Whole wheat kulcha – Soft and fluffy whole wheat garlic Kulchas made on stove top. This is a no yeast recipe and is so simple to make. 100% whole wheat kulcha bread is not complicated at all!
I am not very fond of eating flatbreads in a restaurant. Gujarat hotels offer so many varieties but honestly, there s not much of a difference among any of them. I prefer kulchas because they are simple to make and do not involve the addition of yeast. And I love making them at home. Making bread brings a sense of joy and fulfillment. It does not matter if it is flatbread or the regular loaf.
To see those pieces of bread puffing up on the Tawa speckled with brown spots is a delightful experience for me and I consider it an indulgence. I made these kulchas with whole wheat flour. The outcome was fluffy soft kulchas with garlic flavor. H devoured it and that only indicated how much he loved it. I serve kulchas with something spicy and flavourful like Kadai Paneer or we eat it with healthy and green Saag Paneer
What is the basic difference between a Kulcha and a Naan?
The most basic difference between these two flatbreads is the leavening agent. Naan almost always has yeast added to the dough. Kulcha on the other hand may be leavened or unleavened, depending on where it comes from. And then there is the stuffing.
Traditionally, both kulchas and naan are made with Maida or refined flour. My version is a whole wheat kulcha recipe with loads of flavors. Since this is a whole wheat version, the Kulchas tend to be a light brown shade as compared to those Kulchas made with Maida.
Kulchas may or may not be stuffed with a filling. Amritsari Kulchas are filled with potatoes or paneer. Another difference is in the way they are shaped. Naan is slightly oblong whereas Kulchas are rounder.
Making ahead, freezing kulchas and storage
How to freeze kulchas?
If you plan to freeze kulchas, I suggest cooking them briefly, for about 30 secs on each side. And then allow them to cool. Separate each Kulcha with a sheet of parchment paper. Make sure the topmost and bottom-most kulchas in the pile are covered with parchment paper too.
Place them in a zip-loc bag and freeze. Don’t forget to label it with the correct dates. These keep well in the freezer for up to a month. When you want to use these frozen kulchas, do not thaw them. Instead, bring them out. Heat a Tawa or griddle and cook them immediately after you take them out from the freezer.
Fully cooked kulchas keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just place them in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate.
You can also freeze cooked kulchas for up to 1 month. Use the same method as described above.
Reheating kulchas is so easy. You can do this in an oven preheated to 180 C or on a preheated Tawa or Griddle.
You can knead the dough and let it rest overnight if you plan to make it the next day.
When it comes to making wheat kulchas, you can experiment with different flavors. You can add spice powders like Red chili powder ( paprika) to the dough for a spicier kulcha. You can roll the dough in sesame seeds and then make the kulchas. This way,you will have sesame seed speckled kulchas.
Another variation would be to use a mix of white and blacksesame seeds along with nigella seeds (Kalonji). Other herbs can also be added. Finely chopped coriander leaves is a very good alternative to the dried mint mentioned in this recipe.
You can also stuff these Kulcha breads with finely chopped onions and spice powders to make stuffed onion Kulchas.
Kneading wheat kulcha dough using a stand mixer
Place the wheat flour along with all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and combine well. Make a well in the center. Add all the wet ingredients and ¼ c water into the bowl. Attach the dough kneading hook and begin kneading the dough.
Wait for the dough to just come together. At this stage, add water little by little while the dough kneads.I used about ¾ c water to make the dough.
Knead on low speed for about 4 to 5 mins until you have a smooth, supple and slightly sticky dough. The dough will be a bit sticky and it should be that way. This is what makes Kulchas soft.
When the dough reaches this consistency, remove and set aside for 1 hour.
As the dough sits, it absorbs the flavors of garlic and mint well here. The dough may turn slightly yellowish after resting and this is normal.
Kneading by hand
You can also knead the dough by hand. To do this, add all the dry ingredients to a bowl. Mix well and make a well in the center. Add all the wet ingredients except water to the flour mix.
Use your hands and mix into a crumbly dough.Now, begin kneading by adding ¼ c water at a time.
When the dough becomes a soft but slightly sticky mass, stop kneading. Smear your hands with a little oil and knead until you get a smooth pliable dough. Takes about 5 mins. The dough will be a bit sticky and it should be that way. This is what makes Kulchas soft. And this is how a regular Paratha dough and Kulcha dough differ.
Transfer the dough to a dry bowl or container and wrap with cling wrap. Let it rest for 1 hour.
Rolling the kulchas
When the dough has rested, remove the wrap and place the dough on a lightly floured surface.
Divide into equal parts and make small balls. Keep the remaining dough balls covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
Flatten and roll them into rounds. The rolled kulchas must be slightly thicker than regular Chapatis, around 1.5 mm thick. Use flour for dusting while you roll them.
Cooking the kulchas
Heat a tawa. Place one rolled kulcha at a time and cook on low flame. When you see small bubbles on the surface, brush a teaspoon of water on the kulcha and flip. Cook the other side till bubbles rise on the griddle side up. While you do this, place the grill mesh on flame. When the bubbles rise, immediately transfer the kulcha to the wire mesh. Cook as you would, a normal phulka.
When done, brush with butter and serve hot.
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Whole wheat kulcha
- Stand mixer
For the dough
- 2 c Whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- ¼ c whisked fresh yogurt
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon grated Garlic
- 1 tablespoon crushed dried mint leaves
- ½ tablespoon Ghee
- ½ to 1 c water for kneading
For rolling the kulcha
- ½ c Flour for dusting
For cooking kulcha
- 1 teaspoon Oil or ghee for cooking each kulcha
- 1 teaspoon Butter for serving
Kneading using a stand mixer
- Place the wheat flour along with all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and combine well.
- Make a well in the center.
- Add all the wet ingredients and ¼ c water into the bowl.
- Attach the dough kneading hook and begin kneading the dough.
- Wait for the dough to just come together.
- At this stage, begin adding water little by little while the dough kneads. Add 2 to 3 tablespoon every time and not more than that.
- I used about ¾ c water to make the dough.
- Knead on low speed for about 4 to 5 mins until you have a smooth, supple and slightly sticky dough.
- When the dough reaches this consistency, remove and set aside for 1 hour.
Kneading by hand
- You can also knead the dough by hand.
- To do this, add all the dry ingredients to a bowl.
- Mix well and make a well in the center.
- Add all the wet ingredients except water to the flour mix.
- Use your hands and mix into a crumbly dough.
- Now, begin kneading by adding ¼ c water at a time.
- When the dough becomes a soft slightly sticky mass, stop kneading.
- Then smear your hands with a lil oil and knead until you get a smooth pliable dough. Takes about 5 mins.
- Transfer the dough to a dry bowl or container and wrap with cling wrap.
- Let it rest for 1 hour.
Rolling the kulchas
- When the dough has rested, remove the wrap and place the dough on a slightly floured surface.
- Divide into equal parts and make small balls.
- Flatten and roll them a little thickly into rounds. Your rolled kulchas must be around 1.5 -2 mm thick.
Cooking the kulchas
- Heat a tawa. Place one rolled kulcha and cook on low flame.
- When you see small bubbles on the surface, flip and cook on the other side for 45 secs to 1 min.
- When it begins to puff, transfer it to a Roti mesh placed on the flame.
- Continue to cook until the kulcha puffs up over the mesh. When done, remove and brush with butter.Serve hot.