Where to eat Amritsari Kulcha in Amritsar? – Food Trippin’

Eatlo-Raiding-Party
The Eatlo gang  lead by Aman and Jaideep Paaji that raided all the Kulcha joints in this post.
As
legendary as Amritsari Kulcha is, it is something that we Dilliwalas
hardly understand. Not many of us know the real taste, texture or even
the idea of one. People confuse it with Stuffed Naan or Parantha all the
time, when the fact is that those two type of breads are completely
different from genuine Amritsari Kulcha.

 

Amritsari
Kulcha’s dough is made in a special way, with layers and then stuffed
with Aloo, Gobhi, Paneer etc. It is flaky, crispy and is served with
Chhole and Khatti chutney waale pyaz. Traditionally no raita or dal is
served with them, which is a common practice in Delhi these days.

 

And
generally speaking most of us have had so many bad versions for those
Kulchas that when we actually land in Amritsar, we eagerly lap up
whatever comes our way and consider it the best the city has to offer.
However with my recent interactions with Jaideep Riar and Aman Kahlon
from Amritsar, I realised that most of the places that get recommended
on Eatlo were the places frequented by tourists (read non-residents or
visitors to the city) and not many Ambarsaris actually go there to get
their fill of kulchas.

 

So
on this trip, we surrendered ourselves to Aman and Jaideep paaji, and
requested them to take charge of our Kulcha expedition and education.
And being the gracious punjabis they are, they helped us in sampling 4
of the top Kulcha makers that Amritsar has to offer.

 

1.
All India Famous – The one we tasted last year and the place from where
we started our expedition this year. This place was Nirvana for me,
this place served the best Amritsari Kulcha I had ever tasted. Amazing
by Delhi and rest of Indian standards for sure, but now I have tasted
better. Much better.

 

Location – Chungi crossing, Maqbool Road
Amritsari Kulche at All India Famous Kulche Wala – Maqbool Road

 

Mix of Chutney and onions – Some also call it ‘Khatta’

 

2.
Harbans Lal Kulche Waala – This is located in a small local market,
which looked kind of deserted to me or maybe we were there quite early
in the day. But then β€˜Bansa’ as Harbans is popularly known amongst
locals had no shortage of patrons. And one bite into his kulcha, we knew
why. His Kulcha was considerably thinner, crispier and tastier than the
one we had at All India Famous.

 

Location – Old Market of Anand Avenue
Harbans Lal Kulche Wale – they do have a separate sitting area.
All I see is the swagger of a Amritsari Kulcha
Amtrisari Kulcha at Harbans Lal Kulche Wala

 

Amtrisari Kulcha at Harbans Lal Kulche Wala
3.
Ashoka kulche Waala – Now here Aman Paaji only made us sample a Kulcha
which was off the Menu and is called Paintee waala Kulcha (Rs.35
Kulcha). The Kulcha was stuffed with Gobhi, Aloo, Paneer, Tamatar etc
and though it was delicious, did not feel or taste like a Kulcha. It
reminded me of Chur Chur Naan that we get in Delhi. Aman told us that
today he (Ashokha) got over excited and over-stuff the kulcha. Probably
would try it again when I am there. The Chhole that he serves were much
better than any other outlet that I have tasted.

 

Location : A-Block, Ranjit Avenue (near Park)
Paintee waala special off the menu Kulcha

Regular Amritsari Kulche at Ashoka, notice the difference in shape compared to others.
Amritsari Kulche ready to be served

Most delicious chhole of all the ones we tasted that day.

 

4.
Monu Kulcha Corner – Now this seemed to be a long drive for us, atleast
by the Amritsari standards but then I cannot be a good judge of
distance as I had no clue where I was, or where I was being taken. We
were there on a Saturday and while driving Jaideep Paaji told me that
last Sunday he went to Monu for Kulchas and he was 57th in queue to be
served. Yup, Monu had 56 other orders to cater too, before he could have
served Jaideep Paaji. And once we had our Kulchas infront of us, we
knew why someone who was so off the grid, someone literally out of the
city limits was doing so well for himself. His Kulcha was the crispiest
and tastiest amongst all we had tasted that day. Though the chhole at
Ashoka were a tad better, but then the Kulcha itself made up for
everything.

 

Aman
paaji tells me that Monu used be operate from a place called Chitta
Katra in the walled city and was quite famous there. However now he has
got his own shop and the new location also gives him a better paying
clientele.

 

Location : Take a turn on Loharka Road from NH3, go for 1.5 km approximately and Monu would on your Left hand side.
Amritsari Kulcha at Monu Kulche wala – The Best of the lot.

