One usually looks at chole bhatura as a high carb, high calorie dish …one that has to be avoided completely. It’s a cheat meal in totality.
But I’m not the one to advocate restrictive diets. I truly believe in “love it, have it.” Just learn to balance. Do a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout and then enjoy the meal.
However let me quell the first impression of the simple chickpeas of being a no-no for many. It can be actually termed as a full nutritive food for one meal of the day. The 19g protein per 100g of chickpeas, amounts to a perfect balance to the amount of carbs it has. Carbs by itself are a much required part of our daily meal that should be taken to provide you energy throughout the day. For a fitness conscious person or someone who is extremely physically active it has a super combo of calcium and potassium, both of which promote bone health and muscle strength and repair. Full of antioxidants it keeps your immunity high and is a boon for skin health. Packed with iron it fights against anemic conditions, which most Indian women are prone to. It is also B3(niacin) enriched, which is the vitamin that regulates blood glucose. This legume is has to be soaked overnite to be able to hasten cooking. Being fibre dense it aids digestion process. 60% of it is insoluble fibre which helps to keep the colon working efficiently.
Having said that, Chole bhatura may not be the best way to have chickpeas every day. Either one learns to enjoy the chole by itself without the deep-fried refined flour bhatura or we open up the world cuisine and choose something else. The Garbanzo beans as they are called are used to make the ever popular dish, ‘Hummus”. A simple dish, easily made and can be stored and had throughout the day. We can use chickpeas in salads too, sauté them dry with spices or even boil n mash them as base for soups.
My reason for calling it the Punjabi protein is when you get down to basics, you search the origin. It was a meal complete by itself, that would provide enough energy and nutrients to the farmers in Punjab working all day long in the fields.
No wonder then that the simple Chickpeas should be on your table atleast twice a week. That’s what I would recommend in the fitness diet.