This is a continuation post of my previous post Chicken Do Pyaza or Murgh Do Pyaaza with Onion Paneer Kulcha. I enjoyed our Indian Independence Day over a hardcore Desi lunch spread. I already shared the recipe of Chicken Do Pyaza or Murgh Do Pyaaza. Now it’s time for the Onion Paneer Kulcha.
Kulcha is the second most popular Indian flat bread after Naan. Both breads are similar but with a basic difference. Naan uses yeast whereas kulcha is completely yeast free; instead kulcha dough needs yogurt. I always prefer kulcha over the naan. The puffy & chewy center always attracts me. And if it comes to stuffed kulcha I don’t even look at the sides. I can even gobble them up with the condiment only.
As kulcha dough doesn’t need any yeast, it’s much easier to handle. A hassle-free dough is always easier to be tried at home. I have tried this multiple times with various fillings. But without filling the taste is equally inviting. My favorite one is with simple roasted garlic and sesame seeds with melted butter on the top. Yummm!
Traditionally kulcha is made of maida flour or refined bleached wheat flour. The dough is rolled into thick flat disc and cooked in clay pot. it is general practice to add dollop of butter on the kulcha just before removing it from the flame and served immediately. Kulcha is best served with Chicken Do Pyaza or Chole Masala or Keema Muttor. But kulcha tastes good with any other spicy Indian gravy item tooother . Like any North Indian dish desi salad and raita is the best condiment for it. Sometimes Indian spicy pickle is also served with it.
Enough of theoretical analysis! Let’s move straight to the recipe of Onion Paneer Kulcha.
Onion Paneer Kulcha Recipe
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Resting Time: 240-300 mins
Total Time: 345 mins
Yield: 8 large kulcha or 12 medium kulcha
For the Dough:
All-purpose flour: 3 cup
Baking powder: 1 tsp
Baking soda: 1/8 tsp
Yogurt: ½ cup
Oil: ¼ cup
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Sugar: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp
For the Filling:
Paneer or Cottage Cheese: 200g
Red onion: 1, large, finely chopped
Green chilies: 3-4, finely chopped
Coriander leaves: ½ cup, finely chopped
Red chili powder: 1 tbsp (optional; increase or decrease the amount according to your taste)
Black pepper powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste (as the dough is enough salty for me, I dint use additional salt)
Oil/butter/ghee or clarified butter for greasing the pan
Sesame seeds (optional)
Chicken Do Pyaza or Chole Masala or Keema Muttor (any spicy gravy item)
Raita (Indian condiment)
Food processor or mixer-grinder
Medium mixing bowl
Large mixing bowl
Nonstick flat pan/tava
In a large bowl sieve flour, baking powder baking soda, sugar & salt together. It is always better to use powdered sugar for any dough if possible.
Make a small well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour oil in it. Now rub the oil and flour mixture together in your palms. It will look like bit crumbled.
Drop the ghee in the mixture and follow the same procedure to rub it with flour mixture. At the end it will look like crumbled coarse mixture. (See the picture)
Now add the yogurt and start kneading the dough.
In the beginning it will look like a big mess. But continue kneading and gradually it will produce super soft & smooth dough.
Cover the dough with a clean damp cloth and allow it to rest for 4-5 hrs. (I kept in rest for 6 hrs.) After the resting period the dough will be almost double in size and it will be pliable comfortably. (See Tips)
While your dough is resting, prepare the filling for kulcha. Take a medium mixing bowl and crumble the cottage cheese in it. You can also use food processor for the same job. Make sure cheese does not become like paste. It should be crumbled only.
Add chopped red onion and finely chopped green chilies.
Add cleaned coriander leaves and mix together. Adjust seasoning and add pepper powder and chili powder accordingly. Mix it thoroughly. Make small balls out of the filling and keep them covered separately. (See Tips)
Now when your dough is ready, knead one last time for 1-2 mins to make sure it is completely pliable and smooth. Make medium sized balls out of the dough. Arrange them in a line. (See Tips)
Gently take one ball at a time in your palm and flatten a bit. Keep them in a line. Now place each balls of filling in the middle of flatten dough. (See Tips)
Gently press the sides of the circle and bring them together on the top to make sure filling is covered completely. Pinch from all sides to make seam free.
Lightly dust your rolling board with flour and press the stuffed dough gently in the middle of it to flatten a bit. Now roll lightly using a rolling pin. (See Tips)
Sprinkle some sesame seeds on both sides and roll the stuffed dough round to your desired size. But don’t press the dough hard otherwise the cover will tear apart and filling will be exposed. The fragrant sesame seeds will give an extra crunch to your kulcha. (I had no sesame needs at home so couldn’t use it. I will make sure to use them next time.) (See Tips)
Grease the flatpan/ tava with few drops of oil and heat it on medium high flame. Place one kulcha at a time on the pan and cook for 2-3 mins. Kulcha will be puffed up by the time. Flip the kulcha and cook the other side too until browned. This side won’t puff up much. (See Tips)
Your hot hot kulcha is now ready to be served. Serve hot with any spicy indian gravy item. If you are planning to have kulcha on light meal, use simple Raita and your favorite pickle. I enjoyed a luxurious spread of Chicken Do Pyaza, Raita & some pickle with this Onion Paneer Kulcha.
1. It is important to keep the dough covered with a wet kitchen towel to prevent it from being dry and stretchy.
2. Place the filling balls in a bowl and cover with a lid. Otherwise they will be dry and cracks will appear on the surface.
3. It is definitely not necessary to maintain the dough balls in a line but it will help you to complete the job neatly and without any trouble.
4. Keep the center of the dough disc a bit thicker so that it can hold the weight of the filling. Otherwise it will tear the skin of the dough while stretching or frying and will cause a mess.
5. You can replace flour dust with oil. Grease the surface and follow the rest. I dusted to avoid usage of extra oil.
6. If there is any crack at all on the surface of the Kulcha, it will split in the oil when you are going to cook. If you still find your filling has exposed during rolling use little flour as dusting on the exposed area. It will help to cover that patch.
7. It is important that you take the Kulcha out of the pan at correct time; otherwise kulcha will get dark in color and crisp instead of being soft & chewy.
Enjoy the Desi flavor!