Chhole With Paneer Kulche – Solid Punjabi Brunch

This can easily be my most favourite brunch option but it’s a pity that NO place, I repeat NO place in Mumbai serves decent chhole kulche, except for a small place called Juicy Stuff in Powai. Now, as per my standards kulchas are stuffed, oven or tandoor roasted and ghee laden parathas but what we get here is a kind of naan which is passed off as kulchas. So, I try to make chhole and kulches myself most of the time. Do try them and let me know how well they turn out.


For Chhole

Kabuli chana – 250 gms (soaked overnight)
Onions – 4 (2 chopped and 2 grounded into fine paste)
Tomatoes – 4 (2 chopped and 2 grounded into fine paste)
Ginger garlic paste (optional) – 2 tsp
Chhole masala – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Fresh chopped coriander
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp
For Paneer Kulcha
Maida or all purpose flour – 2 cups
Curd (better if it’s a little sour) – 1/2 cup
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Lukewarm water – 1 cup
For Filling
Paneer – 100 gms
Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
Kalaunji or onion seeds – 1/2 tsp
Saunf or fennel – 1/2 tsp
Green chillis (chopped) – 2
Green coriander (chopped) 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
  • Boil the kabuli chanas soaked overnight. If you forgot to soak them the previous night don’t panic, soak them in hot water for 2-3 hours before cooking and boil them in a pressure cooker till 6-7 whistles are blown.
  • Heat mustard oil in a deep pan and throw in chopped onions+onion paste. Fry till they turn golden brown. Keep adding a little water if they start sticking to the pan. By doing that you will not need a lot of oil to fry the onions.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, chhole masala, chilli powder and fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Add boiled chanas with the water they were boiled in, add salt and let them boil for at-least 10-15 minutes.
  • Once done, garnish with chopped coriander and serve with kulchas.
Preparing the dough
  • Mix yougurt, salt and sugar in maida.
  • Slowly add warm water and keep mixing till dough is formed.
  • Cover the dough and leave it for 2 hours to rise.
Preparing the filling
  • Mash the paneer and add all the ingredients. Mix well.
Kulchas are made best in a tandoor but since that can not be arranged for in a house gas tandoor is a good alternative. You can also make it in your electric oven but I would recommend the gas one.
  • Heat the gas oven.
  • Break the dough into small balls and fill a little paneer mixture in each of them.
  • Roll them into round parathas. Don’t use any dry flour, use ghee instead to avoid sticking.
  • Put a little water on one side of the kulcha and stick it inside the lid of the oven.
  • Put the lid back and let them cook on medium flame. Keep checking in between.
  • Once they turn brownish and start falling off the lid, remove them using a tongue and cook them directly on the gas.

Slather ghee on the hot kulchas and serve with chhole, onions and aam ka achaar. Lassi is optional.

By the way in Punjab, kulchas are also breads like pita eaten with masaledar chana. Vendors can be seen around cities like Chandigarh and Mohali selling these breads with chanas in a large matka kind of copper vessel. A small place called Fusion Food Bistro in Goregaon (E), opposite Royal Challenge sells decent bread style kulchas with nice chtpata chanas.


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