My attempt at ghilafi kulcha is thanks to Fatima Harrisji from a Facebook group I am part of. She very graciously shared the detailed recipe and tips for a better outcome. Since the time I got the recipe from her, I have been keen on trying it out with and I did it for dinner, last night.
It is a little elaborate procedure and hence definitely a ‘not-so-everyday’ recipe. Ghilaf in Persian means cover...I learned this only after marriage when I heard my husband and his family referring to pillow covers as ghilaf This kulcha is called ghilafi kulcha as it has a cover of a different dough, as compared to the main dough.
Here is her recipe...
For the Ghilaf or Cover (Dough 1)
300 grams refined flour,
1 cup of ghee,
1 cup milk,
2 tsp sugar,
Salt to taste
For the Inner Dough (Dough 2)
750 grams refined flour (I used a mix of refined flour and wholewheat flour),
4 tbsps ghee,
30 grams of dry active yeast,
1 cup warm water,
2 cups milk
2 tbsps ghee
To Make the Dough for the Ghilaf (Dough 1)
Mix all the ingredients for the ghilaf except the ghee and knead it into a dough. Spread the dough and make small depressions in it with your fingers. Melt the ghee and pour it into the depressions and knead again. Refrigerate this dough.
To Make the Inner Dough (Dough 2)
Add the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar to the warm water. Cover and leave aside to froth. Once it is frothy, add this yeast mixture to all the other ingredients except the ghee. Knead it into a dough. Again spread the dough and make small depressions in it with your fingers. Melt the ghee and pour it into the depressions and knead again. Leave this dough in a covered utensil till it doubles in volume.
To Assemble the Kulcha
Divide dough 1 and dough 2 into 12 dough balls each. So you will get 12 balls of dough1 and 12 balls of dough 2.
Take a dough 1 ball and roll it into a disc. Place the dough 2 ball in the centre of the dough 1 disc. Gather all the edges of the dough 1 disc and completely cover the inner dough ball. This is similar to what you do while making aloo ka paratha. So you will get a ball with the inner ball of dough 2 covered with dough1. Repeat this procedure for all the other balls.
Cover all these prepared balls with a moist cloth and keep it aside for 45 minutes.
To Bake the Kulchas.
After 45 minutes roll the dough balls into a disc of about 1 cm thickness.
Preheat the oven to 180oC (this temperature will depend on your oven settings, you can try the first one at these settings and then adjust accordingly). Bake each kulcha for about 10 minutes. After 8 minutes baste it with a bit of ghee.
Make all the kulchas in a similar fashion.