|Place of origin||Indian Subcontinent|
|Region or state||Jammu, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab region, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh|
|Main ingredients||Maida flour|
Kulcha is a type of mildly leavened flatbread that originated in the Indian subcontinent.
Kulcha is made from maida flour, water, a pinch of salt and a leavening agent (yeast or old kulcha dough), mixed together by hand to make a very tight dough. This dough is covered with a wet cloth and left to stand for an hour or so in a warm place. The result is a slight leavening of the dough but not much. The flour is kneaded again by hand and then rolled out using a rolling pin into a flat, round shape. It is baked in an earthen clay oven ("tandoor") until done. When baked, it is often brushed with butter or ghee, although this is not necessary. It is then eaten with any Indian curry. In particular, a spicy chickpea curry known as chole is the dish of choice for being eaten with kulcha.
In the first variant, instead of using water to knead the dough, milk or yogurt can be used; this results in the dough becoming softer and more rubbery. This type of kulcha is known as doodhia kulcha (milk kulcha). Leavening is often greater if yogurt is used.
This variant of kulchas are not stuffed but made plain and eaten with a curry which can be either vegetarian or meat-based.
The second variant are the kulchas stuffed with fillings that were served during the period of Mughals and Nizams in their Darbars. For example, in Awadh region, Awadhi Kulcha is served with Nahari, a mutton based dish.
Nowadays, these are sold in restaurant and shops. Jammu's Kaladi Kulcha which is made with traditional Dogra Cheese i.e. Kaladi Cheese is one of the most-loved street foods in Jammu. Kaladi cheese is sautéed in oil on a pan, cooked till brown in colour from both sides and stuffed between roasted kulchas.
Amritsari kulcha, a.k.a. amritsari naan, is a modern recipe which has become one of the favorite breakfast choices for the local population of Amritsar.
In entire North India, range of stuffings, including paneer (cottage cheese), potatoes, onion and other vegetables are used to stuff these kulchas.
|A slidshow of Hyderabadi Kulcha / Naan / Sheermaal preparation images. Published on Flickr|
In Pakistan, kulcha breads are largely eaten in certain parts of the Hazara and northern Punjab regions, where they are a popular breakfast item.
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