kulcā is a type of leavened bread eaten in India . It is particularly popular in India and Pakistan, and is usually eaten with chole. They taste really good with gravy-based dishes .
It is traditionally made from all purpose flour, yogurt, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Once the dough is made, it is allowed to rest for one to two hours before being rolled into flat disks and baked in a clay oven. The reaction between the lactic acid in the yogurt and the baking soda allows the dough to rise without yeast. Once the kulcha is cooked, it is brushed with either butter or ghee, which is a clarified butter often used in Indian cooking.
Although it is similar to naan in looks and flavor, kulcha is typically thicker and fluffier than naan. This is because of its use of yogurt and baking soda rather than yeast . Despite this difference, kulcha is technically a kind of naan, because “naan” simply means “bread.” Socially, however, the word naan is used to refer to the flat bread served in most Indian homes and restaurants.
This flat bread can also be stuffed with several fillings before baking.
Let’s start making some fluffy Kulchas :
2 and ½ cup all purpose flour Or whole wheat flour
4 tbsp yogurt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
approx ¾ cup water for kneading – add more if required
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt Or to taste
2 tbsp oil or ghee ( clarified butter )
extra flour for dusting
a few nigella seeds or fresh chopped cilantro ( optional )
Mix all purpose flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
Make a well in the center. add the yogurt , oil and water.
Mix the flour & start to knead.
Once you achieve a soft elastic non sticky dough, place the dough ball in an oiled bowl. Cover with a cling wrap and allow to rise and double in volume.
Once the dough has doubled, remove the clingfilm. Push the dough down. Take small portions and form a ball. Flatten into small discs. Roll them into 4″ diameter kulchas. Sprinkle a bit of the chopped cilantro leaves or Nigella seeds ( if using )on top of each kulcha. Place the kulcha on a hot tawa/griddle. When they start to bubble, rise and you see the edges turning slightly brown, flip it. After cooking for about a minute, remove the kulcha and serve hot. Ideally to be eaten with Chole.
Now let’s make some chole to go with this fluffy bread .
1 cup white Chickpeas(Kabuli Chana)
1 Tea bag
1 tbsp Coriander powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Amchur(dried mango) powder
1 tbs cumin powder
2-3 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1-2 Green Chilies,roughly chopped
1 tbsp Coriander leaves,to garnish
1 Green Chilli,finely chopped(optional)
ginger juliennes ( optional )
Wash and soak chickpeas for 7-8 hrs or overnight.
Drain the water and rinse it again and add fresh water (2-3 cups) and add tea bag and salt to taste .
Pressure cook for 1 whistle and simmer it for 20-25 mins.( I used slow cooker and boiled them on low till soft , around 6 hours. )
Once the pressure drops, throw the tea bag and drain and reserve the cooked water.
Mix red chili powder, coriander powder , cumin powder and amchur powder and keep it ready.
Heat oil in a deep pan and add ginger-garlic paste and cut green chilies ( optional) and fry for a minute until they loose their raw smell.
Reduce the flame and quickly add mixed dried powders (red chillie , cumin , coriander powder and amchur powder ) and fry for half a minute.
Be careful and make sure not to burn the masala.
Add 1/4 cup of reserved cooked water to it and let it boil until the oil floats.
Add the boiled and drained chickpeas and enough salt(remember we added salt while cooking chickpeas as well) to it and cook until the water evaporates or to your liking . I keep it a little wet .
Add garam masala to it and mix well and cover it and cook for 3-4 mins .
Garnish with cilantro & ginger juliennes .