Many of us love to indulge in a tasty side dish or two when enjoying our favorite Indian dishes, with naan or kulcha being a popular choice.
In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between the two, along with a top recipe for how to make your very own!
Kulcha vs naan; here’s what you need to know.
Naan and Kulcha: Are They Similar?
Both naan and kulcha are types of Indian flatbreads, although naan is the more popular choice of the two. In fact, kulcha is often seen as the ‘sister’ flatbread of naan, and you will see both served in most, if not all, Indian restaurants.
On the surface, they look very similar, and if both were placed in front of you, it would be difficult to tell the difference between naan vs kulcha. However, if we take a deeper look into each type of bread, it is clear to see what sets them apart.
What Is The Difference Between Kulcha And Naan?
The main difference between naan and kulcha is in the ingredients used to make them. Naan is made using wheat flour, whereas kulcha is made with maida flour. Without getting into it too much, maida is more refined than wheat flour and is used to make other flatbreads such as tandoori roti.
If you enjoy a side dish of roti with your curry, take a look at this article on roti vs naan.
What is kulcha made of?
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 tbsp ghee or cooking oil
- 2 tbsp warm milk
- 100ml warm water
- 1 tbsp onion seeds or 4 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves, optional
How To Make Kulcha At Home: An Indian Flatbread Recipe
So, let’s not waste another minute. Here’s how to make homemade kulcha to enjoy with any dish you like.
- Add together in a large bowl the yogurt, oil, milk, and a splash of water. Mix well, adding more water if necessary until the dough is formed.
- Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes until smooth and stretchy.
- You now need to set the dough aside in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Leave for 1-2 hours until it has doubled in size. This helps the gluten to develop.
- Once the dough has had time to rise, separate it into small balls and roll each one out flat. Add coriander leaves and roll again.
- Next, heat a tablespoon of oil into a pan over medium heat. Once hot, place a piece of kulcha inside and allow to cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface.
- Turn over and cook on the opposite side until the kulcha begins to turn golden brown and crisp.
- Once cooked, spread lightly with butter and serve immediately.
Naan vs Kulcha: Which Is Better?
Naan and kulcha are served during most Indian meals. Kulcha is a firm favorite when served with chhola (chickpea curry).
Naan, on the other hand, is the perfect addition to common curries such as paneer curry or Indian veggie curry.
Kulcha is more commonly served as a breakfast item where it can be stuffed with a variety of fillings such as paneer, onions, or potatoes.
Speaking of paneer, take a look at this article on paneer kulcha vs naan, for a deeper look.
Kulcha And Naan: How Are They Preserved?
The great thing about both types of flatbread is that they can be preserved quite easily. Just like any other type of bread, they are perfectly safe to freeze for up to 3 months. This is ideal if you need to make a lot ahead of time to use at a later date.
If you have naan or kulcha that you want to save for the next day, you can wrap it up in plastic or saran wrap and, ideally, refrigerate. Then, when you want to consume the rest, you will need to reheat.
Naan vs paneer naan; which is better? Click here to find out.
Reheating Indian Flatbreads
Reheating naan or kulcha takes no time at all, and it can be done in a variety of ways depending on how you like it. Let’s take a look.
For a quick method, you can microwave your flatbread. To do this, simply place your refrigerated flatbread into the microwave and set the timer to 30 seconds.
If reheating 2 or more flatbreads, you will need to increase the timer by 30 seconds for each piece.
Personally, we think reheating kulcha or naan using an oven will get the best results. There is just something about oven-cooked bread that gives it a crispy coating that isn’t the same as when microwaved.
To reheat using the oven, you will firstly need to preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, you will need to add your flatbread to a baking sheet. You can either add a drizzle of oil or moisten slightly with water. This will add nice crispiness to the bread.
Allow to cool for 4-5 minutes, and then enjoy!
For frozen naan, you may need to cook for a slightly longer time of 9-12 minutes. There is also no need to add oil or water beforehand.
Click here and check out this video to see how to make your very own delicious naan bread.
This is ideal for refrigerated kulcha or naan, but not for frozen. To reheat using a skillet, follow the instructions set out below:
1. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a skillet and place it over medium heat.
2. Once hot, add your flatbread and allow to fry for 1-2 minutes on each side.
3. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate with an absorbent towel. Serve immediately.
Take a look at this video to take a deeper look into the way kulcha is made.
Kulcha vs Naan: The History
Kulcha, also commonly known as Amritsari kulcha, is a flatbread that originates from the city of Amritsar. Interestingly enough, kulcha was an idea that derived from naan.
However, there is no date in history to tell us exactly when the idea of kulcha was ‘born’. One can only think that one day, somebody had the idea to stuff a naan in order to create kulcha.
The tradition of naan bread is believed to date back to the 1500s when it was first introduced by Delhi Sultans. It was then introduced to the Western world in the 1800s by an English historian known as William Tooke. The rest is history!