Amritsari Kulche in Rohini

We economists have a dirty secret. We’re quite clueless. No, really.

Take for instance, the case of amritsari kulche. The kulche are about as closely related to their Delhi counterparts as the average barrel-chested Sikh is to your wiry daalkhor UP baniya.

Born of a thick dough of maida layered several times over with ghee, stuffed (typically) with spicy mashed potatoes, grilled in a clay tandoor, and then generously smeared with butter, the amritsari kulcha lands on your plate as a piping hot, crispy, flaky flatbread that goes perfectly with sour tamarind-and-onion chutney and a gravy of mildly spiced chhole. It’s no wonder that a breakfast of kulche at the neighbourhood dhaba is about as much of a daily ritual in Amritsar as a visit to the Golden Temple – the latter probably made all the more necessary by the concomitant anxiety over your arteries.

Having located a solitary amritsari kulche shop in Rohini, an area of Delhi crawling with well-to-do Punjabis, an economist would glumly mutter words like “monopoly” and “high demand”, and predict outrageous prices, poor quality and bad service. Nudge him a bit more and he might brighten up with phrases like “supernormal profits” and “free entry”, and tell you that in short order you should expect the city flooded with amritsari kulche shops, with competitive prices, good quality, and flowing milk and honey.

Meet reality.

Break Fast Point, a modest shop located in the Prashant Vihar market in Rohini, is a debt for which it’ll be hard to repay Tania.

Run by Mukesh, the shop is devoted purely to catering to the neighbourhood’s burgeoning demand for amritsari kulche. Despite a constant stream of phoned-in orders, Mukesh does a good job of giving his walk-in customers personal attention, and after a short wait for a table, service is prompt. The kulche themselves are reasonably priced and delicious, very much on par with the ones we fell in love with on a recent EOiD trip to Amritsar. The six of us who landed in Rohini on a Sunday morning about a fortnight ago comfortably ploughed through two kulche each, along with glasses of lassi and cold drinks. A good kulcha is golden crisp on the outside without being too dry, and rests lightly in your stomach. I reckon the secret to both is the generous application of ghee (rather than oil) to separate the layers of the dough. Of course, getting the mix of spices in the filling right must also be crucial, but I doubt Mukesh would tell us the exact recipe for that!

Mukesh is originally from Amritsar, and set up a kulche shop in Chander Nagar in east Delhi more than a decade ago. Over time his business has deservedly expanded, and now includes three shops in different parts of town.

Yet, in a city brimming with Punjabis, I find it hard to believe how difficult it is to find a place that sells the Amritsar staple. Is it that Delhi’s Punjabis immigrated largely from west Punjab (now in Pakistan), while the penchant for a kulcha breakfast was localized to east Punjab? Is it that the dish is a recent innovation that is now migrating to Delhi?

I don’t know the answer, but I’m sure glad Break Fast Point cocks a snook at the dismal scientist in me!

Location: A-76, Shop No. 5, Prashant Vihar, Lancer Convent School Road, Delhi 85. Ph. 9810080082. The nearest Metro station is Rohini East. Map.

The other two branches are at: BK-1/4, Shop No. 2, Kaila Godam Road, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi 88 (Ph. 9212045475); and Shop No. 5, 30, Satnam Park, Main Road Chander Nagar, Delhi 51 (Ph. 22023203).

Prices: Rs. 45 for a plate of two kulche with the accompanying chhole and chutney.

15 Replies to “Amritsari Kulche in Rohini”

  1. It is good to see that a meek little dhaba in Rohini marks your comeback on the EOiD page..! nevertheless, the place is worth talking about simply beacause it reminds me comfortably of the heavenly amritsari kulchas we savoured at Amritsar. If not for people who can manage to hit this far-flung spot in Delhi… for people in the North and West Delhi, a nice morning meal awaits you…

    P.S : i’m not paid by the Kulcha Wala to write this… 😉

  2. I live in Pitampura and am a regular at Breakfast Point. Though the stuff is good, I still cant forget the Amritsari Kulches I had at a roadside stall at Paschim Vihar. If I am not wrong, that was the first shop [!] to introduce Amritsari Kulche in the city in a big way. In 1998, he sold a plate of 2 kulchas, unlimited cholle, unlimited sabzi, chatni and unlimited butter for Rs. 50! Not sure if the shop is still there, but vividly remember the queue for kulches- on an october monday afternoon, there were some 35 people queued up for their chance, with a similar number eating out on dilipidated tables around!

    If someone happens to be near Paschim Vihar, do look out for this, it is on the side road next to the banquet White House…

  3. The amritsari nan that you’re talking bout have made their way to various leading dailies such as TOI, Indian express, HT city etc.
    They are stuffed nan rather than amritsare kulche.
    I think he sells it for 70 bucks a plate now.
    Situated right next to State Bank colony, Outer Ring Road Paschim Vihar…. he’s good but don’t expect “amritsari kulche” wen you go there…

  4. This is newly innovate dish @ my great grandfather time.
    You will find Kulche in amritsar on every street.
    And you will find differ taste.

  5. Hi all amritsari kulch fans.

    I live a few distance away from the shop in prashant vihar and whenever i feel like i scoot there for having a plate of amritsari kulchas; although it is not very often.

    I do so; not because i like the tastes of kulchas and chole there; but because i do not know as to what to do with the lingering taste of those kulchas and chole which continues to stay in my heart from my twice a year 5-15 day trips to the purana amritsar; where i happen to eat them almost every second day.

    I remenber the first time i had them there. For the info of all here; let me tell you that they serve only i piece of kulcha first and the second is not really required to keep going during the day; and it is totally different from the kulcha we are talking about here.

    The mastery of the workmanship which goes into the making of kulcha chole there together with the quality of water, oil, spices, and ghee which are used there; in their making; is simply not available in delhi; and that makes all the difference

  6. Hi Tarun,

    I went to the place today, but found a “Kanha” sweet shop serving Amritsari Kulche at Rs 50 for two. This is bang opposite the Lancer Convent. Same stuff, Kulche, chhole, raita and onion chutney, out of a thermocol plate, not like the photograph!
    Has the name changed meanwhile from “Breakfast Point” to “Kanha”. As you stay close by, can you tell us.
    Because you stay so close to this.

  7. Hey there, this comment is wrt to preceding post… No. Kanha and breakfast point are two different shops, greatly varying in the quality of Amritsari Kulchas served there. Kanha used to be good at a point of time but has totally deteriorated over the years. The shop breakfast point is close to Kanha, but very different.

  8. BF Point has opened up recently in Model Town (Part 3) at the end of main market on your right side. The stuff is near same to what we get in Amritsar. A plate of 2 Amritsari Naans is for Rs.50 and you cannot have a plate alone, I bet. Check-out.

  9. Hi Tania,

    Thanks for your mail. I visited BF point. But they open at 10 on weekdays and 0930 on Sundays.

    It is so small a shop, it is easy to ignore…thanks

  10. I live in Canada in an area called Surrey that is full of Sikhs. I recently came across this dish as a local cafe and went online to find out what was in it, as it’s so delicious and addictive. Thanks for the insight into this dish! And here in Canada it looks to be the same, however I could not eat more than one they are too filling.

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