Kulcha/Paneer Kulcha

September 13, 2018mayurisjikoni

EVENT: MEGA BLOGGING MARATHON#92

THEME: A-Z  FLATBREADS AND MORE – INDIAN FLATBREADS

What is Mega Blogging Marathon?

Well, its a group of bloggers who get together to post a dish for 26 days according to the chosen theme. For more details check out the initiator Srivalli’s page here. For this theme we had a choice of 3:

1. A-Z Indian Flatbreads that are not made using batter e.g. like rotis

2. A-Z Indian Flatbreads using batters e.g. dosa

3. A-Z International Flatbreads.

I decided to opt for option number 1. India has such a huge variety of flatbreads to offer that are made on the stove top, in the tandoor, in the oven, under the grill or fried. Its going to be a challenge to look for flatbreads beginning with all the letters of the alphabet as for this group cannot use batter based flatbreads. However, am up for this challenge.

On several occasions I’d tried a kulcha recipe and somehow failed at it. Once I tried aloo stuffed kulcha and the stuffing refused to stay inside! I think we bloggers sometimes do come across recipes that are not that difficult and yet we never get it right or it takes time to get it right. Don’t get me wrong, I tried using the kulcha recipes of several famous chefs. I swear there must be something wrong with my hands. Was discussing this with my neighbor and she said that if you can bake bread then why not kulcha. They are nearly the same. She actually couldn’t believe that I couldn’t make kulcha. Her bafflement became an even more urgent challenge for me. So move aside koki roti that I had intended to make and in came kulcha.

K is the letter for the 11th day of Mega BM. Mine is K for Kulcha, stuffed with paneer and will proudly state that I can finally make lovely soft kulchas. I followed a blogger friend Mallika’s recipe and they came out perfect. By the way, spare a bit of time to visit her blog A Foodie Housewife for some unique recipes both vegetarian and non vegetarian. Sometimes she’ll combine 2-3 food recipes to create one and it leaves me speechless. I tweaked her recipe a little and I chose to bake them in the oven. And yes I used yeast. Previously had tried without yeast and it was not working out too well for me. And of course since I do not have a tandoor, I baked it in the oven but you can cook them on the tawa or frying pan too.

Kulchas are usually made from plain flour or wheat flour and baked in a tandoor. They are similar to naan and known as kulcha in Punjab. They are leavened flatbreads that are quite famous in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. Nowadays you’ll find kulchas all over India. They can be plain or stuffed with either potato, paneer, onion, other vegetables or even meat. But shhh I’ll let you into a secret, majority of the South Indian restaurants that I’ve been to cannot make a nice fluffy soft kulcha to save their lives!

Originally kulchas were made plain but with time recipes included stuffed ones making it an ideal filling breakfast. Instead of making plain kulcha I decided to stuff mine with paneer. If you want to make them plain then just follow the recipe for the dough. Brush a bit of water over the rolled kulcha and sprinkle it with sesame seeds, nigella seeds, fresh coriander, fenugreek or chopped green chilis.

paneer kulcha 1

paneer kulcha 4

paneer kulcha 2

paneer kulcha 3

KULCHA/PANEER KULCHA

Makes 4

Recipe Idea: A Foodie Housewife

For the kulcha dough:

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp instant dried active yeast

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp oil

½ cup plain yogurt, room temperature

½ – ⅔ cup warm water

For the paneer filling:

2 cups grated paneer

I medium onion finely chopped

1-2 green chilis, finely chopped

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

¼ tsp asafetida (hing)

1 tsp garam masala

¼ cup finely chopped cashew nuts

2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp oil

½ tsp sugar

For the topping:

little water for brushing

nigella or sesame seeds

chopped fresh coriander or fenugreek (methi)

butter of ghee for smearing

extra flour for dusting

extra oil for greasing

 

Preparation of the dough:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder,salt and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add the yeast and mix well.
  3. Add the yogurt and mix the flour.
  4. Add water as required to form a soft dough.
  5. Dust the work top with little flour and knead the dough till it becomes smooth and silky. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
  6. Add the oil and knead it gently.
  7. Shape the dough into a ball.
  8. Grease the bowl and dough with some oil.
  9. Put the dough in the bowl and cover it.
  10. Let it ferment till the dough is double the size.
  11. Gently punch down the dough and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
  12. In the meantime prepare the filling.

