Wednesday, December 1, 2010

indian flatbreads .... whole wheat kulcha ...

Kulcha is a yeasted flat bread and is commercially available in the northern India . The traditional kulcha dough is fermented with sourdough starter or the dough is left to ferment naturally and then flat breads are made in tandoor . But now a days the commercially available variety is baked in modern commercial ovens , made with yeasted dough they are soft spongy and spotless white sprinkled with some herbs sometimes...

Delhi street vendors sell chhole kulche on a typical street cart carrying a wide brass handi ( urn ) for the piping hot chhole . They use the ready made kulche out of packets ,  just toasting the kulcha quickly on a hot griddle with some butter and serving with hot chhole ....... I have tasted that chhole kulche just once .

Here comes the same bazar wala kulcha made with whole wheat flour ... I have tried baking this kulcha over the griddle , in the oven and in the microwave in the past and this version which involves cooking the kulcha first in the microwave and then toasting on the griddle works best to make it just like the ready made ones. They look and feel just like the ready made  kulche ( when made with maida ) when they are just out of the microwave , white and spotless . After microwaving they can be kept in the fridge and toasted when required. I have been getting requests from many of my friends for this bazaer wale kulche , so friends... the wait is over.

Here they are , toasted on the griddle for those brown spots....

Before moving to the recipe i must make it clear that it is somewhat similar to the pita bread and the pizza base available ready made in the markets , but this kulcha is thinner and softer and can be folded without breaking , as is shown in the pictures . The best part is , it can be made with the same yeasted dough . Just keep the dough a bit softer and you will see how the texture of the bread changes .


whole wheat flour 2 cups
all purpose flour ( maida ) 2 tbsp
salt to taste
any oil of your choice 1 tsp
mint or coriander leaves to garnish the breads
vegetable oil for greasing
fresh yeast 1 tsp ( or dry active yeast 1/4 tsp )
sugar 1 tsp


Heat a cup of water to 40 degree C or just warm to touch . Dissolve sugar into it and add the fresh or dry yeast to it . Keep this water in a warm place and wait till it gets frothy.

Add the maida and salt , it usually gets more frothy while adding the maida and becomes like a slurry . Whisk this slurry for a couple of minutes ( it helps the dough to get a stretch ) . Add the remaining wheat flour and knead a soft dough adding some lukewarm water as needed .

Keep the dough in a warm place to rise and become double in quantity . At this stage the dough can be kept in the fridge too for a couple of days and then proceed with the rest of the process...bring it to room temperature and them keep it warm to proceed.

Punch the dough and make small balls , keep the balls greased and covered ....wait till they rise to double . Flatten the dough balls on a greased rolling board using your oiled fingers , brush plain water on the surface and stick some mint or coriander leaves . 

In the picture you can see the spotless microwave cooked  kulcha on the left side in the ceramic plate , on the right side you can see how i pressed the dough with hands to flatten it on the rolling board ( chakla ) n then coriander leaves are stuck to it. As i said , the dough for this flat bread needs to be a bit soft , so it is a bit tacky to roll using a rolling pin sometimes , using your fingers to flatten it is far more convenient.

I prefer keeping a hot griddle ready when the kulcha comes out of the microwave , toast the kulcha with some butter and it gets lightly browned in just a few seconds ..

I served the kulcha with an innovative matar paneer with a surprise ingredient , making it suitable for low fat eating . The matar paneer recipe will be posted later ... till then enjoy the kulcha with any of your favorite combination ... chhole or just anything you fancy ...


  1. wow, nice! did not know kulcha could be cooked in a microwave....

  2. 3 Flatbread recepies in one go... you cleared your backlog and posted this stuff which was so much in demand for such a long time :) Very nice indeed :)Ab haumaara backlog badh gaya.. I want to try each one of them immediately can't keep them pending for too long

  3. @ Amrita.. do try it right away , you'd be happy with it i know.

  4. the gravy looks more inviting..whenever I add yeast to some dish, i get a sour taste, is that ok. or i do it wrong.

  5. @ Devasena ... sour taste should not come with yeast , sour taste is a characteristic of sour dough or naturally fermented dough . Try adding lesser yeast and keep it at warm temperature so that rising happens faster . The yeast aroma and taste is different , not at all sour.

  6. Hari used to have only chappathis daily for dinner. Daily its a difficult for me to think about side dishes along with it.

    I think I'm going to try out ur kulcha and naan one by one.

  7. wow sangeeta this is yummy... will make this tommorow!

  8. Please do Rajani and let me know how it turned out.

  9. I have been looking for a bakery in whole of Hyderabad to find readymade kulchas for parties but was unsuccessful. Thanks for the recipe.Please guide as to how long and at what power shold the kulcha be put in the microwave?

  10. Hi Joylife....
    The kulcha has to be microwaved on high (in my MW it is 800W)...1 minute for a small kulcha will be fine , set the MW for a minute anyways and check the center of the kulcha when you take it out ... it should be cooked in the center ( geometric center )as this part is cooked last....also, the kulcha should peel off the plate effortlessly ....

  11. Thanx, will try soon. By the way, I have been following your blog for a while now- wonderfully innovative recipes!!

  12. Hi Sangeeta, I tried ur whole wheat kulchas, with some paneer/potato stuffing. Came out so well - easy and delicious. A keeper.

  13. Thanks for the feedback Supriya...many of my friends have tried this recipe and have been happy with this home made bread ever since...
    Welcome to my blog.

  14. This is a nice recipe Sangeeta.. love the idea..

  15. The kulchas available on the streets of Delhi are normally steamed and are made with maida.