwa Puri Cholay?
It is all in the name, halwa, puri and then, of course, cholay. This breakfast dish is a traditional one amongst Indians. However, as the years have gone by, this tasty dish is now being enjoyed by many other South Asians too.
South Asians such as Pakistanis and Bengalis serve halwa puri cholay in their restaurants and also make it at home.
It is quite a unique dish, to say the least, with a mixture of sweet and spice, it truly is a taste for everyone to enjoy. It consists of a sweet halwa, a chana masala and a special type of bread called ‘puri’.
It originates from the North of India in areas such as Uttar Pradesh and is eaten quite frequently for breakfast or even lunch.
In Pakistan, especially in Lahore and Karachi, halwa puri cholay is popular amongst the communities. It has also become famous in the United Kingdom, with small stalls, restaurants and takeaways selling them in the morning.
This dish is typically enjoyed with a cup of karak chai, Kashmiri tea or even mango and onion pickle with yoghurt.
When exclusively speaking to DESIblitz about her love for halwa puri cholay, student Aliyah Saddiq says:
“Ever since I was younger, my dad would buy us all halwa puri cholay every Sunday for breakfast. There are a few Sundays when he hasn’t bought it and the day just doesn’t feel complete!
“It’s just such a yummy breakfast, I always look forward to eating it.”
Halwa Puri Cholay at Home
There are some days where you and your family are craving halwa puri cholay. However, you simply do not have the energy to get dressed to go out to buy it.
So, why not bring out your cooking skills and make it at home!
Even though there are three different parts to this breakfast, it is all worth it in the end. First, you will need to make the halwa:
- 1 cup coarse semolina
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter/ghee
- 2½ cups water
- 1 tsp rose water
- 4-5 green cardamoms
- Add almonds to a pan of boiling water and allow to boil for a few minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Once cooled, use a knife to scrape off the skin.
- Add semolina to a pan and dry roast for a few minutes.
- Add in the melted butter/ghee to the dry roasted semolina along with the green cardamoms and cook on a medium flame for 6-8 minutes, until the semolina turns brown and gives off a lovely aroma.
- Pour in the sugar, water and rose water.
- Give it all a stir with the flame turned high and then add in the almonds and mix in well.
- Turn the flame to low-medium, cover and cook for a few minutes to allow the water to dry up.
- After a few minutes the water should now have dried up and the halwa is now ready.
Recipe inspired by My Cooking.
The next step is to make your cholay, it is pretty easy and is just like making a traditional curry.
- 2 cups boiled chickpeas
- 1 sliced onion
- 2 boiled potatoes
- 2 chopped green chillis
- 1 chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp dry mango powder
- 4 tbsp oil
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- A few curry leaves
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil into a pan.
- Add in the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. Throw in the curry leaves and mix for a second.
- Add in the ginger-garlic paste and mix.
- Then, add in the onions and green chillies and cook until the onions soften and turn translucent.
- Add in the tomatoes and cook until they mush up.
- Next, add in the turmeric powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, mango powder and the salt and mix.
- Throw in the potatoes and chickpeas and mix into the masala.
- Pour in one cup of water and cover the pan, reduce the pan and cook for five minutes.
- You will notice when the curry is of the right consistency, add the lemon juice and turn off the flame.
Finally, the main bit of this traditional Indian breakfast, the puri. You might be wondering how you achieve such lovely, puffy puri’s, here is how it is done:
- 2 cups of wheat flour
- ½ cup sooji/rava
- Warm water for kneading
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- Add sooji, wheat flour and salt into a mixing bowl and mix. Add in the warm water while kneading the mixture to turn it into a dough-like consistency.
- Add in the oil and knead until it turns smooth. Leave it to the side for 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into balls and roll each of them out into 3-inch discs.
- Heat up the oil in your karahi and gently put in the puri, waiting for it to puff up.
- Turn the puri over until they turn light brown and take it out, onto a plate.
Best Places to Find it
Halwa puri cholay has flown from South Asia all the way to the United Kingdom and is served in many places. Cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, London and Leicester are the masters of an authentic halwa puri cholay dish.
In Birmingham, some of the best places to find this scrummy breakfast are Taste of Pakistan, Yaadgaar and Apna Lahore. All three restaurants are on Ladypool Road.
However, it is recommended to order your halwa puri cholay as a takeaway as seating is limited and it is best enjoyed at home.
In London, you can find halwa puri cholay at Halwa Poori House in Surrey on London road. You can also find it at Al Kareem on Romford Road and Ideal Sweets and Bakers in Tooting.
Moreover, in Manchester, Lahori on Wilbraham Road sells halwa puri cholay along with Dera Restaurant on Cheetham Hill Road.
Typically, halwa puri cholay is eaten for breakfast on a Sunday within the United Kingdom.
This is because Sunday is a day where Desi people spend the day at home with their families.
Other than restaurants and takeaways, some Desi families also serve halwa puri cholay at their weddings for a quick breakfast snack. Desi people sometimes serve it at mehndi events as it is a casual meal to eat.
All in all, halwa puri cholay is a flavoursome breakfast dish that is served amongst many Desi communities. The dish is only going to grow and become more recognisable over the upcoming years as street food is becoming a trend.
So, if you have not tried this delicious dish, you definitely need to! Either make it yourself with the help of your family or simply go down to your local takeaway and buy it.