PYAAZ KI KACHORI
Yesterday, I spoke how there are those days when things go just right- well, today wasn’t one of them. First, I got up with a bad headache- the insomnia is killing me! Second, I broke a glass. Now, had the breaking of the glass been a solitary incident- I would have got past it. But, well, somehow for the past few days lots of things have broken in succession. I lost 3 of my best mugs when the rack they were on, fell in the middle of the night. So, today’s broken glass brought back those painful memories. Sigh! Then, while working on this painting project I have taken up, I managed to get some paint stuck on my hair! Luckily, (the optimist in me finds the silver lining in such situations too!!), I had been planning on getting my hair cut and had already scheduled an appointment with the salon, and since the paint was on the tips- I took a pair of scissors and chopped that part off! To top it all off, my laptop charger decided to die on me! I mean, this was just those days- the one where everything goes wrong.
So, with nipped off hair, husband V’s laptop, 3 broken mugs and a glass down, I set off to make kachoris– a popular Indian snack . To describe it further, to the unenlightened souls, Kachoris are a round flattened ball made of flour and stuffed generally with a mixture of moong dal (green bean), gram flour and some other spices. Sometimes, they are also stuffed with a spicy onion filling and that’s what I decided to experiment with.
Eating kachoris takes me back to my years spent in Jodhpur, a city in Rajasthan, which is a state in western India. They have the most amazing onion kachoris one will ever find. The state also has the most tourist friendly people there. Any tour to India will be incomplete without visiting Jaipur for its beautiful handicrafts and Jaisalmer for its sand dunes, besides the heavenly food the state has to offer. Warning though: the food is very rich and very spicy!
Now, I have never ever tried my hand at making kachoris. Nor, have I ever seen my mom do it. But, looking at the recipe, the filling looked easy to make (and it is), and so did the dough. But, to shape the dough and fill it- well that wasn’t so easy. It’s not difficult, but you have to be very careful to close the opening, or else when you deep fry, the filling oozes out– a lesson I learnt the hard way. I knew I shouldn’t have tried making these on my off day! But, as they say, you learn from your mistakes and well, by the time I reached shaping the last few kachoris, I managed to keep the filling intact while frying (*Victory clasp*)!
These kachoris are best eaten warm, served with mint chutney.
makes 12 Kachoris
2 cups flour
1/4 cup melted ghee (Indian clarified butter)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups finely chopped onions
1 tsp Kalonji (onion seeds)
2 tsp saunf (fennel seeds)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp green chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
2 tsp dhania powder (coriander pdr)
2 tsp red chilli pdr
1 tsp garam masala (a blend of spices easily available in Indian stores)
3 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients listed under “dough”. Mix enough water to make a soft dough, that doesn’t stick to the counter and can be easily rolled out.
Keep for 5-7 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 equal parts and keep covered under a wet muslin cloth.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the onion seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves, green chillies and finely chopped onions, and sauté till the onions turn light brown in colour.
Add the ginger-garlic paste, gram flour, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add chopped coriander and mix well.
Remove the bay leaves.
Allow mix to cool completely.
Divide into 12 parts.
To make kachoris, roll out each portion of the dough into a 2″ diameter circle and shape circle to look like a bowl.
Fill it with the onion mix.
Roll each filled portion into a 2 1/2″ diameter circle.
Gently press the center of the Kachori with the thumb.
Deep fry in hot oil over a slow flame till golden brown. (Remember to keep the flame low, else the kachori will cook from the outside and remain uncooked inside). The kachoris should puff up (like puris). You will need 2 turn it over more than once.