Indian Cooking Challenge – Khasta Kachori
Last summer, Srivalli challenged us all to cook authentic Indian food and named the challenge Indian Cooking Challenge (ICC). Some of you took up the challenge and are cooking along with her every month. I was pre-occupied and busy traveling to UK and later to India, when Srivalli announced the challenge. I did not pay much attention to the it until I got back from India last September. I looked at the rules for the challenge and the recipes thus far and the challenge did not seem feasible to me. I was not daunted by the challenge but more so for finishing the food I cook for the challenge. Mr.U and I are not very fond of traditional Indian sweets and savories, and all the recipes challenged were sweets and savories. Since then, every month ICC members posted their recipes, I was tempted to join them in the challenge. However, I couldn’t get myself to email Valli for an invitation until last month. I could not resist myself any longer and here I am, with my first ICC!
This months challenge is to cook an authentic Khasta Kachori, recipe shared by Medhaa. This recipe is a combination of her Aunt’s recipe and Tarla Dalal’s recipe. Kachori is a round flattened ball stuffed with some filling. She give us a choice of three filling to choose from; moong dal filling, muttar (green peas) filling and onion filling. I was leaning towards onion filling, when a friend suggested I try muttar ki filling. I was hesitant to try it but went ahead anyway! I wish I had gone with my instincts. Although I love green peas in India, I don’t like the peas in the US. I find the US green peas too sweet for my palate and hence avoid using it in my cooking. But for the sweetness, kachoris tasted exactly as I remember eating them back home, at my friends place.
I made half the recipe which yielded 7 kachoris. I followed the recipe as given and they came out very well, except for couple of kachoris. I will get to that later. Also, my fear of finishing the kachoris was put to rest as soon as U came home empty stomach. He walked in as I was frying my second batch of kachoris. I had to deep fry them in 2 batches. He skipped his lunch and was so hungry that he couldn’t even wait for me to take the pictures. I took a few pictures in a rush and handed him the platter. To my surprise, he finished 5 of them! U finishing a platter of vegetarian snack explains how hungry he was! What happened to the other 2 kachoris? Well, I ate those 2 which went through a transformation when deep frying. The kachoris which went into the oil as kachoris came out as sunny side up eggs 😮 One of them also looked like a button mushroom.. 🙂 I don’t know what caused these two to transform!
Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 min – 1 hr 45 minutes
- For the Dough
- All purpose flour / Maida – 1 cups
- Oil/ Ghee – 1/8 cup (i used oil)
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Water for kneading
- Muttar Ki Kachori from Tarla Dalal – green pea filling
- 1 cups green peas (I used frozen green peas)
- 1 teaspoon green chillies, chopped 3 green chilies or 1/2 tbsp chopped green chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji) I didn’t have kalonji used 1/4 tsp mustard
- 1 teaspoons fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
- 1 tablespoons oil
- Preparation of the dough
- Mix the flour and salt, Add the oil/ghee and mix till you get a bread crumbs texture.
- Slowly add water and make a soft dough. Knead well for about 8 minutes.
- Cover and keep aside to rest for atleast half hour.
- Special Tips / Notes for the dough:
- Keep the dough covered at all times, if not it will dry up and not puff up when frying. If the dough is made right wet cloth can be used if not just a towel.
- The dough could spring back for many reasons:
- Dough is too cold (If wet cloth is used)
- Dough is not soft enough.
- Not kneaded for enough time.
- Oil is less.
- Not rested enough.
- For the green pea filling
- Corarsely grind the green peas,green chillies and ginger in a blender without using any water. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan,add the nigella seeds,fennel seeds,bay leaves and ground green pea mixture and saute over a very slow flame for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the chilli powder,garam masala,coriander and salt and saute for 2 more minutes. Remove the bay leavess and discard. Divide into 12 equal portions.
- To Make Kachori’s
- Make a small ball from the dough. Roll out into a 2 inch diameter circle. Or flatten the ball using your fingers having the center thick and sides little thin. I found it easier rolling it out.
- Place about 1.5 tsp of the filling in the center of the rolled dough.
Cover the filling with the dough by slowly stretching it over the filling. Seal the ends and remove excess dough. Repeat with all the balls and keep aside for 5 -7 mins.
- Then using your palm, flatten the balls by lightly pressing it, as using the rolling pin will make the filling come out. (See notes below). Keep aside covered. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Meanwhile heat some oil for deep frying. The oil should not become smoking 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.
- Drop the kachoris in batches of 3-4 gently into the oil. It should rise up slowly. If you don’t want to use lot of oil, use just enough for two or three at a time and fry them.
- After it rises up (about 2 minutes), turn it over.
Cook for about 6 to 10 minutes till the side down gets a golden brown color.
- Turn and cook the other side for another 6 minutes or till its golden brown in color.
- Remove when done, cool and store in airtight container.
- Serve with coriander chutney and tamarind chutney
- Special Tips / Notes for making the Kachoris:
- You can fry 3 kachori’s at a time.
- The oil should be at a heat when you drop some dough it should come up slowly, if the dough comes up too fast the oil is too hot, if it does not come up then the oil is cold.
- It will not be crisp if the oil is too hot.