Kachori – this round, slightly flattened, deep-fried delicacy is easy to spot in any famous Indian market. The smell of the deep-fried snack is to die for, and when you taste it with spicy chutney; it magically rejuvenates all of your senses, making your mouth glands water.
While going ga-ga over this popular Indian snack, let’s have a short tour about the history of this humble snack. This warm snack was invented in a kitchen with some basic ingredients. By looking at some ancient texts, Dal Kachori was the invention of Uttar Pradesh. But, while one state became the proud parent of this snack, other states made their clone versions like Pyaz Kachori and Raj Kachori in Rajasthan, Sattu Kachori in Bihar, Koraishutir Kachori in Bengal and Lilvani Kachori in Gujarat. To this date, many of us love to flock in the evening market to taste those mouth-watering Kachori with spicy and sweet chutneys.
Cooking Kachori is not rocket science, as you only need some basic ingredients, patience, and the passion to cook. Among the list of all Kachoris, let’s try a hand at the recipe of Moong Dal or ‘Khasta’ Kachori first.
The main part of any Kachori is preparing a perfect dough. It should be prepared in such a way that the bread should be turned into a soft, flaky ball once deep-fried.
Ingredients for the perfect Kachori dough:
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour (Maida)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup Ghee or oil (prefer Ghee for flaky texture)
- ½ cup water or add as required
Instructions to make Kachori dough:
- Take a bowl, add 2 cups all-purpose flour (Maida), and ½ teaspoon salt in it.
- Add ¼ cup ghee and mix it well in the flour with the help of a wooden ladle. Ellementry offers a wide range of wooden ladles that will serve the purpose, and adds a rustic touch to your kitchen.
- This is an important step as you want all the ingredients nicely combined so that all the flour particles get slightly greased by Ghee. When you mix the flour for a few minutes, it will get a breadcrumb-like texture.
- Once you see this texture, add a small quantity of water to bind the dough. Remember to bind the dough using your hand to make it soft.
- Cover the dough with a damp muslin cloth and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
Ingredients of Moong Dal stuffing for Kachori:
- ½ cup Moong Dal (Yellow split gram)
- ½ tablespoon Ghee
- ¼ teaspoon Haldi (turmeric powder)
- ½ teaspoon Lal Mirch powder (red chilli powder)
- ½ teaspoon Jeera powder (cumin powder)
- ½ teaspoon Saunth powder (dry ginger powder)
- 1 teaspoon Dhania powder (coriander powder)
- 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds (Saunf)
- 1 teaspoon Amchur powder (dry mango powder)
- Salt to taste
Instructions for stuffing the Moong Dal into the Kachori:
- Take ½ cup of moong dal, rinse it two to three times, and let it soak for a minimum of 2 hours. A well-soaked Dal will break easily when you press it between fingers.
- Drain the water and grind the moong dal in a grinder. The texture of the mixture should be coarse.
- Now, heat a pan and add ½ tablespoon of Ghee.
- Once the Ghee is melted, keep the flame minimum or turn it off.
- Add all the spices mentioned above one by one and stir them continuously using a flat spatula until you can smell the aroma of spices. Ellementry has a wide range of wooden spatulas which helps to keep the natural flavour of the food intact. Don’t cook the masala on high flame as it will burn easily, and the taste will be lost.
- Now, put the pan again on heat and add the coarsely ground moong dal.
- Put salt and a pinch of Hing (asafoetida) in the mix.
- Cook this mixture on a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Taste the mixture and add spices like red chilli powder or mango powder as per desire.
- Now, let the temperature cool down completely.
Perfect method of frying Kachori:
Frying Kachori is a work of patience, as the oil should be well-heated and kept on low flame while frying Kachori. If the oil is too hot, the Kachori will remain undercooked from inside and will be way too oily for anyone’s liking. For frying, use a deep heavy base wok or kadhai.
- Start with heating any refined oil. Heat the oil on low flame for 2 to 3 minutes. To test the oil, put a small ball of dough in the oil. If it pops up instantly, your oil is ready for frying.
- Now, take a small amount of dough and make a ball of 2 to 3 inches. Use wooden chakla belan to roll it evenly and then place one tablespoon of moong dal stuffing in the middle. The wooden chakla belan by Ellementry ensures smooth rolling of dough.
- Now, gather all the ends to close and make a small ball. Remember that the end should be nicely pressed together so the stuffing won’t come out while frying. Remove extra dough from the top and press it from the top.
- Now, roll the ball again, but don’t put too much pressure. You Kachori should be round in shape and not more than 5 inches in diameter.
- Put the Kachori in well-heated oil. Once the Kachori start puffing, use Ellementry’s wooden spatula to put oil on the sides. Gently nudging the Kachori will help it puff and cook from inside.
- Make sure you turn the Kachori in intervals until both sides have a light golden colour.
- Frying Kachoris will take 5 to 7 minutes, so be patient. Also, keep the flame on a low to medium setting. Your Kachori should be crisp from outside and have slight cracks on the surface.
- Take the Kachori on a kitchen paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
- The best way to serve hot Kachori is with green chutney, dates chutney, and sweetened curd if you like. To enjoy curd with its natural taste, one should try a terracotta curd setter from Ellementry. It keeps the sourness away.
If you have a kid who doesn’t like spicy food at all, then try serving him/her the Raj Kachori, a delicacy from Bikaner, Rajasthan. Kachori, is, after all, nothing without any stuffing. Just fry a simple Kachori and serve it with sprouted moong using the terracotta sprout maker from Ellementry. This will help get even sprouts from Moong Dal or any other legumes. One can also add Chutneys, yoghurt, pomegranate seed, and Sev to enhance the flavour. Kachori can be broken into pieces, and with similar ingredients, you can create a new version of a Kachori Chaat!
While many feel this is an unhealthy deep-fried snack, it’s really not that bad. If you see the nutritional value of Dal Kachori, it contains protein, carbs, good fats, and spices that aid in digestion. Dal Kachori is a popular snack for Marwaris, a business community of Rajasthan. They are esteemed people who don’t prefer to eat outside food. Thus, women of their households used to pack them a few Kachoris that can be consumed during the trip.
Now, you can also enjoy this great snack in the comfort of your home with your family. Cook it with love, patience, and the right amount of ingredients, to make a perfect Dal Kachori, Raj Kachori, or Kachori Chaat.