Delhi street food is iconic, and that’s coming from a Mumbaikar. Especially during the nippy Delhi winters, the experience of digging into hot plates of Nalli Nihari, Parathas and of course, Matar Kulcha is a must. But if you can’t try it in person, here’s the next best solution.
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.