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Feb 18, 2023

Matar Kulcha (or Chole Kulcha)

Matar kulcha or chole kulcha is a north Indian street food meal that is a combination of several components, including either white pea "salsa" or white pea curry, and most importantly, kulcha, a delicious yeasted flat bread.

Matar Kulcha (or Chole Kulcha) with all of the salsas in the background.

The kulcha is super soft and fluffy with an airy crumb. It puffs up when it is "baking" in the pan, and it is delicious served with matar/chola, which is a "salsa" made with white peas or chick peas, onions, tomatoes, chiles, and ginger. 

The matar is made with dried white peas or dried chick peas that have been soaked and cooked and then tossed with fresh tomatoes, fresh chopped onions, cilantro, and chiles. 

To serve the kulcha, you top it with the matar, some fresh onions, tomato, and two chutneys, one that is cilantro and mint, and one that is sweet and sour, such as one with tamarind and dates. While I made the matar and the mint and cilantro chutney, I substituted a Trader Joe's mango ginger chutney for the tamarind chutney. 

Matar Kulcha salsas.

How to make kulcha (North Indian yeasted flatbread): 

First, you will need to make a preferment, called a khameer. Make it the night before you make the bread and let it ferment at room temperature until it is active and bubbly. 

The next day, mix the final dough and let it rise for one to two hours. Once the dough has risen, divide it into 6 pieces and shape the pieces into rounds or ovals. I stretched the dough with my hands like you would shape pizza dough. 

Next, cook the rounds in a frying pan or griddle, adding a bit of water to the pan before covering with a lid to steam. Flip the round after a a minute or so and cook until cooked through. Once you've cooked the six dough rounds, brush them with ghee or butter and heat them again on both sides until golden brown and crispy. 

Kulcha stacked on a blue plate.

The kulcha bread is wonderful hot from the pan and best eaten the day that it is made, so make just enough to enjoy in one meal. 

While the original recipe for the matar calls for white peas or chickpeas, I happened to have some dried black-eyed peas on hand from making this black-eyed pea hummus so I decided to try using them. I was really happy with the results. I cooked the black-eyed peas in an Instant Pot. 

Chole Kulcha accompaniments in separate dishes.

Making this kulcha was a fun adventure, and the bread was a huge hit in my house. We really enjoyed layering the flavors of the salsa, chutneys, and fresh veggies on the kulcha. 

The recipe for the matar/chole makes way more than you will need for one batch of the kulcha. We actually used leftovers to make burritos! P.S. They were really good! 

Matar Kulcha (or Chole Kulcha) with all of the salsas on a blue plate.

The Sunday Funday group is sharing Indian and Pakastani recipes:

More Indian and Pakistani Recipes:

More Indian Recipes from Karen't Kitchen Stories:

Aloo Paratha (Spicy Potato Filled Flatbread)

Roti (Indian Flatbread)

Aloo Tiki (Crispy Potato Patties)

Potato Samosas

Shrimp Biryani

Chola Kulcha Indian Flatbread on a blue plate.

Matar Kulcha Recipe

Matar Kulcha Recipe on a blue plate.
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen Kerr
Matar kulcha or chole kulcha is a north Indian street food meal that is a combination of several components, including either white pea "salsa" or white pea curry, and most importantly, kulcha, a delicious yeasted flat bread.


For the Kulcha
  • For the Khameer or Pre-Ferment :
  • 1/2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • For Kulcha Dough :
  • All of the Khameer/ Pre-ferment
  • 1/2 tsp instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt (I used sour cream)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ghee (or soft unsalted butter)
  • More water, if needed for a soft dough
  • For the Topping :
  • Nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
  • Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) or chopped fresh coriander leaves/ cilantro
  • Ghee or unsalted butter for cooking the Kulchas
For the Matar/ Chola or White Pea Salsa
  • 1 cup white peas or chickpeas, soaked overnight, or one cup black-eyed peas
  • Enough water to cook the peas or chickpeas (I used 4 cups water in  the Instant Pot)
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh Green chiles, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
Mint and Cilantro Chutney
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 green chile
  • Salt and dash of lime juice
  • Dash of water
For Serving
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Mango ginger chutney or sweet and sour tamarind chutney


