Kulchas (a sourdough flatbread made of refined flour in curd) is my go-to bread when it comes to heavy tasty Indian main dishes such as Chole, Mutton Curry or Butter Chicken. It is quite similar to how we make parathas but of course, it has a very different taste and is always a better and a healthier alternative to Bhatura (though I love Bhatura and believe that it can never be replaced!) My mom taught me this, but she makes a variation of it in which she stuffs the kulchas with paneer.
This is the most basic kulcha in which I’ve used only ajwain (carom seeds) for the base taste. I always prefer ghee to oil when it comes to toasting kulchas and, trust me, it smells delicious and tastes like heaven when paired with spicy gravies and non-veg.
I’ll be doing variations of kulchas int he coming posts but if you want, you can practically stuff kulchas with anything you like (just like we do with parathas.)
Plain Ajwain Kulcha
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Proving time: 1-2 hours in summer; 4-6 hours in winters
- Cook time: 15-20 minutes
- Maida (refined flour): 500 gms
- Curd: around 1 cup or as required
- Ajwain (carom seeds): 2 tsp
- Salt: 1/2 tsp
- Baking soda: 1/4 tsp
- Ghee: 2 tbsp for dough and as required for toasting
- Mix sieved maida in a big bowl with salt, baking soda, ghee, and ajwain and knead a very soft dough with curd.
- Keep aside covered, coated with 1tsp ghee, in a warm place (but not under direct sunlight) for 1-2 hours in summer and 4-6 hours in winters for proving.
- Once risen well, knead lightly once and make equal sized balls before rolling them with a rolling pin to the normal size of parathas.
- Once rolled out, spread some ghee on the kulcha and pierce with a fork. The cut it into strips as shown in the picture.
- Roll the stripe in the corner and then place the rolled stripe on the next stipe and roll it again. This way you’ll have a big roll of strips. Refer to the picture.
- Then dust the ball with some maida and roll it again just like you would a paratha. You can roll the kulchas in square or oval shapes as well.
- Once done put the kulcha on a hot tawa and toast it for 5-10 seconds. Then turn it and let it toast till small bubbles appear on the open side. Now apply ghee (or 1:1 ghee and oil mixture) nicely on the entire surface fo the kulcha and then flip it. Repeat the same with ghee/mixture on this side and flip when the other side is golden brown.
Kulchas are ready!
- Sour curd makes better kulchas (just like it works great in kadi.)
- If you want to reduce ghee then toast the kulchas with a mixture of ghee and refined oil in the ratio 1:1.