Kulcha is a popular and one of the most sought after north Indian flatbread just like naan bread. These flatbreads are loved for their soft texture with signature char and smoky flavors.
You can easily make restaurant style kulcha at home, no tandoor oven or any special equipment required. Tastes delicious with amritsari chole, paneer butter masala, chickpea curry, palak paneer, shahi paneer, veg kadai curries.
Today I am sharing with you all one of my absolute favorites. Most of us go for a naan or kulcha with rich Indian curries while dining at an Indian restaurant right? What if I tell you that you can make kulcha at home that is outright delicious and perfect?
Follow this recipe, please go through the tips and try this out, I am sure you will love it 🙂
About This Recipe
Kulcha is a leavened flatbread from Indian subcontinent. It is made of plain flour and leavened with baking powder. These are popular across the country, especially in Punjab. Amritsari Kulcha are very popular ones.
These flatbreads are soft, with slight crisp, flaky edges and has that signature char and smoky flavor of tandoori recipes.
They are often stuffed with paneer or potato stuffing but plain ones are also equally popular. I have already shared a recipe for amritsari kulcha with potato filling and this recipe is for plain ones without stuffing.
The recipe I am sharing here is a super easy one and I have been making this for more than a decade. Over the years I have perfected the recipe with various tries and presenting to you the best kulcha recipe ever.
You do not need the special clay oven called tandoori oven or even an electric tandoor or oven to make this flatbread. All you need is a humble pan with handle and a stovetop for this recipe.
Finally the ingredients for kulcha recipe I am sharing are super simple and readily available. All you need are some plain flour, some yogurt and baking powder. You do not even need yeast for this recipe.
What Is The Difference Between Naan And Kulcha?
Both kulcha and naan bread recipe are leavened breads from India. Though both may look same there are few small differences that set them apart.
Naan bread recipe– naan is leavened with yeast, very soft and chewy and not always stuffed. You can also make naan with whole wheat flour.
Kulcha– Kulcha is soft and flaky. It has slight crispy edges too. It is leavened with baking powder and mostly made with plain flour only. They also contain some kind of filling like potato filling, paneer filling or onion filling at times.
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and make this now, isn’t it always wonderful to recreate your favorite restaurant dishes at home?
Serve this delicious flatbread with rich Indian curries like paneer masala or veg korma or veg makhanwala and enjoy!
This Kulcha Is
Super easy to make at home
made with simple ingredients
made easily on stove top
no special equipments are required
Vegetarian and can be easily made vegan
best served with Indian curries!
Now that you all about what is kulcha, let’s get straight into ingredients and detailed recipe with all the tips you will need, shall we?
As mentioned above we need some ridiculously simple ingredients for this recipe .
Plain flour– maida or all purpose flour is used for this recipe. You can also go ahead and use bread flour if you prefer. use fresh and best quality flour for best kulchas.
Yogurt– Fresh, thick and preferably full fat yogurt is best for this recipe. I have used homemade thick yogurt. Please use plain ones and not any flavored or sweetened yogurt. Vegans can easily use cashew or soy yogurt.
Baking powder– it is leavening agent for this recipe. Use the exact quantity mentioned in the recipe to get the desired results. Please do not substitute with baking soda.
Oil– helps in making the kulcha soft.
Sugar– helps in leavening the dough.
Salt- to taste
Water– to knead the dough
Butter– to serve, use dairy or vegan
Sesame seeds– as topping
Step By Step Method
In a large bowl combine all purpose flour maida, salt, sugar, baking powder. Mix well with a spoon.
Make a well in the center and add well whisked yogurt (dairy or plant based) and oil . Rub it well with your fingertips. Incorporate the yogurt into the flour well.
Now slowly add water and knead the dough. Knead The dough for 6-7 minutes well manually or use your stand mixer with paddle attachment.
Place the kneaded dough in a slightly oiled large bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and set aside for 2 hours. Let the dough get leavened.
After two hours, gently knead the dough again for 30 seconds. Do not push or knead hard.
Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
Now place a dough ball on a lightly floured surface and roll into a round or oval shaped kulcha of 1/4″thickness using a rolling pin. Sprinkle some sesame seeds or nigella seeds and press well.
Now flip the rolled kulcha and apply water generously on the other side with a basting brush.
Heat a flat pan with handle for 2 minutes on stovetop. Place the rolled kulcha, watered side down.
Cook for 30-40 seconds. You will see some bubbles appearing.
Now holding the handle, flip the pan and let the other side cook directly on open flame for another 30 seconds.
Now gently remove the cooked kulcha from pan, you will notice beautiful chars and some flaky layers along with slightly crispy edges.
Apply butter generously on cooked kulcha, you can also op with some finely chopped herbs like coriander leaves. Cook all the dough balls in the same way. Serve butter kulcha immediately.
