Kulchas are Indian flatbreads very similar to naan, very popular in North India. One of our favourite street foods is matar kulcha, available at pretty much every corner of the city. It makes for a quick healthy meal that I enjoy making at home…. Well almost as much as these Paneer Kulchas!

Paneer Kulcha, a delicious food

Fresh Paneer kulcha’s straight from the oven

Typically these flatbreads are made without yeast. Yogurt and baking soda are added to their dough while naans are made with yeast. But this recipe from my mom uses yeast for kulcha and my naans have yeast & yogurt…gosh, so confusing! But as long as it works! ๐Ÿ™‚

Paneer Kulcha

Paneer Kulcha

Kulchas are quite soft. They don’t get hard and rubbery like naan when cold. You can simply reheat them in the microwave for a few seconds or on a griddle/tawa. Latter is my preferred method, especially with a bit ( or lots) of butter or ghee. It gets nicely crispy on the outside, which we all love. By the way, they freeze rather well too.  That’s such a convenience as I can use the base to make a quick pizza, serve with any vegetable/ dal or turn it into paneer kulcha!! Weeknight dinner/ after school snack/ tiffin sorted!

Paneer kulcha I make is really a sandwich, and while I’m not sure about this recipe’s authenticity, this is the way we’ve been eating it for years. So purists, please pardon. It’s wholesome, delicious and very easy to make..that’s what counts in my book! ๐Ÿ™‚

NOTES:

  • You can add a tablespoon or two of yogurt or milk in the kulcha dough to make it softer. Adjust the quantity of water used accordingly.
  • While kulchas are usually made with all-purpose flour, you can easily substitute with wholewheat flour or a mix of the two as well.
  • Just so you know, you can make the same sandwich with keema ( minced meat/ chicken ) filling too. It’s absolutely amazing!
  • If you want to make this a complete VEGAN meal, you can use TOFU instead of paneer.
  • Make a double batch and store the leftover kulchas, tightly wrapped in foil in the refrigerator or freezer.
Paneer Kulcha

Paneer Kulcha

I hope this makes a regular visit on your dinner table as it does on ours. Iโ€™d love to  know how this turned out for you. Leave  a comment below and share a picture on INSTAGRAM  using the hashtag #tashasartisanfoods !

Paneer Kulcha

Servings: 4 sandwiches
Author: Natasha Minocha

Ingredients

KULCHA

  • 250 gms Wholewheat/ All purpose flour You can use a mix of the 2 as well.
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Dry active yeast + 1/4 cup slightly warm water.
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Water

PANEER BHURJI/SCRAMBLED PANEER

  • 250 gms Paneer Crumbled. You can use tofu if you want to make it vegan
  • 1 Onion, medium Diced
  • 2 Tomatoes Diced
  • 1 Green chilli Add more if you like
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1.5 tsp oil/ghee
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh coriander/ cilantro for garnish
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

KULCHA

  • Preheat your oven to 200C.
  • Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup water. Keep in a draught-free place till it gets frothy.
  • Now mix together the flour, salt, oil with the yeast mixture. Slowly add the water and knead it to make a soft, sticky dough.
  • Cut into equal sized balls, oil your hands well and press down on each ball to flatten it into an oval or round shape, about 1/4" in thickness. I don't use a rolling pin as the dough is quite soft.
  • Carefully place each kulcha and place it carefully on a lightly greased baking tray. Cover and leave to proof for about 15-20 minutes in a draught-free place.
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on your oven. Your kulchas are now ready to eat!

PANEER BHURJI

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. As soon as they splutter, add onions and green chilli. Let it cook for a few minutes to soften the vegetable.
  • Add in the tomatoes , garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric and salt. Let it cook on medium heat till the tomatoes soften. Now add the crumbled paneer. Cook on high heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly till the paneer is nicely coated with all the masala. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Add the coriander leaves and your bhurji is ready!

Assembly

  • Spread a layer of paneer bhurji on one kulcha. Cover with another kulcha to make a sandwich. Place on hot, greased griddle pan and toast till slightly browned and crisped on each side. Cut it into half and enjoy!