Matar kulcha is one of the popular street food of north India specially in Delhi and amritsar. You might see many street vendors selling matar kulcha in roads or even outside schools and colleges. They serve the matar in large brass pots.
The word Matar in hindi means peas. In this recipe the peas that are used are dried white peas. the same peas is used in making ragda of ragda pattice or ragda chaat or masala puri. And kulcha is a leavened flatbread made without yeast.
Another very popular street food that comes very close to matar kulcha is chole bhature. Chole bhature is a Punjabi recipe of white chickpeas curry with fried leavened bread known as bhatura. Chole bhatura is popular almost all over India and even abroad.
Whereas Matar kulcha is more popular in north India only. Although you might get kulcha in good restaurants in central as well as southern India too. If you want to make kulcha at home then you can check my plain kulcha recipe or Aloo kulcha or Paneer kulcha. otherwise readymade kulcha is nowadays available in many super markets too.
Unlike Bhatura or Naan, Kulcha remains soft even when they become cold. They don’t become hard. So they can be made in advance and stacked up and stored in the fridge. When serving they can be reheated on a griddle or in the microwave until slightly warm.
The matar curry has a semi thick consistency with a tangy taste and flavor. Generally the matar recipe is made little spicy. I have not made matar curry very spicy so if you want then you can make it bit more spicy by using more red chili powder or green chili and garam masala.
If you don’t have kulcha then you can eat the matar curry with naan too. You can also have the matar plain without any accompaniment.
This matar recipe is adapted from nita mehta’s cookbook “Taste of Delhi”. I have used my own measurements than what was mentioned in the book and have cut down on the amount of mint leaves that is used to make the jaljeera chutney. This recipe makes use of jaljeera. You can even use readymade jaljeera powder instead of making the chutney. About 1 to 2 tbsp of jaljeera powder can be used in the recipe.
Below is a video with the step by step pics for making matar curry. this recipe is very easy to make. Cook the white peas. Make the chutney. Temper the spices and mix everything. Very easy. You have to soak the peas a night before or for at least 7-8 hours before cooking them. If you have readymade kulchas than you just need to make the matar and you have a nice breakfast or brunch.
for the matar (white peas curry)
- 1.25 cups dried white peas (safed matar)
- 3 to 4 cups water for pressure cooking the dried white peas.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- ¾ cup fresh mint leaves - loosely packed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- seeds removed from 1 black cardamom - discard the outer cover
- 1 dry red chili - deseeded (optional)
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 teaspoon black salt
- 5 to 6 whole black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
- 1 tablespoon seedless tamarind
- ¼ or ⅓ cup water for grinding or add as required
toppings for matar kulcha
- 1 small onion - finely chopped
- 1 medium sized tomato - finely chopped
- 1 green chili - slit or chopped
- ½ inch ginger - julienned or finely chopped
- 1 lemon - quartered
- some coriander leaves (optional)
cooking safed matar (dried white peas)
- Soak the matar or dried white peas overnight or for 7-8 hours.
- Drain and then pressure cook with 3 to 4 cups of water till the matar are completely cooked.
- If there is extra water and the mixture is thin, then simmer till the matar get a medium consistency.
- Mash the matar slightly with a wooden spoon.
- The soaked matar can also be cooked in a pan, but they will take a lot of time.
preparing jaljeera chutney
- Grind all the ingredients listed under jaljeera chutney with 1/4 or 1/3 cup water to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
making matar curry
- In a pan, heat oil. on a low flame, first brown the cumin seeds.
- Remove the pan from fire.
- Then add the dry spice powders one by one - chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, amchur powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder.
- Stir and immediately pour this mixture into the cooked matar/peas or add the cooked matar to this mixture.
- Switch on the fire and heat through the matar for 3-4 mins.
- Now add the prepared jaljeera chutney and stir.
- If the matar mixture looks dry, add some water.
- Cook the matar or peas curry till all the flavors are mingled, for about 2-3 minutes.
- Check the seasoning and add more black salt if required.
- You can make this and keep it aside till you prepare the kulchas. when serving reheat the matar curry.
- Serve matar kulcha in bowls or plates. Top with onions, tomato, ginger and chilies. Squeeze some lemon juice on top and mix lightly.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with matar kulcha.