To Make the Kulcha (Flatbread)
  1. For the Khameer/ Pre-ferment (previous night) :
  2. Mix together the yeast, water, sugar and all-purpose flour till smooth in a big bowl. Cover and leave on the kitchen counter overnight to ferment.
  3. For the Kulcha Dough (some time next morning) :
  4. Mix in the other 1/2 tsp of yeast, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, yogurt (or sour cream), salt, and a little water. Knead with your hands until you have a soft, sticky and loose dough. 
  5. Add the ghee or soft butter and knead once again until well incorporated. Shape into a round and place it in a bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise till almost double in volume, one to two hours.
  6. Knead the dough lightly to de-gas it. Then divide into 6 equal portions. Lightly flour your work surface and stretch each portion of dough into a circle or oblong of less than 1/4 “ thickness. Sprinkle some Nigella or black sesame seeds and cilantro leaves and lightly press into the dough.
  7. Heat a griddle or flat pan and place the rolled dough on it. Sprinkle a little water on the sides of the griddle/ pan (not on the dough) and cover. Cook the flat bread for a minute or so. Remove the cover, flip the dough, and cook on the other side. If not serving immediately, remove the from the pan and set aside. When ready to serve proceed further with cooking in ghee or butter as follows.
  8. Brush some ghee or unsalted butter on both sides and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Repeat with remaining portions. Serve hot.
To Make the Matar/ Chola or White Pea Salsa
  1. To Pressure Cook the Black Eyed Peas:
  2. Pressure cook the black eyed peas for 15 minutes with natural release. Drain and add the peas to a large bowl.
  3. If you use chick peas or white peas, cook according to the package directions.
  4. Let cool completely.
  5. Add salt to taste to the cooked peas/ chickpeas and, using a large spoon or large fork, mix until slightly mushy but not pureed so that it is slightly chunky. 
  6. Add the chopped onion, tomato, green chiles, cilantro, ginger, and mix. Also mix in the cumin powder and more salt if required.
To Make the Mint and Cilantro Chutney
  1. Process/grind together the cilantro, mint leaves, green chiles, salt, and a dash of lime juice. Add a small amount of water if necessary. 
To Serve
  1. Transfer the pea salsa to a serving bowl. 
  2. Serve individual portions of the Matar/ Chola onto plates and garnish with a little onion, green chillies, and tomato. Top with drizzles of green and sweet and sour chutneys. Serve it with the hot kulcha.
Kulcha, flatbread, bread
street food, bread
Did you make this recipe?
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Created using The Recipes Generator

This is an updated post, originally posted in September, 2020. 

This recipe was given to me and the rest of the Bread Baking Babes (a group that posts bread recipes each month) to repost with permission by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. 

The Bread Baking Babes' Matar Kucha:

My Kitchen in Half Cups

Be sure to check out the rest of the Bread Baking Babes' posts to see what they did for the matar.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Karen,
    This is awesome! The timing of coming across your post approaching fall evenings, longings to take that bite of salsa splurging with chickpeas is inviting! Thanks for those lovely detailed steps and the clicks!

  2. Your flatbreads look so fluffy and light! Lovely photos! I need to try the chutney next time. I'm sure it adds to the enjoyment.

    1. The mint and cilantro chutney was definitely worth it!

  3. So beautifully golden and fluffy! I love the beautiful color in all the surrounding additions.

  4. Fluffy, puffy just so perfect - as are your photos. Love your colorful plates and bowls.
    It was flat bread, mine were flat, really flat.
    I must try again for fluffy and make the salsa with the chickpeas.
    Gorgeous as always Karen.

    1. Thanks so much! My dough was too sticky to roll out so I just had to stretch it!

  5. you will be the end of me one day..... ;-)

  6. Beautiful!! And how clever are you to have served the kulcha with mango chutney? (J'adore mango chutney.)

    Ha. Suddenly I need to make kulcha again.

  7. The bread looks wonderful... and all the goodies to go with it look fantastic! And this is street food? Wow!

  8. I left a comment but looks like it was swallowed up!
    YOur Kulchas look perfect, soft and fluffy. Happy you liked them.

  9. I absolutely love the pictures of the chole kulcha. So beautifully made I must make some too not made in ages. :D

  10. Oh my goodness Karen....I am salivating here!!!

  11. This sounds fantastic, Karen! I will have to give it a try.

  12. That looks perfectly done Karen. Love the kulcha and with that curry, just delicious.

  13. Matar Chole, a comforting, filling and popular dish in North India. Love it, though I tend to make the whole with a bit of gravy. Like how you've replaced the peas with black eyed peas.


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