The Legacy Of Dilli Street-Style Safed Matar Kulcha

Although it probably needs no introduction, let’s explore the history of the classic Matar Kulcha. Sometimes also known as Chola Kulcha this dish is usually made with white peas which have been soaked overnight ad then cooked until they’re naturally creamy and soft. They’re then mixed with finely diced onions, tomatoes, chillies and coriander for freshness and topped off with chutneys and chaat masala. This beautifully balanced mixture is then scooped up with a fluffy, fresh kulcha for a surprisingly healthy but yummy meal.

There’s actually a long legacy behind the Matar Kulcha that dates back to the Mughal era when one old courtier Mir Qamruddin was appointed the Deccan governor. Before he took up the mantle he visited with his spiritual guru, a mystic called Hazrat Nizamuddin Aurangabadi. After his long journey, Mir Qamruddin was famished and enthusiastically ate seven kulchas tied in a yellow pir (cloth) after which Hazrat Nizamuddin prophesied that Qamruddin would rise to power and his heirs would rule for seven generations. 

After this, Delhi was attacked, the Mughal rulers fell from grace and the Nizams, the governors, took control of the Deccan region becoming the largest and richest kingdom of the era. In honour of the Sufi mystic, Qamruddin made the flag of his dynasty yellow in honour of the yellow pir and even had a kulcha as the insignia. 

The flag of Mir Qamruddin waved proudly for seven generations, but the love and devotion towards kulchas lived on for far longer. And now you can bring that long history into your own kitchen.


  • 1 ½ cups White Matar, soaked overnight
  • 3 cups Water
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • Hing, a pinch
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2-3 Green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, julienned
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • ½ tsp Black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp Garam masala powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup Tamarind water
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Fresh coriander, finely chopped


  • Onions, finely chopped
  • Tomato, finely chopped
  • Fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Green chillies, finely chopped
  • Ginger, julienned
  • Lemon juice


  • Add the white matar, water, hing, cloves and salt to a pressure cooker and cook for 5-7 whistles or until the matar can be mashed with a spoon. 
  • In a pan heat some oil and saute the chillies and ginger for a minute. 
  • Then add the cooked matar, red chilli powder, cumin powder, black pepper powder, garam masala powder, salt and tamarind water.
  • Stir till well combined and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat until it thickens. 
  • Season with lemon juice and fresh coriander and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Top it off with onion, tomato, green chillies, ginger, fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve hot with kulcha.