This Amritsari Kulcha recipe is similar to the authentic kulcha and it turns out delicious. But these Kulchas are baked in the oven. Having no tandoor is a limitation for many home cooks like me. The OTG works great, and it is proven to be a saver for me many times.
Being a Punjabi, I can’t ignore the demanding tastebuds who are hungry for a good buttery, crispy outside, tender inside, aloo masala stuffed kulcha. I might have to face sulky reactions at home after this post. Amritsari kulcha not made in a tandoor would be considered as a bluff for many hardcore Punjus.
I truly miss that Punjabi food echo here in Mumbai. After all, I was born and raised in Amritsar. You can very well imagine a profound connection I have with this Kulcha.
Even if they are baked, they retain an absolute delectable potato stuffing and we do have the licence to go crazy with butter or ghee on the top. The oven gives an amazing crispy surface to the kulchas, as you can see in the image here.
Yes, we do miss that charred tandoor texture, and aroma, but let’s adjust on that end, for this time.
An electric tandoor Mini Chef Electric Tandoor With Heat Proof Stand, 2Pcs Magic Cloth, Recipe Book would also work with excellence for this recipe. If you have one at home do use it to make Kulchas and naan. My mom makes kulcha in the presser cooker at home. That technique also works wonderfully, and this is her method.
Heat the pressure cooker (without lid) on high flame until it gets really hot.
Brush some water on one side of the stuffed/shaped kulcha so that it can stick to the cooker.
Paste the wet side of the kulcha on the inner wall of the cooker. Turn the cooker upside down, so the kulcha on the wall get closer (not directly touching) to the flames. Make sure to keep an eye on it or it starts to burn. Some charred texture is welcomed on the kulcha, but too much chariness won’t be appetizing.
At this point, the inner side of cooker accumulates all the heat from the flame and this will help the kulcha cook on its top as well on the bottom part which is stuck on the wall of the cooker. Let it cook on medium-high heat until it is perfectly cooked from the top.
Once you see that the kulcha is absolutely cooked, take it out with the help of a spatula.
Apply some butter and enjoy. You can have 2-3 medium size Kulchas at one time in the cooker. You can also make naan at home in a similar way. I have this amazing masala combo for garlic naan here
Garlic naan masala
Mix Salt, Red Chili Powder, Garam Masala, chopped Garlic and chopped Coriander.
Use the same dough (from the recipe below) and spread some garlic naan masala on the top of a rolled/shaped naan. Bake in a preheated oven at 230*C for 7-8 minutes. Or make it in the pressure cooker. Spread some butter and serve hot.
Tandoori (cooked in a tandoor) had been a dominating style of cooking for Indian cuisine. The earthy aroma from the clay lining of the tandoor gives the food an exclusive complex flavour that is unbeatable. Tandoor has many culinary chronicles, and I have shared a few amazing sagas with you here.
Traces of tandoor have also been found in ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. Indus valley and Harappan civilizations of ancient India show the traces of tandoors too.
Earlier tandoors were set into the earth and were fired by wood. You can still find such tandoors in India, Pakistan, and in Afghanistan.
In Punjab, you can still find communal tandoors, which were a gift from Guru Nanak Dev Ji when he started the culture of Sanja Cholla.
However, modern tandoor was brought to India by the Mughals. Portable tandoor was invented much later during the reigns of Jahangir, (Mughal ruler). It is said that portable tandoor was carried by a team of cooks whenever he travelled.
Must go through these points written below before you go ahead with the recipe.
Must knead the dough properly. Kneading helps to strengthen the dough. When we knead, the gluten develops and it results in a smooth, elastic dough ball.
It is very important to rest the kneaded dough before use. Make sure you cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 1 hour.
When making stuffing, please adjust the seasoning and spice as per your preference.
When rolling and shaping the dough don’t use too much dry flour.
Don’t overstuff the kulcha with the filling, if you are new to the rolling technique. The generic rule is one tablespoon of stuffing for a golf-sized dough portion.
Be gentle with the stuffed dough ball, while rolling out. Sometimes, if too much pressure is applied with the rolling pin the stuffing pops out from the edge.
Make sure that the stuffing is at room temperature.
Once you shape the ball with stuffing, dust some dry flour on the rolling pin and on the surface to begin the rolling.
line the baking tray with a parchment paper to prevent sticking and braking.
Bake till you get a satisfying colour and always serve kulcha hot.
For the dough
2 cups maida
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
10 gms butter / ghee – 2 tsp
Water as required for making the dough and kneading
For the filling
6 medium potatoes boiled and mashed
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds crushed
1 large green chilly finely chopped
1 inch ginger chopped
2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kasuri methi
1/2 teaspoon black salt
1/2 teaspoon amchoor
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
Salt to taste
Dry flour for kneading, dusting and rolling
Crushed coriander seeds and kauri methi to sprinkle on the top before baking
Some milk to brush on the top before baking
Butter/ghee to apply before serving
In a large mixing bowl, combine maida with baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix everything until well combined.
Start adding little water at a time and start kneading to form a soft and sticky dough, use water as required.
Once the dough is formed add the butter and continue kneading for 2-3 minutes. Till soft and elastic.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and set aside for 1 hour.
In a large mixing bowl mash the boiled potatoes, add onions, crushed coriander seeds and peppercorn.
Next add green chilli, ginger, fresh coriander leaves, Kasuri methi, black salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder, salt and amchoor powder.
Using your hand start mixing all the ingredients until well combined. The filling is ready.
Once done divide the kneaded dough into 6-8 smaller portions. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the dough will be ready to roll.
Take a rolling pin and board; dust it with some dry flour. Take one portion of the dough and flatten it.
Take some filling and place it in the centre and then start gathering the sides and seal it.
Start to roll the dough into a round shape, using a rolling pin or your fingers.
Once you achieve the shape spread some crushed coriander seeds, Kasuri methi and gently roll the rolling pin once so the coriander and Kasuri methi sticks.
Brush some milk on the top and bake at 220* C in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Till you achieve nice golden brown colour on the top.
Once done brush some ghee/butter on the top and serve hot.