Punjab is renowned for its culinary history that goes back more than a thousand years. Punjab's gastronomy is heavily influenced by its agriculture and farming lifestyle, striking a chord with us every single time. You can see extensive usage of local produce, grains, and spices in every recipe. And the way in which the flavours marry makes the cuisine both delicious and soul-soothing at the same time. If you are even remotely privy to Punjabi cuisine, you must have heard about chole kulche. Crispy stuffed bread oozing with butter, Amritsari kulcha is one of Punjab's best culinary gifts to the food world. Here, soft dough is usually stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes and cooked in tandoor till it turns crisp on the outside. The bread is then served hot with a generous amount of white butter on it. Quintessentially, Amritsari kulcha is paired with Pindi chole to make for a classic Punjabi breakfast.
History Of Amritsari Kulcha: Who Invented Amritsari Kulcha?
If you look into the history of Amritsari kulcha, its presence can be traced back to the Mughal era. According to some historians, khansamah prepared stuffed kulcha for the royals, which gained immense appreciation. This is how it became famous among the Mughals and travelled to the Northern part of India.
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Some historical facts also claim that Amritsari kulcha finds its inspiration in Mughlai khameeri roti. Pehalwan Kulcha shop in Punjab's Dhab Khatikan is counted among the pioneers of Amristari kulchas. Food historians state that in 1952, famous professional wrestler, Pehalwan Atma Ram, took the concept of khameeri roti and turned it around to create Amritsari naan. Chef Sadaf Hussain further explains, "Amritsari kulcha is a humble take on the famous Aloo ka Paratha and the regular Naan."
What Is The Difference Between Naan And Amristari Kulcha?
To put it simply kulcha is a variant of naan. But if you dive in deep, you will find a few key differences between the two flatbreads. Let's take a look.
Difference In Ingredients:
- While kulcha is made using maida, we usually use wheat flour to prepare naan.
- Kulcha is leavened with baking powder, while we use yogurt (or milk) and yeast to leaven naan.
Difference In Texture:
- While naan mostly includes no stuffing, we include spicy mashed aloo and other vegetables in the kulcha recipe.
- Naan is usually soft and fluffy, while the kulcha has a crispy outer layer and is soft inside.
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How To Make Amritsari Kulcha At Home:
Traditionally, Amritsari kulcha is prepared in a tandoor oven. However, we understand, having a traditional tandoor oven at home seems like a distant dream. Hence, we bring you two alternative processes to make Amritsari kulcha at home. Take a look.
How To Make Amritsari Kulcha On Tawa:
- First, knead a soft dough with maida, water, salt, baking powder and keep it to rest for at least an hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare a stuffing with potato, onion, green chilli and some other spices.
- Now, make small balls of dough, flatten it and add the stuffing. Tuck in the edges.
- With a rolling pin, flatten wedges again.
- Place a pan on a gas stove with medium flame. Brush some oil and roast well.
- And you have hot and crispy kulcha ready to be relished.
Click here for a detailed recipe.
How To Make Kulcha In Pressure Cooker:
You heard it right. We found a trick that you can use at home to make tandoor-style kulcha. All you need for this is a pressure cooker and some smart techniques.
- First, prepare the dough and filling as mentioned above. Prepare the roundels and roll it flat.
- Now, keep a pressure cooker (without lid) on high flame until it gets really hot.
- Brush some water on one side of the kulcha so that it can stick to the cooker.
- Paste the moist side of the kulcha on the inner wall of the cooker. Turn the cooker upside down, so the kulcha on the wall gets closer to the flames.
- Let it cook on medium-high heat until it is perfectly cooked from the top.
- Once cooked, take out the kulcha, brush ghee or butter and serve.
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How To Make Pindi Chole At Home:
Amritsari kulcha seems incomplete without spicy chole by the side. Here we bring you the classic pindi chole recipe that will elevate your meal experience in just no time.
First, soak some chickpeas overnight. Then, pressure cook the chole with salt and some spices. Then toss with flavourful Pindi chole masala and slow cook in the tomato-onion gravy. Finally, top it with a crackling tadka of ghee and spices and serve. And yes, don't forget to garnish with lime juice and coriander leaves. Sounds delicious; isn't it?
Click here for the detailed recipe.
What are you waiting for? Prepare the meal today and enjoy an indulgent weekend with family and friends.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.