Matar Kulcha recipe

As seen on Rick Stein’s Food Stories on BBC Two, this is Rick’s matar kulcha recipe. Inspired by how India has shaped the British food scene, especially in the city of Birmingham, Rick cooks a matar kulcha, a recipe he got from a recent trip to Delhi.

Ingredients for Rick’s Matar Kulcha recipe


  • 350g dried white peas (Vatana) or chickpeas

For the Jalijeera masala

  • A large handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • ½ tsp amchur (dried mango powder)
  • ½ -1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp seedless tamarind pulp
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (or 2 dried Kashmiri chilies broken)
  • 1 black cardamom pod, seeds removed, husk discarded
  • 2 tbsp water

For the Matar

  • 1 tbsp sunflower/vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

For the toppings

  • 1 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • Small handful of coriander, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cm root ginger, peeled and sliced into thin julienne
  • 1 lemon, quartered into wedges

For the kulcha

  • 250g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ -1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 4 tbsp thick natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp oil/ghee
  • 100ml warm water

How to make Rick’s Matar Kulcha recipe

  1. In a frying pan heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds for 30 seconds then add the remaining spices and fry until fragrant, then set aside.
  2. Soak the white peas overnight or for at least 8 hours, discard the water, rinse and put in a pressure cooker with 700 ml water, bring up to pressure and cook for about 7-8 mins.
  3. In a spice grinder add the mint leaves, tamarind pulp and all the spices for the jaljeera masala. Then add the water and blitz to a smooth paste.
  4. Add the jaljeera masala and the fried spices to the cooked peas, stir well, add a little more water if it’s too thick/dry if the peas are not broken down enough, use a potato masher to create a soft consistency with some whole peas remaining. Then heat everything through. Divide between 4 warmed bowls and garnish with onion, tomato, fresh coriander, chilli, ginger and a wedge of lemon. Serve with warm kulchas
  1. For the kulcha – Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, add the yoghurt, oil or ghee and 2/3 of the water and stir to bring together into a dough, adding more water as necessary.
  2. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes (or in a mixer with a dough hook for 3-4 minutes) until soft and smooth.
  3. Return to a clean bowl and cover with a clean damp tea towel, rest for about an hour. Divide the dough into 8 and roll each one into a ball, roll out to a disc about the size of a side plate (6”- 15-18cm).
  4. Heat a large heavy frying pan and brush one side of a kulcha with water and cook under a med heat until bubbles have formed on the surface and then turn over until you see brown spots. Keep warm and repeat with the remaining dough, then brush each one with melted butter or ghee and serve alongside the matar.

Happy cooking


Charlie Stein’s drink pairing

A aromatic white will be the ticket here, any off-dry white from Alsace Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer or Riesling producers like Hugel or Trimbach.

Rick Stein’s Food Stories

Rick’s new book, Rick Stein’s Food Stories, accompanies the BBC Two TV series of the same name which celebrates his favourite recipes from recent travels around the UK – including Cumbria, Belfast, Bristol and Birmingham. Pre-order a signed copy from our online shop.