Don't you just love stuffed things? Stuffed breads, dumplings, vegetables, etc? I think it's the element of surprise, like unwrapping a present. In the last couple of weeks I've made pierogies for the very first time, stuffed with mushrooms & Boursin-style cream "cheese" (recipe for the cheese is here - this truly is the best vegan cream cheese I've ever tasted), a glazed seitan roast with lemon, basil & cashew stuffing (so good thinly sliced on sandwiches), & I also attempted a veganised Paneer Kulcha, which might not be the most authentic version, but they are delicious, so I thought I'd share my recipe. Mine turned out a little thinner than they're supposed to be, but I didn't mind that actually. The bread is light, flaky & tender & the tofu "cheese" is flavoured with cumin, fresh coriander (cilantro), chilli & onion. Yum! Recipe below.
Tofu Paneer Kulcha
1 cup white plain flour (all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup besan (chickpea) flour
1/4 teasp baking powder
1/8 teasp bi-carb soda (baking soda)
1/2 teasp salt
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy)
2 teasp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp light agave syrup (or sugar)
1 tbsp vegan margarine, melted
Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the combined wet ingredients. Knead until smooth, then shape into a ball, cover in clingwrap & leave aside for an hour or two. Meanwhile, make the filling...
1 small red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1/2 teasp ground cumin
150g (5oz) firm tofu
2 tbsp cashews
1 teasp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp savoury yeast flakes (nutritional yeast)
dash of water
1/2 green chilli, seeded & finely chopped
2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
A little salt
Extra olive oil
Sauté the red onion in the margarine with the cumin for a couple of minutes (it's fine if it's still a little firm). Whiz the tofu, cashews, vinegar & yeast flakes in a food processor until well combined (it doesn't have to be totally smooth) & add a dash of water if it's a little stiff. Combine the tofu mixture with the other ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste.
Now to forming the dough... You're supposed to roll out a circle, put a blob of filling in the middle, pinch the dough together to cover the filling, then roll it flat, but I always find my filling escapes when I do that, so I cheat a little, which has the added benefit of holding more filling!
Take a quarter of the dough, cut that in half, then knead each piece lightly, & roll into two equally sized circles on a lightly floured bench. Spread a quarter of the filling onto one of the circles, leaving a 1cm (1/2 inch) border around the edge. Moisten the edge with a little water, then gently press the other circle over the top, sealing the edges so the filling won't escape. Then really gently roll the kulcha both sides with your rolling pin. Mine worked out about 20cm (8 inches) in diameter, which as I mentioned earlier, gave me a bread a little thinner than kulchas normally are, so you might like to aim a little smaller if you want the bread thicker.
Repeat three more times.
Heat some olive oil (just a little) in a moderately hot skillet & cook the kulchas both side until they start to bubble & puff & are nice & golden. Eat immediately.