Kulcha is a North Indian bread cooked in a tandoor or griddle made with the pastry soft-wheat flour (maida) with or without filling with a coating of butter or ghee. The stuffing may vary from general spices to vegetables including, potatoes, onions, carrots, etc or cottage cheese. This dish can be prepared with the addition of fresh yeast or dry yeast depending on the availability. The duration of cooking the bread is important as overcooking may turn the delicacy red or even hard. The kulcha version called chola or matar kulcha is a popular street food and is also, traditionally sold in dhabas (Punjabi food joints).
Origin of Kulcha Recipe
Kulcha is a Punjabi food, a popular sub cuisine of North India. The potatoe stuffed delicacy or Amritsari Kulcha has its origin in Amritsar and is served traditionally with the exotic Amritsari chana masala.
Ingredients and Method of Preparing Kulcha
The kulcha recipe suggests the use of maida, yeast, salt, sugar, curd, milk or black cumin seed. A soft and non-sticky dough is kneaded by mixing all the ingredients and left covered with a damp cloth for about an hour. The ingredients for the filling may vary depending on the type. The stuffing may be of potatoes for the Amritsari kulcha or cottage cheese for paneer kulcha. The addition of onion, garlic, coriander, lemon juice, green chili or a variety of other spices including chat masala, garam masala, etc. is done in accordance to one’s own choice. Firstly, a small portion of the dough is rolled into a flat disc and the filling is stuffed in. By rolling on a little flour it is shaped to a paratha. It is then baked in an oven till golden brown.
Variations in Kulcha Dishes
If the fresh yeast is not readily available the use of dry yeast can be done. Sometimes the use of yeast may be alternated with soda bicarbonate or baking powder. The flatbread can be plain or with stuffing. The stuffing of carrot, French beans or capsicum can also be done in addition to the general potatoes or cottage cheese. The kulcha recipe may be cooked in an earthen clay oven, on a tava or even in an inverted pressure cooker.
Kulcha can be eaten as a snack or an accompaniment served with tadka dal, chola or any other gravy sabji (dish made of vegetables). The baked kulcha is brushed with some butter or oil and served hot. It is often enjoyed as a snack with curd or achar. Amritsari kulcha with Amritsari chana masala accompanied by a pickled onion salad is a popular meal in get together parties and occasions.
Some Health Facts Related to Kulcha Recipe
Kulcha is a caloric food with high fat content, especially saturated fat. There is an inclusion of sodium, potassium, fiber, protein and sugar in small proportions in the ingredients suggested in the kulcha recipe. The stuffing made of potatoes and cottage cheese makes the kulcha richer in calories and carbohydrates.