 

Preparation the paneer filling:

  1. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  2. Add cumin seeds.
  3. As soon as the seeds begin to sizzle add the chopped onion and chilis.
  4. Stir fry till it becomes soft.
  5. Add asafetida, ginger and cashew nuts and mix well.
  6. Add grated paneer and mix it till the water evaporates. Don’t let the paneer dry out too much. 3-5 minutes is enough, depending on how soft the paneer is.
  7. Take the pan off the heat.
  8. Add salt, sugar, garam masala and lemon juice. Mix well.
  9. When the mixture cooled down a bit add the chopped coriander and mix well.
  10. Divide the filling into 4 parts.

 

Preparation of paneer kulcha:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Punch down the dough.Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  3. Dust the rolling board or worktop with little flour.
  4. Take one ball of the dough and roll it out to a 3 inch circle.
  5. Add one part of the filling in the middle of the circle.
  6. Gather up the edges of the rolled dough to the centre, pinch it well to seal and press gently to flatten.
  7. Dust the rolling board or worktop again with little flour and roll the stuffed kulcha into a circle of 5 to 6 inches in diameter, gently.
  8. Place the rolled kulcha on a greased baking tray.
  9. Repeat steps 3 to 7 with the remaining dough and filling.
  10. Brush the kulchas with little water.
  11. Sprinkle nigella seeds or sesame seeds and chopped coriander.
  12. Bake in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes until they puff up and become light golden in colour.
  13. Remove the kulcha from the oven. Brush ghee or butter on top and serve with pickle and yogurt for breakfast.

 

Tips:

  • If you’re not using instant dried yeast then you will first need to ferment the yeast in about ¼ cup warm water with sugar added to it. Let the mixture become frothy before adding to the dough.
  • To make plain kulcha, roll them out into a circle of about 5-6 inches or even oval ones. Brush the top with water and sprinkle with the topping and bake.
  • To cook them on a tawa or frying pan, heat the pan or tawa over high to medium heat. Put the rolled kulcha on the hot tawa. Let it cook till bubbles rise. Flip it over and let it cook till small brown spots appear. Put the kulcha on the naked flame, let it roast for a few seconds, flip it over, roast and remove from the fire.
  • Use half wheat and half plain flour if you like.

 

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962

 

You may want to check out what flatbreads I’ve made so far for this event:

A for Akki Roti

B for Bhakri

C for Chousela

D for Dalpuri

E for Ekadashi Thalipeeth

F for Fungawela Mag na Paratha/Sprouted Bean Parathas

G for Gulachi Poli

H for Hyderabadi Halwe ki Puri

I for Indori Masala Roti

J for Juar Jo Dhodho

 

Check out what other Blogging Marathoners have made:

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Sending this recipe to the following event:

BMLogo

 

 

13 Comments

  • Sowmya:)

    September 14, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Kulcha is one of my favorite flatbreads and yours has turned out so beautifully! And with a paneer stuffing, I would be in food heaven! Delicious pick!

     
    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 14, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      Thank you so much Sowmya.

       
  • afoodiehousewife

    September 14, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I am sooooo very delighted after reading this post!! Thanks so much @Mayuri for the shoutout. The baked kulchas look extremely tempting and perfect. Truly made my day!!

     
    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 14, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks for the recipe and you’re welcome, this recipe is definitely for keeps.

       
  • lipikadalai

    September 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Delicious

     
  • vaishalisabnani

    September 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Oh wow ! Seriously the kulchas have come out so well , they look store bought ! Ah , so you underestimated yourself ! I am loving the Lovely spongy kulchas with that catchy garnish !

     
    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much Vaishali.

       
  • gayathriraani

    September 15, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Wow! You have made them perfect. That crust studded with nigella looks so beautiful. I love any recipe with paneer. Combining it with my fav bread, this becomes extra special..

     
    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 15, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you so much Gayathri.

       
  • Priya Suresh

    September 16, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Am just drooling already even before i go through the post, yea i have a weakness for kulchas especially if they are stuffed with Paneer. What a prefect looking kulchas. Watelse a foodie can ask for. Lovely Mayuri.

     
    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 16, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Thank you so much Priya. Anything with paneer is also my weakness.

       
  • harini

    September 17, 2018 at 5:38 am

    I thought I commented here but anyways, Paneer filling in any form is so popular and cannot go wrong. Lovely pick for the letter.

     
    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 17, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      Thanks Harini.

       

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