Kulcha

Leavened wheat breads

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    4

Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

The pitta bread of Pakistan! This beautiful flat bread can be served with dips, or enjoyed with a curry instead of rice. The key to this recipe is rolling the flat breads as thinly as possible, otherwise they will end up looking like naan. Adding oil while rolling ensures easy rolling, without the dough shrinking.

Once you’ve cooked them, keep your flat breads in a bamboo basket or on a clean tea towel or wire rack, to avoid soggy bases.

Preparation 20 minutes + 1 hour resting
Cooking 5–7 minutes per flat bread

Ingredients

  • 150 g ( oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus an extra 35 g ( oz/¼ cup) for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) milk
  • 1 tablespoon buffalo curd or Greek-style yoghurt
  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, for sprinkling
  • black or white sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • melted butter, for brushing

Method

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Make a dent in the middle. Add the sugar, salt, milk and the curd or yoghurt. Gather the ingredients together into a dough and knead on a lightly floured bench for 1 minute, or until it comes together into a ball and pulls away from your fingers.

Cover with a tea towel and rest for 1 hour.

Knead again on a lightly floured work surface for about 10 minutes, or using an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook for 5 minutes on low, until the dough is smooth.

Divide the dough into four evenly sized balls. Oil your bench and rolling pin, then roll each portion of dough into a thin round roti, about 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter; the oil will make it easy to spread the dough out without shrinking.

Sprinkle some coriander over each flat bread. Roll the rolling pin gently over the top, so the coriander adheres to the dough.

Heat a flat round grill (such as a tawa), a barbecue hot plate or heavy-based frying pan over high heat.

Brush the flat breads with a little water, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, pressing them on. Turn each one over and brush some water over the plain side, then place on the hot grill or in the hot pan, sesame seeds facing up.

Turn the heat down to medium and cover the grill or pan for a minute or two. Once you see bubbles on the top, flip the bread over. After 3–5 minutes, when brown spots appear, brush the bread with melted butter and serve.

Serve straight away, or gently reheat for serving.