Amritsari Kulcha at Monu Kulche wala – The Best of the lot.
Amritsari kuchas of a different type

Getting ready to roll

 

Rate list in Punjabi
at Monu Kulche waala

 

Now
I am sure that we have managed to touch only tip of the iceberg when it
comes to Kulchas in Amritsar. However considering that tip was actually
the top shown to us by Dr. Aman Kahlon and Jaideep Riar, both of whom
are local to Amritsar and super foodies in their own right and the fact
that these joints are not on tourist trail and they cater to actual
Ambarsaris, I feel pretty safe in saying that the above mentioned
Kulcha joints are best that Amritsar has to offer.PS : Working on pictures I realized that the rate list at Monu Kulche Wala is written in Gurmukhi (Punjabi) and no English or Hindi translation is there. Do we need more proof that there is nothing about this shop that is geared to cater to tourists or non locals ?? πŸ˜›Connect with me on Twitter : @SH_AGer

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Author: Shashank

CFE – Cheap Food Enthusiast Entrepreneur by birth, hippie by heart he is here just because he loves to eat. This adventurous biker is constantly looking for new avenues to satisfy his insatiable hunger for food & life. Though he loves sugar dense food, there is nothing sugar coated about him- brutally honest with his words, he often ruffles feathers with his stark naked opinions about food, fancy restaurants & orthodox ideas.

19 thoughts on “Where to eat Amritsari Kulcha in Amritsar? – Food Trippin’”

  1. Time was 9 30 am and I was Empty Stomach……

    And when I reached the Chungi for Kulche….Eatlo team was already relishing them while it was drizzling outside.

    Baarish ka Mausam, Nashte ka Samay, Eatlo ke Parivaar ka saath aur Amritsari Kulche ho kaun control karega.

    So, i tooto paro on the Kulchas and kept having a garai kabhi kisi ki plate se and kabhi kisi ki plate se, till the time my THALI arrived.

    Each Bite was Butter Coated Heaven…. but I knew we were on a #KulchaOrgy today and hence stopped at just 3 kulchas.

    May be it was my hunger for REAL AMRITSARI KULCHA's for long time ya fir sach mein bahut tasty the….. but I relished them completely.

    After that we headed to Harbans Kulche Wala….. And has his Kulche….

    What amazed me that each one had different style of Cooking, Shape and Presentation!!

    Bansa's Cholle were like home made cholle, which was good, and his kulche were soft and melt in mouth kinds.

    And then we headed towards Monu kulcha….. which was a bit isolated but neverthless the Tandoor kept dishing out Garm-A- Garam Kulchas.

    I went inside his kitchen and noticed that everything these guys were doing was unique….

    The way they kneaded the dough… the way it was layered out on the slab, the way stuffing was injected.

    And the outcome was CRISPY CRISPY CRISPY(Note the triple CRISPY) kulchas which were a treat to eat with Awesome Cholle and Pyaz Chutney.

    Surprisingly, his shop had MANY MANY crates of Maaza and Slice Cold Drinks and on enquiring, we were told that everyone who eats his Kuclha asks for the Mango drink and some how has become a Tradition Associated with the Shop.

    Not to be left behind we too had our fill of "Bemausami AAM"

    Eatlo Parivar then headed towards Ashok Kulcha where again the presentation, taste, Stuffing was very very different.

    Unlike the Round Kulchas we see everywhere, they had Almost Oval Kulchas which had huge stuffing.

    They have a Speciality masala which is sprinkled over the Kuchas to enhance it's taste. It was not spicy, rather more of herbs in powdered form which added to the taste!!

    Though its tough to rank them as each of them is a Master of his trade….. however for benefit of Foodies going to try just one at a time….. I would recommend in the following order

    1) Monu Kulcha
    2) Chungi
    3) Harbans
    4) Ashok.

    PS: Shashank Bhai… likhne baitha tha a Chotta sa reply….. magar shayad my Pen was over flowing with INK…. And hence poora Blog type hi ho gaya!!

  2. This post is awesome Shashank & so is your comment Tikku ji. I went to Amritsar first time last year & tried the kulcha from All India fame at Chungi and loved it. But now I feel like going again & try the rest of these places too πŸ˜€

  3. AWESOME is the word !!!

    Though after those so HOT pictures of yours I feel undernourished πŸ˜›
    Seriously I could feel that crisp by just watching those pictures and I actually stopped at one of them like was having it there.. Will be visiting the place soon .. Thanks for all the information πŸ˜€

  4. Awesome write up Shashank and very Informative too.

    But if all taste buds were to rate the eateries alike, then how would Chungi wala, "THE SO CALLED all India Famous" Survive.

    Ashok , Bhansa and Monu are a few lucky chaps who found new establishments and clientele moving out of the walled city not to forget the ones in loon mandi, Dhaab Khatikan, Giani of Chattiwind Darwaza, Sheran wala gate, East mohan nagar how can one miss the awesome 4 in one kulcha near the Darbaar Sahib where one still has to wait for over an hour's time to get his kulcha(on selected days).

