This recipe was requested by my mum a couple of days back. Kulcha’s are soft flat breads usually served with chole [or chick peas in spicy gravy]. These remind me of Punjabi dhaba’s which I visited as a child while driving down from New Delhi.
I have tried a part whole wheat version and they turned out as lovely as possible.
Bread Kulcha/ Indian Flat Bread Variety [part whole wheat]
Starter-Mix the instant yeast, 1 tsp of sugar, 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of all purpose flour together. Cover with a lid and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile sift together the whole wheat flour, salt and the remaining 1 tsp of sugar.
Add the starter [which by now would have turned frothy] and bring the dough together.
Add the remaining 2 tbsps of water [ if needed] and 1 tbsp of oil. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes until it feels smooth.
Cover with a damp cloth and allow to double up. [ about 1 hour]
Punch down / deflate the dough.
Add the kalonji and sesame seeds. Knead a little to incorporate them into the dough.
Wrap the dough in a damp cloth and place it in a slightly large closed container. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. [ I left it over night]
Allow the dough to thaw or come to room temperature .[About an hour]
Punch down or deflate the dough and divide into 6 equal parts.
Dust with a little flour and roll out each portion into oblong kulchas . [Similar to how you would roll out a chappati but oval in shape]
Sprinkle a little grated carrot and chopped coriander on top and press it in a bit.
Place the shaped kulchas on a greased and lined baking tray.
Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 15 minutes.
Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
Brush the top of the rolled out dough with butter.
Bake in the pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. [Or until the edges start to turn light brown and the top looks filled with a couple of air bubbles]
Remove from the oven and brush the top with butter.
Oven temperature and time may vary. Do check for the edges to turn slightly brown. Over baking would make the kulchas hard and rubbery.
In case you are using active dry yeast, you will have to activate it. Skip 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup all purpose flour in step one. Mix the rest together and wait for the yeast to froth up [about 10 minutes]. Then add the remaining water and all purpose flour. Allow this mixture/ starter to rest for 15-20 minutes.
Over night resting helps give the kulchas the perfect texture.
Serve the warm kulchas with chole or with any North Indian curry dish.