Stuffed kulchas are permanently associated with Sunday evenings in my mind. Since several of these yeasty flatbreads can be made at one time in the oven, they make a great weekend meal, perfect for vegging out in front of the TV or wrapping up for a picnic.
– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 2 cups whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup yogurt
– 1 tsp yeast
– a pinch of sugar
– 2-3 tbsp oil
– 1 tbsp of nigella seeds/black sesame seeds/ black poppy seeds
For the filling:
– 1 potato, boiled and peeled
– 1/2 cup cheese of choice ( I like fresh cottage cheese/queso fresco)
– a handful of chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, parsley)
– salt to taste
– 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
– 1/2 tsp garam masala/chat masala/ spice mix of choice
– Mix n match- replace potatoes/cheese with tofu/caramelized onions/shredded cauliflower
– In a large bowl, mix together the flours and salt.
– Mix water and milk together and nuke for ten seconds or so until lukewarm. Stir in the yeast and sugar and wait for a few minutes until the yeast foams.
– Add the yeast mixture and yogurt to the flour and knead for a few minutes. If wet, add a tbsp of flour at a time, if dry, add a tbsp of water at a time to make a soft dough.
– Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it rise for a couple of hours. (For best results, refrigerate overnight.)
– Mix together all the ingredients for the filling. For best results, the dough and filling should be of the same consistency. If in doubt, err on the side of a dry filling..a wet filling will burst through.
When ready to cook:
- Preheat oven to 450F. If you have a baking stone, place it on the lowest rack before pre-heating. If not, line the lowest rack with a couple of layers of aluminum foil.
– Pour the oil into a bowl. Take a piece of dough the size of a large lemon, lightly dip it in the oil, and roll out into a 3 inch wide disc using a rolling pin. Place a tbsp of filling in the center of the disc, and lift up the edges and crimp them together on top. Flatten it down again and roll out gently to form a 5 inch round/oval disc. (For step-by-step visuals, go here.)
– Sprinkle a pinchful of seeds on top and press them into the dough.
– Roll out as many discs as would fit on the stone/foil. Quickly open the oven and place the kulchas on the stone. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes or until well-browned, then flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side.
– Brush with a little oil/butter if you like.
Serve with yogurt, daal, pickles or tea. Kulchas are traditionally made in a wood burning clay oven, but an oven does a decent job. You can also make them on the grill and serve with grilled veggies.