Kulcha is a yeasted flat bread and is commercially available in the northern India, especially in Delhi. 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 kulchea few times and it is the best kind of street food you can find in Delhi.
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, or sourdough starter)
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) and 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 cheat's version of matar paneer, as I didn't want to have chhole with these whole wheat kulche. Matar paneer or any mutton curry is a great accompaniment to these whole wheat kulchas.