Matar Kulcha is a classic street food dish that is not only savoured in Delhi, but parts of Punjab too.
As the clock strikes 12, the rats start pacing up and down in the stomach because the time of lunch is nearing. When the hungry mode is on, all you can think of is food and of course, it has to be some of the most delicious dishes that you haven’t had in a while. If you’ve been to Delhi, your tryst with Dilli ka street food would have been all things tasty and chatpata. Because that’s how Delhiites like their meals, full of flavour and spice. In case you just stopped at golgappas and aloo tikki, you missed out on a major part of the street food fare. We’re talking about the famous matar kulcha. Often used synonymously with chole kulche, matar kulcha is a slightly different ball game.
Lunch calls for something filling and appetizing since you have work the latter half of the day too post that. During work days, lavish meals aren’t possible so some people end up making a sandwich or a quick snack or simply skip the entire meal altogether. When you step out, you’d find scores of roadside stalls in the marketplace in Delhi, selling a plateful of matar kulcha and we suggest that you try it once. The iconic brass lid of the pot that is fitted inside the stall and a red cloth covering on top of it along with a bell on the side that keeps ringing as they move is your cue that the matar kulcha vendor is here.
For those untouched by the phenomenon, matar kulcha is a classic combination of matar aka peas and kulcha or flattened bread. Usually, white peas or chana are used to prepare the matar to be served with the leavened bread. Kulchas are usually soft, thin and stretchy in texture with no flavour of their own. The chewiness of the kulchas, when dipped in the mushy matar mix lead to an explosion of flavours in the mouth. A close cousin of matar kulcha that is equally popular in Delhi is chole bhature. The same white peas are tossed in a heavy and fiery masala and served with deep-fried fluffy bread called bhatura.
Perfect to satiate your lunch wali bhookh, you can make matar kulcha at home by following this easy recipe. Begin by soaking the white peas overnight. This will help them to cook quickly next morning. With a tinge of salt in a pot full of water, dunk your peas and boil them. Once they are boiled, it is time to spruce them up with some spices. Throw in your chopped tomatoes and onions along with spices like red chilli powder, black pepper powder, cumin powder, chaat masala and salt. Toss it all together and keep aside.
To lend the matar some tanginess, mix amchur powder with water in a bowl and add this mixture to the peas. Dash of lemon juice and some chopped coriander leaves for garnish and your matar are ready. Next, knead the dough for kulchas and serve hot with the matar on the side.
Here’s how you can make this Dilli ka street food at home.