Khasta Kachori / Crispy bread stuffed with spicy lentils
For those who are not familiar with what a Kachori is, hope the image helps a little. There's no exact translation for Kachori. All I know about Kachori is that its a delicious spicy and a crispy snack which is extremely popular in India. It can be eaten plain or stuffed further with various garnishes. Its typically made out of flour and is stuffed with spiced lentils. People also stuff it with onions, peas, garbanzo beans but all I like to do when I see a kachori is to stuff my mouth with it. This was my first attempt at making these and I can proudly say that they came out quite excellent (yes I'm tooting my own horn here, but they were really good)! Try them and you'll know why I'm boasting ;) :)
For the bread dough
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour (if available)
2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter (this helps make the bread flaky)
1.5 tsp salt
water as required
Combine the ingredients together and keep adding water and kneading till it forms a firm dough.Keep it to rest for 30 mins. We'll move to the stuffing now
1 1/2 cups yellow mung daal Soaked for 1-2 hours
2 tsp cumin/ jeera (freshly roasted)
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp dry coriander seeds
3 green chillies finely chopped
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1-2" ginger, grated
2 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp dry fennel seeds
2 tsp dry mango powder
1 tsp dry ginger powder
1 tsp dry garlic powder
2-3 tsp Ghee/ clarified butter or oil
Salt to taste
Pinch of love
Making the stuffing:
Drain the yellow lentils/ moong dal. Store about 1/2 cup water. Heat the Ghee/ clarified butter in a pan and as it begins to shine, add your roasted cumin and asafoetida to it. Give it a quick stir and add the coriander powder and roast it on a low flame for a couple minutes. Be careful that it doesn't burn. Add the grated ginger, chillies, dry ginger powder, garlic powder, red chili powder, fennel and a tsp of turmeric for a beautiful golden colour. Add the drained dal and saute for about 5 minutes until the dal appears dry. Add the mango powder, salt (remember there will be salt in the bread too, so not too much) and your pinch of love. Remove from heat and grind it coarsely in a mixer or use a mortar and pestle. We need to see the dal and the spices. so just blitz its a few times and its almost ready. Place it back on the heat, add bout half the water that we kept aside from the dal and cover to steam. Check after 5-7 minutes. The dal should have softened and the water almost evaporated. If the dal is still hard, add some more water, and steam again. We don't want the dal to lose its structure. It should hold up as a grain. The whole mix should be dry. Your stuffing is ready.
How to Assemble
Divide the bread dough in equal portions. It will make about 10-12 portions depending on your size. Make balls of the divided portions and roll each ball out till its 3-4 inches big. Use oil while rolling it out so it doesn't stick to the rolling pin or your hands or on the surface. Take one and a half tbsp of your brilliant flavourful stuffing and stuff the ball. Pull the edges around the stuffing and close it up. Twist the end so it doesn't open up while frying. and then roll it out again. Its really simple once you get the hang of it.
Meanwhile heat oil for frying in a wok/ kadhai on a medium low flame. We just want the oil to shimmer and not smoke. Add your stuffed rolled out bread to the oil and fry for about 5 minutes till the outside gets golden brown, crispy, flaky and its cooked through properly. The kachori will swell up as it needs to, so let it.
It needs to be fried for a longer period to harden it. We DON'T want it soft. Take it out on a kitchen towel and repeat with your other Kachoris.
Serve piping hot with mint and coriander chutney or tamrind and date chutney, eat it just like that or deck it up as a Raj Kachori (recipe follows) and have a fabulously Indian snack time! Super yumm!!! And if you still have leftovers, store them in an airtight container to be used within a week. Have fun! :))