Monday, February 15, 2010

An Ode to Unique Indian Snack Foods

After a restful Valentine's Day weekend(of course, packed with great food) here I am back with a new post that pays homage to unique Indian snacks... specifically a wonderful savory snack...I am refering to Khasta Kachori.

This is a very interesting savory snack item but I had never tried it before at home...though I must have eaten it a million times during school days at the many chaat centers in Calcutta and then, later during college days.

I finally had a chance to make it as part of January's challenge at the Indian Cooking Challenge hosted by the wonderful Srivalli of Spice your life(Thanks, Srivalli! for giving me a chance to relive wonderful old memories of times spent with college friends eating at chaat centers back home).

This recipe is a tried and tested recipe perfected by Medhaa of Cook with Love...Thanks, Medhaa for taking the time to try and perfect this recipe for all of us in ICC.

I tried the moong dal kachori since that is the closest reminder to me of all the kachoris I have eaten at chaat centers.

Now, coming to the I have mentioned three different types of filling: onion, split peas and moong dal. I am also glad I followed all the recipe instructions to the letter because then I was able to avoid common pitfalls, like having the kachoris turn out flat like puris and so on.

 Hope all my readers will try this recipe some time since the finished product is so is really worth the effort!!!

When I was looking up some info on Google about Khasta Kachori, I found the rolled out pastry shape of kachoris as well as round - shaped I made both of these...of  course, the ingredients were the same for both varieties...needless to say, everyone at home enjoyed both varieties of these!!!

Khasta Kachoris Recipe:
Resting Time for the Dough is app 1/2 hr - 1 hr

Frying time for the Kachoris - 20 mins for each batch app.
Soaking Time for the Filling is app. 1 hr
Cooking Time for the Filling is app 15 mins
Yields - 15

For the Dough-
Ingredients Needed:
All purpose flour / Maida - 2 cups
Oil/ Ghee - 1/4 cup ,
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Water for kneading

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.

Fillings :
Khasta Kachori - Moong Dal Kachori
Ingredients Needed:
Split Moong Dal (yellow) - 1/2 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry Leaves - 2 tsp chopped fine (opt)
Green Chilli - Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Sauf / Fennel seeds powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Mango powder / Amchur - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

1. Wask and Soak dal in water for atleast 1 hour. You can go upto 4 hours not more.
2. Drain the water well.
3. Grind the dal to a coarsely. (Will resemble Idli Rawa)
4. Heat oil in a pan.
5. Add the hing and cumin seeds.
6. Once the seeds splutter add the curry leaves.
7. Add the dal.
8. Lower the heat and keep stirring for 5 minutes till the dal stops sticking to the pan.
9. Cook for another 10 minutes on low till the dal turns slightly brown.
10. Add all the masalas.
11. Cook for few minutes till the aroma of the spices hit you.
12. Add Salt.
13. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool.

Special Tips / Notes for the filling:
The fillings have to be really dry if not when rolling they will ooze out when rolling.
Adjust the masalas according to your taste. What is given in this recipe is spicy to the extent one can still enjoy.
For idea on pressing the filled kachori, check out Manjula's method. If you try to press out using a rolling pin, the filling may come out and make holes in the kachori.
Fry the kachori's on medium low to get a crisp outer layer, that is the key. For people using electric stove, the numbers can be going from 6 to 4.

Muttar Ki Kachori from Tarla Dalal:
For green pea filling
2 cups green peas
1 teaspoon green chillies, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds (saunf)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 tablespoons chopped coriander
2 tablespoons oil

For the green pea filling
Coarsely 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 leaves and discard. Divide into 12 equal portions.

Pyaz Ki Kachori:
For the onion filling
2 cups onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds (saunf)
2 bay leaves
1½ teaspoons green chillies, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Bengal gram flour (besan)
2 teaspoons coriander (dhania) powder
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoons chopped coriander
2 tablespoons oil
salt to taste

To make the onion filling-
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the nigella seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves, green chillies and onions and sauté till the onions turn light brown in colour.
Add the gram flour, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the chopped coriander and mix well. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
Divide into 12 equal portions and keep aside.

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.
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.



  1. Kachoris looks delicious and yummy, enjoyed doing them for ICC.;guess the same with u..

  2. Thanks, Priya!

    Enjoyed every minute of making this item...its yumm - o!

  3. They looks so yummy!

  4. my fav snack...your kachori looks yummy...

  5. I am glad you enjoyed them, I too tried making the flat and round ones, though the round ones were all in our tummy before the photo session. Thanks for participating

  6. Thanks for joining us ..glad you enjoyed making them!..

  7. Kachoris look yummy :), i too enjoyed making them.

  8. Wow.. looks very good and delicious!.. I've never had kachoris!.. should try sooon.. yumm!

  9. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks...Padhu, Swapna, Shahana, Nisha, Devi and Nithu!!!

    I love seeing you guys here at my blog often.

    Srivalli & Medha, I loved the recipe and my hubby says thanks too for this yummy snack!!!

  10. My mom's signature dish, havent prepared since a long, yours makes me drool and pulling me to try soon..
    Conference Centre Manchester


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