I heart street food and if I had to pick one of my favorite street food it would probably be the Delhi Style Matar Kulcha. Also popularly known as Kulcha Chola by many. Here is a fool proof recipe to make it at home.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that no trip to Delhi is ever complete without a dose or two of Delhi Style Matar Kulcha. There have been times when the only caption on the Matar Kulcha picture has been – Delhi, enough said. I absolutely adore it and it probably is one of my most favorite street food ever.
It is also one of the dishes that reminds me of dad in every bite. Though, off and on mum used to make it at home, this was a dish that we bought from the street side. Dad would take his beloved Bajaj scooter and bring back a delicious package of Matar Kulcha. Right from my childhood, it was one of the things that dad and I shared. Though, everyone in my house like it, dad and I had an extra special love for it.
I remember some days, mum would have made a whole lunch and then we both would exchange that look. Nothing would be said, nothing needed to be said. Dad would skedaddle and 30 minutes later, we would be eating a super spicy plate of this goodness while mum passed angry looks. She would be worried about the meal she had made and rightly so but to us, the mood of Matar Kulcha triumphed everything else.
Later, when I moved to Bangalore this Matar Kulcha another one of those father-daughter things. If I was landing in the day or afternoon, dad would send me a text and call to ask “kulcha leke aao kya”. Knowing that my answer will be a definitive yes. Some days, when he was out to work I would call him and say “papa, kulche chole le aao”. For decades my dad has fed me this matar kulcha, while he never cooked it even once.
When I ate it the first time after his passing away, I had a huge lump in my throat. I remember taking a bite of it while unaware tears flowed down. I remember how it tasted of love, grief, and sadness mixed with the salt of tears. I remember how I wondered if I would ever be able to eat it without breaking down.
As I sit and write this post today, I also feel a certain amount of peace. A peace that comes with letting go, a peace that comes with writing. I think one of the most cathartic and healing things this year has been cooking and writing about dad’s favorite foods. It is like I am dealing with his not being there one dish at a time. It feels like I am navigating through grief, one food a day.
Anyways, leaving with you with this recipe here. A lot of you have been asking me this since long as well. So do make it, and when you do share a picture with me. Tag #sinamon on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I would love to hear from you. The good things, the brick bats and if you want any clarifications about the recipe.
PS: Will share the recipe of kulcha soon as well but until such time Brea brand makes very good kulcha in Bangalore.
Delhi Style Matar Kulcha | Street Food Series
- 1.5 cups dry white peas
- 2 onions chopped
- 2 tomato chopped
- 2 potatoes boiled and chopped
- 2 green chillies chopped
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp chaat masala
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
For imli paani
- 2 tsp tamarind pulp
- 1 tsp jaggery
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- black salt to taste
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- Mix together all the imli paani ingredients together and set aside.
- Soak the dry white peas over night and boil in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Keep aside and let the pressure escape naturally
- Once the peas are cool, add all the spices and vegetables along with imli paani and may be a spoon of green chutney (optional).
- Serve with hot buttered kulcha, squeeze of lemon and coriander