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.
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:
- Mix flour, baking powder,salt and sugar in a bowl.
- Add the yeast and mix well.
- Add the yogurt and mix the flour.
- Add water as required to form a soft dough.
- 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.
- Add the oil and knead it gently.
- Shape the dough into a ball.
- Grease the bowl and dough with some oil.
- Put the dough in the bowl and cover it.
- Let it ferment till the dough is double the size.
- Gently punch down the dough and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime prepare the filling.
Preparation the paneer filling:
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds.
- As soon as the seeds begin to sizzle add the chopped onion and chilis.
- Stir fry till it becomes soft.
- Add asafetida, ginger and cashew nuts and mix well.
- 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.
- Take the pan off the heat.
- Add salt, sugar, garam masala and lemon juice. Mix well.
- When the mixture cooled down a bit add the chopped coriander and mix well.
- Divide the filling into 4 parts.
Preparation of paneer kulcha:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Punch down the dough.Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each part into a ball.
- Dust the rolling board or worktop with little flour.
- Take one ball of the dough and roll it out to a 3 inch circle.
- Add one part of the filling in the middle of the circle.
- Gather up the edges of the rolled dough to the centre, pinch it well to seal and press gently to flatten.
- 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.
- Place the rolled kulcha on a greased baking tray.
- Repeat steps 3 to 7 with the remaining dough and filling.
- Brush the kulchas with little water.
- Sprinkle nigella seeds or sesame seeds and chopped coriander.
- Bake in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes until they puff up and become light golden in colour.
- Remove the kulcha from the oven. Brush ghee or butter on top and serve with pickle and yogurt for breakfast.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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:
Sending this recipe to the following event:
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!
September 14, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Thank you so much Sowmya.
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!!
September 14, 2018 at 4:42 pm
Thanks for the recipe and you’re welcome, this recipe is definitely for keeps.
September 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm
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 !
September 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Thank you so much Vaishali.
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..
September 15, 2018 at 9:32 pm
Thank you so much Gayathri.
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.
September 16, 2018 at 9:25 pm
Thank you so much Priya. Anything with paneer is also my weakness.
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.
September 17, 2018 at 11:03 pm
September 24, 2018 at 2:33 pm
Perfectly made kulchas Mayuri. It happens with almost everyone that sometimes we are not able to nail out a dish that others have made perfectly. I can’t make that good a kulchas in oven but can make so in tandoor or on tawa… so it happens
September 29, 2018 at 11:12 am
I would love to try out using a tandoor, have never done so.
Renu Agrawal Dongre
October 2, 2018 at 3:59 pm
Dishes from Paneer are always my favourite and now this is a fusion of paneer and kulcha which is just wow…Love it can have this as is or with some spicy curry.
October 3, 2018 at 8:22 pm
Thanks Renu… I loved it as paneer is my favorite too.
October 7, 2018 at 5:00 pm
I love Kulchas and with paneer, it surely tastes great..and you have made it very well! good that you managed to get it done well.
October 8, 2018 at 8:38 pm
Thanks Srivalli, a proud moment for me when they turned out well.
October 10, 2018 at 1:24 am
The kulchas have come out marvelous Mayuri and they are one of my favorite breads and you have made it with my favorite filling. I made it once but not too happy with the texture. But that was long ago. I should try your recipe again to get some better luck.
October 10, 2018 at 1:28 am
Thanks Sandhya.. I too love paneer kulchas. Try the recipe out.
October 11, 2018 at 10:14 pm
This is one of the best perfectly made paneer kulcha I came across. We both love paneer kulcha because it filling is a bit different than paneer paratha. Bookmarking will try this soon. Looking so inviting and tempting.
October 12, 2018 at 10:01 pm
Thanks Bhawana and yes it is different from the paneer parathas… I loved the baked kulchas.
October 15, 2018 at 9:31 am
This kulcha looks so perfect and tasty. love it.
October 15, 2018 at 7:37 pm
Thank you Preeti.
October 16, 2018 at 3:59 pm
The kulchas have turned out so well mayuri! Love that garnishing on top. There was a time when Paneer kulcha was the thing I used to order when eating out. Then my tastes changed, Seeing your pic I am now tempted to have one!
October 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm
Thanks Padmajha. I too use to order them but hardly had any paneer in them, now making it at home means I can add more paneer.
Batter Up With Sujata
November 27, 2018 at 9:27 pm
I love paneer kulcha. And your looks so perfect and delicious. Loved the topping. Thanks for the well explained recipe.
November 27, 2018 at 11:55 pm
Thanks Sujata and most welcome.