Expert Tips & FAQs
How to make tandoori kulcha without tandoor?
A tandoor or clay oven is used for cooking flatbreads and meat at extremely high temperature. It essentially produces a smoky flavor, crispy edges and chars.
In this recipe we are mimicking the same by using steam contraption and cooking on open fire. So please follow this recipe for tandoori style kulcha at home.
Can I make stuffed kulcha with this recipe
Absolutely, you can fill any of your favorite stuffing like paneer or aloo in this kulcha. Please see this amritsari kulcha recipe for detailed instructions.
How to make vegan kulcha?
To make this recipe just use
- dairy free yogurt
- vegan butter.
I have made this recipe with cashew yogurt and vegan butter, it was yummy!
Can I replace baking powder with yeast?
I would not suggest that. When you add yeast, the dough becomes more chewy and soft but for kulcha we need flaky layers with slightly crispy edges which can be attained by baking powder only. On that note please do not use baking soda instead of baking powder.
Can I make the dough ahead?
Yes, you can make the dough, let it leaven and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Store in airtight container and thaw it to room temperature before making kulchas.
Why should I add water to one side of the rolled dough?
we are adding water to one side of the rolled dough for two reasons.
- When water comes in contact with super hot pan on stove, it creates steam and the dough gets cooked with a nice chars and smoky flavor mimicking tandoor oven or clay oven. It also creates air bubbles and flaky layers in kulcha.
- When we flip the kulcha over direct flame, the watered side sticks to the pan and does not fall off.
Can I freeze the cooked kulcha?
Yes, you can totally freeze the cooked kulchas. Just let them cool thoroughly and stack between parchment papers. Transfer to freezer bag and freeze. Stays good for 2-3 months.
Can we reheat the frozen kulchas?
Yes, remove the frozen flatbreads and reheat on a flat pan with or without few drops of oil. While serving you can brush some butter.
Do I need a pan with handle for this recipe?
Yes, I recommend that. It helps you to flip the flatbread and cook over direct fire. In the absence of a pan with handle, just cook the kulcha from both sides for a minute and them using a pair of tongs, cook over open flame for few seconds to get those chars.
Can I use electric grill or oven?
Yes, you can use electric grill, gas grill or even barbeque for this recipe.
More kulcha topping ideas?
Instead of sesame seeds you can top these breads with
- nigella seeds
- kasuri methi
- cumin seeds
- broken cashews.
How To Serve Kulcha?
These kulchas taste wonderful with Indian curries like chole masala, any paneer curry and some plain curd or yogurt.
You can also serve these with pickle, pickled onions. Amritsari kulcha with chole is a popular and loved combo.
I hope you liked this recipe and found it useful. Please give a star rating★ in the recipe card below if you tried this recipe. Follow us on Pinterest , Instagram, Facebook for more vegetarian Indian recipes and world recipes with step by step photos and videos.
- Flat Pan with handle
For the dough
- 3 cups all purpose flour maida
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons plain yogurt curd, fresh, thick and whisked, dairy or vegan
- 2 tablespoons oil
- salt to taste
- 1 cup water add more or less as required for kneading
- sesame seeds
- butter for brushing, dairy or vegan
- Into a large bowl add all purpose flour maida, salt, sugar, baking powder. Mix well with a spoon.
- Make a well in the center, add well whisked yogurt and oil . Rub them well with your fingertips. Incorporate the yogurt into the flour well.
- Now slowly add the water and knead the dough. Knead dough for 6-7 minutes well manually or use your stand mixer with paddle attachment.
- Place kneaded dough in a slightly oiled large bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and set aside the dough for 2 hours. Let the dough get leavened well. After two hours, gently knead the dough again for another 30 seconds. Do not push or knead it hard. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts or balls
- Now place one dough ball on a lightly floured surface and roll into a round or oval shaped kulcha of 1/4″thickness using a rolling pin. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and press well.
- Now flip the rolled kulcha and apply some water generously on the other side with a basting brush.
- Heat a flat pan with handle for 2 minutes on stovetop in high heat. Place the rolled kulcha, watered side down. Cook for 30-40 seconds the base side.
- Now holding the handle of the pan, flip the pan and let the other side cook directly on open flame for another 30 seconds.
- Now remove the cooked kulcha from pan, you will notice beautiful chars and some flaky layers along with slightly crispy edges.
- Apply some butter generously on cooked kulcha, you can also top with some finely chopped herbs like coriander leaves. Cook the remaining dough balls in the same way. Serve butter kulcha immediately still warm.
- You can double or halve the recipe.
- Let the dough rest for at least two hours after kneading.
- You can use half whole wheat flour and half plain flour in this recipe.