This is continuation of the previous post. In that one I introduced Amritsari Chole, a spicy chickpea curry from northern India. The spicy curry is generally served with kulchas to soak up all the goodness. 🙂
Kulchas are one of the most popular breads of India, and in my quest to make breads from around the world, I had to make this one. This is a no-fail recipe. The breads are soft, fluffy and full of flavor.
The difference between Kulcha and Naan is that Kulcha is made of white all-purpose flour, while naans are made with whole-wheat flour. Kulchas are soft dough, rolled into a circle, and baked in a clay oven, until golden brown. It is typically served hot with a dollop of butter or ghee, and some spicy chickpeas, or chole.
(Adapted from foodfellas4you)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Active dry yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm milk
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp oil, any neutral flavored oil, such as canola or sunflower
- Finely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish, or topping of your choice: garlic, nigella seeds, maybe mint. Toppings optional.
Mix the sugar, warm water and yeast in a bowl. Keep aside for 5 minutes until frothy.
Sift the flour and salt into another bowl. Add the yeast mixture and the milk, and combine until a dough comes together. It will be a sticky dough. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.
With oiled hands, fold the dough continuously from the outside in, for about 4-5 minutes until dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl and becomes easier to handle. The dough will be only slightly sticky now. Form the dough into a bowl, place in a lightly greased clean bowl, rolling to coat the dough with a light layer of oil. Cover with a muslin cloth or plastic wrap, and let rise for an hour, until doubled.
Punch down the dough lightly and turn a couple of times. If not making the kulchas right away, you can refrigerate this dough, in a Ziploc bag for 2-3 days.
To proceed, cut the dough into approximately 18 equal pieces.
Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
Flatten each piece into a circle. Bring the edges into the center, pinch to seal and flip seam-side down onto a parchment-lined board or tray. Repeat with all the 18 pieces. Spray lightly with oil and cover and rest for 10 minutes.
Flatten each piece into a circular shape, about 8″ in diameter. Transfer them to steel baking trays (try not to use non-stick if you can). Depending on the size of the tray, do a few at a time. Dimple the surface of the dough and sprinkle with the toppings of your choice. I used only cilantro leaves.
Bake the trays in the middle rack of the oven for 6 minutes. Then transfer to the bottom rack and bake for a further 2 minutes. I had a relay system place, where as i was transferring to the bottom rack, i was putting a new tray into the middle rack.
Remove the kulchas from the bottom rack and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, these kulchas can be put in ziploc bags and refrigerated or frozen.
To serve, heat a skillet on medium and add the kulchas, heat on either side for 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with a dollop of butter on top and with chole/ spicy chickpeas.