Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors prevails in rural pockets even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai, paneer and dahi. The dals are a speciality of this type of cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram, green gram and Bengal gram. They are cooked on slow fire, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with malai for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious.
The most unique thing about cooking in a tandoor is the smoky flavour that the food gets making it tastier. Moreover it is a healthy way of cooking since minimum fat is required and the food generally gets cooked in its own juices thus retaining its natural flavours. Besides it is not only easy to digest, it is also very hygienic. In conclusion one can safely say that it is through tandoori cooking that Indian cuisine first got globally acknowledged.
Sieve refined flour with salt and soda bicarbonate. Gradually mix in yogurt and milk. Add sufficient water to make soft and smooth dough. Cover with a wet cloth and rest the dough for ten minutes. Add two tablespoons of oil and knead the dough well. Cover it once again and keep aside for at least an hour. Divide the dough into six to eight equal portions and form them into smooth balls.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll gently into a disc of four to five inch diameter. Brush lightly with oil, sprinkle kalonji on the surface and press with your palm.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Place kulchas on a greased baking tray and bake in the preheated oven at 220°C for about six to eight minutes. Brush the hot kulchas with butter and serve immediately.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient.
His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.