Flatbread doesn’t get much better than these kulchas with truffle and pecorino
If you think these kulchas sound a bit Italian, you’d be right. This is a delicious fusion flatbread that you’ve simply got to try. I first tried them at a restaurant in London called Pakata and then found the same thing again on a trip to New Delhi. Where the idea came from originally, I’m not really sure. All I know is that these kulchas are out of this world amazing!
Kulchas vs Naans
Kulchas are similar to naans which are leavened with yeast. Unlike most naan recipe, kulchas are either unleavened or leaved with baking powder and sometimes a little yeast.
Kulchas are also made with plain white flour. Naans are usually too but they can also include fine whole wheat flour.
They can be either plain or stuffed. Naans are
You will find kulchas cooked in many different ways. From frying pans to tandoor ovens, all they need is a bit of heat to cook. For this recipe you can try them as I did on a barbecue or just heat them up in a pan over a medium high heat and follow the recipe.
Can you simplify this recipe for kulchas?
You sure can. The idea of the filling is what makes them a bit special but you could leave the filling out and just cook them as you would stovetop naans. You are going to love how soft and fluffy these flatbreads are.
Can you work ahead?
Yes. You can prepare the filling a couple of days in advance. If you like, you can even form the filling into the little balls as in the photograph below.
The dough can also be made ahead of time. If you leave it for a couple of days, it will have a sourer flavour like you would get from sourdough. You can also form the dough into 8 balls and freeze them. Just wrap the dough balls tightly and freeze for a later date.
The dough freezes really well. Just be sure to allow time for them to defrost completely.
Step by step photographs
- FOR THE KULCHA DOUGH
- 500g (4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil 100ml (scant 1⁄2 cup) full fat milk 21⁄2 tsp sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- FOR THE FILLING
- 4 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 250g (9oz) button mushrooms,
- finely chopped
- 250g (9oz) shiitake mushrooms,
- finely chopped
- 50g (2oz) mozzarella, grated 75g Cheddar cheese, grated 100g (31⁄2oz) pecorino cheese,
- 2 tbsp truffle oil, plus extra for 1 brushing
- ⁄2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 2 green bird’s eye chillies, finely
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
- (cilantro) Salt, to taste
- TO SERVE
- 1⁄2 tsp shiitake mushroom powder (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dough with 100ml (scant 1/2 cup) water and bring together to form a soft dough. Tip onto a clean surface and knead for at least 5 minutes.
- It should be easy to knead and not sticking to your hands, so add a little more flour if needed. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a moist cloth while you prepare the filling.
- To make the mushroom filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and fry for about 30 seconds, then stir in the chopped mushrooms.
- Season with salt and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer this mushroom mixture to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized dough balls, keeping them covered with the cloth while you work.
Combine the mushrooms with the remaining filling ingredients and divide into 8 equal-sized balls.
- Take one of the dough balls and make a deep indentation in it with your thumb, and place one of the cheese balls in it. Bring the dough around the filling so that it is completely enclosed. Repeat with the remaining dough and stuffing balls.
- When ready to cook, prepare a direct heat fire (see page 00). Lightly brush the cooking grate with oil. Roll out the dough balls into flat rounds that are about 5mm (1/4in) thick.
- Brush each kulcha lightly with truffle oil and place on the grill. Depending on the size of your grill, you might need to do this in batches.
- Cook on one side until grill lines appear, about 1–2 minutes, then flip over to cook the other side for another couple of minutes. The kulchas will puff up, which is what makes them so light and delicious.
- Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with a little shiitake mushroom powder, if using, and drizzle with more truffle oil. Keep warm under a clean tea (dish) towel while you cook the remaining kulchas.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 783mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g