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Kulcha (Punjabi Flatbread)

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Kulcha is a soft textured flatbread; this is very popular in northern states of India. They can be made in a tandoor (clay oven) or on a skillet. I am using a skillet. Traditionally kulchas are served with spicy chole (chick peas). This delicious combination is known as “Chole kulcha”.  This is also another popular street food.

Recipe will serve 2. 

Kulcha - Punjabi Flatbread Recipe by ManjulaIngredients:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour (plain flour or maida)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoon yogurt (curd or dahi)
  • Approx. 1/4 cup milk use as needed

Also need

  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalaunji)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped (hara dhania)
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter, ghee

 Method

  1. In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar, and sieve the flour to make sure even mixing.
  2. Add oil and yogurt to the flour and mix it well, add milk as needed to make soft dough. Dough should be soft but not sticking to hand. Knead the dough to make smooth and pliable.
  3. Cover the dough and let it sit for about 2 hours.
  4. Knead the dough for few seconds and divide into four equal parts, roll them into patties. Take one patty press it in dry flour from both sides and roll in about 6” circle, if dough  start sticking to the rolling pin or rolling surface dust little more dry flour.
  5. Heat the skillet (iron skillet works the best) on medium heat. Skillet should be moderately hot. Wipe the skillet with few drops of oil.
  6. Place the kulcha over skillet. Sprinkle few drops of water. Sprinkle few nigella seeds and little cilantro over the kulcha while kulcha is still wet, and press it with the spatula.
  7. When the kulcha start to change color and start bubbling flip it over. There will be some golden brown spots. Wait about a minute and flip it over again.
  8. Kulcha should have golden brown spots from both sides. Kulcha should not be cooked on high heat otherwise it will not cook through.
  9. Kulcha is ready, butter the kulcha before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Traditionally kulchas are served with punjabi chole or serve with any rich gravy based side dish like palak paneer or dal makhani.


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23 thoughts on “Kulcha (Punjabi Flatbread)

  1. Hello madam. Your reciepes are very deliecious. would you please let me know difference between baking powder and backing soda? Thanks.

  2. I have just tried it, it turned out great. I didn’t think an unleavened bread could be so soft. I will be using the basic recipe for some experiments. Manjula, thank you.

      1. I tried 2 different versions of this bread. In the first I used whole spelt (farro) flour, came out ok but couldn’t fold very well because it has low gluten (otherwise it can be used for scooping and everything). In the second I wanted to make it gluten free but in a simple way, so I used (measuring with weight not cups) about 1/3 sorghum (jowar) flour, about 1/3 buckwheat flour (sub with brown rice flour for a taste more similar to wheat) and 1/3 glutinous rice flour. The rest is the same as your recipe. I think they came out very tasty, soft textured and about as pliable as the first version (so not much but are ok for scooping etc.). They must be rolled thicker than the wheat ones (because they won’t rise as much), must be handed with more care and must not be overcooked or they will turn into (tasty) crackers. They were appreciated by all my family even if I was making them for my coeliac friend. They taste like ‘bread” even without wheat.
        Now I want to make a pliable gf version, I will try adding powdered psyllium husk (sat isabgol?) which I also find in Indian groceries (I powder the husks with my coffee grinder). I will post the results when I do.
        Have a good day, Didina.

          1. I forgot to post, but I couldn’t make the gf flatbread bendable without some major changes. But if you want them to taste and puff close to the flour version, try 1/3 glutinous rice flour, 1/3 tapioca starch and 1/3 sorghum (jowar) – in weight not cups. It’s not a diabetic-friendly recipe but these are not everyday bread and are usually eaten with vegetables, so that helps.

  3. I have prepared these today with spicy chole. I can’t believe how easy it is to make and how delicious this pairs with the chole. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart Madam! I have been following you for years now and have not been disappointed ever.

  4. Thank you teaching us vegetarian food. I will try the kulcha. Good alternative for breakfast. I m from Bangladesh.

  5. Aunty please suggest that can we refrigerate these kulchas /TAWA NAAN, if yes then for how many days and how to heat it.

  6. This is an easy and delicious flat bread I can make in my cast iron skillet! I’m so glad to have found this web site, as Indian food is the bomb-diggity. These recipes are soooooo good. Thanks for sharing your cooking techniques and recipes.

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