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:
For the crust
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
For the filling
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 filling
- 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.