    Some more explorations kept for next time!

    Arey bhai Lucknow ki woh kaun si T……. h jise hum nahi jaante πŸ˜›

  5. I had my first kulcha on my trip to Amritsar this January with Aman and Jaideep. After going to the above joints, I can safely tell you I am not going to enjoy my kulcha anywhere else in the world. These represent the best kulchas in the whole world!"

  6. Each Kulcha wallah in Ambarsar have their own dedicated following, and these followers are rather passionate about 'their' kulcha guy. Since all the points which needed to be covered have been done so quite nicely by Shashank, GST, Aman and others I would like to add a new phenomena which I noticed recently. There are now 'overflow' joints opening near the established players. These are catering to the impatient or the busy customer who doesnt want to wait for their kulcha.On Sundays, when it seems as if all of Ambarsar has descended on the kulcha vallahs, these guys do brisk business as a lot of people get discouraged just by seeing the maara maari outside say Monu or Ashok. These are the two places where this business has evolved quite nicely….

  7. Great post Shashank.. very exhaustive review and listing of the lesser known joints..! I like the candidness of the post.. I'm dying to go back to Ambarsar and make a trip to the mentioned places.

  8. Shashank,

    You are doing a great job in exploring the wonderful city of Amritsar. I was born in the old city, couple of lanes off the famous Kesar, and have spent my life in Delhi. I am a foodie like this group, and have been making trips to lanes of old Delhi religiously for past 20 years.

    You are correct in pointing out that there are a large number of local favorites in Amritsar when it comes to Kulchas. The new Brothers restaurant at Majitha road has been heard about in the local circles, though I have not had a chance to taste it yet. Another famous one is the man towards the end of Guru Bazar near allahabad bank. He has a large following and Sundays can see wait time of upto 1 hour. However, to get the best kulchas from this fellow, you need to know him. My cousin is his friend and he treated me to the best kulcha I ever had in Amritsar, made as a special. One guy in Dhaab Khatikaan also dishes out decent stuff. There was another very good one at bambey wala Khuh (where Kesar is) where I used to go with my father. That place closed few years ago. The one near Darbar Saheb (Kulwant?) is well known.

    The ritual for the walled city residents used to be, get up in the morning, take money and head to the favorite halwai for poori-aalu/chhole and kadah-pooda. If not in the mood for Poori, then it is Kulcha. The essential part of the Kulcha experience is to carry your own desi ghee in a katori to the shop and ask him to make you the kulcha. In afternoon,if the lady is not in the mood to cook which is often the case,the kids are dispatched to get some chhole from bazaar and that is your lunch. If the Daal is cooked at home, you send the kids to get Batod or Kachris (variety of pakoras famous in old city)and that turns the simple lunch in a true ambarsari affair. And thus progresses the day in old city where people's love for good food is unparalleled.

    While you guys have tried a lot of things, I have not seen mention of "Bhijja Kulcha" or soaked Kulcha anywhere. This is becoming a lost art even in amritsar. If you go to the Guru Bazar Kulcha wala ever, ask for chowk chaurasti attari, barely 100 meters away. in the temple lane, you will have the bhijja kulcha guy with a really small shop. These are a slightly different version of the maida readymade kulchas found in delhi but soaked in chhole and served with chutney and bhen ka achaar sprinkled. Light by ambarsar standards but sublime. A very good batod/Kachri wala is in the Kulcha wala lane. Ask for bangali batod/pakore wala. Also in the chowk, a hawker can be found selling matthi chhole in the evening. These are diferent from the regular matthis and go very well with the chhole.

    The city also has some fantastic places for mithais, especially Patisa, Kadah which is an essential out there, Pinni, Bhugga and Khajur (not dates)which are available around basant season. Will write about these some other day.

  9. Hi Aman, Fantastic! Very explorative ….I would like to do the whole round of ONLY Kulcha's one day soon. And I would like to get in touch with you for some more of Amritsari stuff please do send me your contact details on soodarman@gmail.com Cheers!!!

  10. Guyz Great stuff (also for us desi tourists!)
    last time I was there we stayed at carlsson amritsar hotel.
    I want to make a 'take 2' again on amritsar but would like to stay in a more toned down , kind of with the locals and maybe paying guest kind of accomodation. ofcourse the place has to be clean and hygenic !. Could any of you maybe recommend me something on and about the accomodation ( some pointers, leads etc). Would love to revisit these places again in a part 2 adventure. My mail contact is : shovon_b@yahoo.com
    Thanks in advance for any such info on the accomodation here.

  11. Sir, Don't you think you just skipped kulwant singh's amritsari kulche i guess they are better than atleast All India Famous kulche wala

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