We are starting the last week of BM#62, with Street food as the theme. I love Street food and especially the chaats. Even though I love street food, I haven’t actually indulged in those much. My exposure has confined to the tours we have taken and not in my own city.
Street food literally refers to the local food you get to taste off the market streets or the street hawkers. Right from snacks to biryanis, you can get anything and everything off your street. I was keen on Chats and while reading about it, I realized I have completely ignored the other street food one might get.
I was particular in finding out the street food available in the famous Delhi Streets. I had a gala time when I had visited some years ago. I particularly remember Hubby dear recollecting fond remembers of Chole Kulchas that get sold by the cycle. The Kulchawala will come in his cycle with a bag and a dabba filled with chole and as you buy, he will scoop out the chole and give on the kulcha. It used to get sold within mintues and if you are late you will not get anything.
Though I have quite few Kulcha recipes along with too many chana recipes, this particular combo pulled me to try my hand at it. WE had such an enjoyable day, having this for lunch!
Though the defination of Kulchas have evolved over years, one can’t deny these taste awesome!
For the Chole
Chickpeas or Kabuli Channa – 1 1/2 cups
Water – 4 cups or just enough to cover
To be ground to a smooth paste-
Bay leaf – 1 medium
Black cardamom, with the outer covering removed 1
Green cardamom pods, with the covering removed2
Cinnamon stick 1” piece
Black pepper 1/2 tsp
Star anise – 1
Cloves – 4
Coriander seed powder – 4 tsp ( I added whole coriander 2 tsp)
Cumin seed powder 1 tsp
Red chili powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Fresh ginger 2 tsp
Green chilies 2
Fresh coriander or cilantro 2 tbsp
For the seasoning-
Oil + ghee – 4 tsp
Shahi jeera or black cumin seeds – 3/4 tsp
Asafetida powder / Hing a pinch
Salt to taste
Chat masala – 2 tsp
Tamarind, soaked in 1 cup water – 1 tsp
How to make the Chole:
Wash and soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight. Change water couple of times and pressure cook with enough water for 3 to 4 whistles. Let the pressure fall down before removing the lid.
In a blender put in all the spices and the spice powders and blend to a coarse powder. Put in the chopped tomatoes ginger, ginger, green chili and coriander and blend to a smooth puree without using any water.
In a non stick pan, heat the oil, ghee and once the oil is hot, stir in the shahi jeera and after a few seconds, put in the asafetida. Then you need to add the spiced tomato puree and cook till the oil separates from the tomatoes on medium low heat, stirring in between, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Put in the cooked chickpeas and the cooking water and cook till the water is reduced and you get a gravy of the required consistency.
Stir in the chat masala and salt and turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh coriander and chilies and serve with kulcha
For the Kulcha
All purposer flour – 4 to 5 cups
lukewarm water as required (1 cup or more)
Instant yeast – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Curds / Yogurt – 3/4 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp
How to make the Kulcha
In a wide bowl, take the flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt and slowly add in the lukewarm water. Mix well. Knead to a soft dough.
Cover and let it rest for atleat an hour or till the dough doubles.
Once the dough doubles, punch down slowly and divide into equal parts. On a flat surface, roll the dough into a 4” or 5” circle and place it on an oiled baking tray.
Pre heat the oven to 200C
Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes.
On the tawa:
Heat a tawa and cook the kulcha on both sides till down. Douse with butter after removing.