What’s better than Kachoris on a cozy, lazy, rainy-like Saturday afternoon? Nothing, absolutely nothing! It’s the first time I made these and were these good or what?!? I have almost never had home-made kachoris because I always thought it is not something that would be very easy to make (almost never ‘coz I’ve had a home-made one just about once- I think). But then after researching a fair bit and looking around for recipes I found a fairly easy and simple one at chefinyou. com. I tweaked it slightly and came up with this! So for those of our non-Indian friends reading this who don’t know what a “ Khasta Kachori” is- we’ll explain. “Khasta” means crisp and flaky & “Kachori” is an Indian snack that I would categorize as “street food” and is basically a fried puff pastry stuffed with goodness (read: filling of different kinds). Most states in India have their variation and also have different ways in which it is served. It is either served with a spicy potato curry or just different kinds of chutneys. This one here has a filling of yellow split lentil with Indian spices and we had them with home-made tamarind chutney. So here is how I made it:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- a pinch of carom seeds (ajwain), optional
- 2 tablespoons oil or clarified butter (ghee)
- chilled water to knead the dough, approximately ¼ cup
- ¼ cup yellow moong dal (split yellow lentils)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- a pinch of asafetida (hing)
- 1 tablespoon chopped curry leaves, optional
- ½ a green chili, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- a pinch of carom seeds (ajwain)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchoor)
- salt, as always, to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil
- oil to deep fry
- To make crust/ dough
- Mix the flour, salt, carom seeds and oil.
- Add the chilled water slowly, mixing with your fingers as you pour or using the dough attachment of your hand or stand mixer. Do not over-knead the dough. The dough should be soft.
- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for about half an hour to 45 minutes.
- To make the fillingphoto 4 (6)
- Soak the moong dal for at least half an hour and then grind it coarsely.
- In a pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and then add the cumin seeds and asafetida. After about 40-50 seconds add in the chopped curry leaves.
- Add in the ground moong dal and roast on medium heat for about 7-8 minutes or until it changes color lightly, stirring constantly.
- Add the ginger paste, chilli and the other dry spices and mix it well, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool off. The mix should be quite dry.
- To make the Kachoris
- Make small balls from the dough.
- Roll out each ball into a 3-inch circles or I just flattened them with my fingers having the center thick and sides little thin.
- Place about 1- 1 ½ tsp of the filling in the center of the rolled dough. Cover the filling by stretching and bringing together the dough over the filling & sealing the ends.
- Let the filled balls sit for 3 to 4 minutes before rolling again.
- Then using your palm, flatten these by lightly pressing.
- Heat some oil for deep frying. Make sure the oil is not too hot. Test to see if the temperature is right by dropping a tiny ball of dough and see if it is rising slowly to the top. This is the right temperature.
- Fry the kachoris in batches on medium heat. After they start to puff, slowly turn them over. Fry until golden-brown on both sides.
Serve this with chutneys of your choice! We had this with a tangy imli (tamarind) chutney. I promise to put up a quick note on the chutney as well soon enough!
One other thing that you could consider doing instead of frying the kachoris is to bake them. I baked 4 of them to test how they come out and they were pretty awesome. If you prefer to bake them, brush them with oil and bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 10-12 minutes at 350 F. Also, make sure to turn the kachoris half way through baking to ensure you that it gets a crust on both sides.