Deep fried kachoris stuffed with all sorts of fiery filling are are huge hit on festivals. Holi is just around the corner and I made a batch over the weekend, these Kachoris last well for a few days and are an amazing snack or a full meal if you wish to. Kachori is a deep fried, unleavened, stuffed flatbread from northern parts of India and is usually filled with a stuffing of lentils, potatoes, onions or dry fruits(a sweet version) and they are quite popular on festivals.
Pyaz or onion stuffed kachoris are a famous street side snack from the State of Rajasthan in north western parts of India. Rajasthai food is high on spice levels, almost fiery, the desert terrain demands that kind of spice levels in cuisine since it helps survive the brutal heat of summers. These kachoris are no exception. There are full pf punch of spices and I serve them with a hot lehsun mirch ki chutney (garlic- red chilli chutney) which takes them to next level. So so good with a cup of chai for evening snack or brunch on weekends.
The stuffing is made with a full head of onion or two to which fresh ground masalas are added and a little potato for binding. The onion filling is super flavorful with generous dose of hing and coarsely ground cumin, fennel and coriander. If you wish, a knob of this filling is so good even on sandwiches or with parathas. YUM!
Keep the below things in mind when you make kachoris:-
The dough should not be too tight or too sticky. We need a firm pliable dough with good amount of moyan(the oil/ghee/shortening that is added to dough while kneading so that the kachoris come out flaky. Keep in mind that the dough is softer than poori dough.
Rest the dough for 30 minutes after kneading. In the meantime you can make the stuffing.
Fry the kachoris on low heat. Don’t fry on high heat else they want cook inside and will not all all be flaky.
A good indicator of a well made kachoris is that their skins are golden brown and have no to few bubbles, this is achieved by patient frying on low medium heat.
When you make the stuffing, don’t brown the onions, we just want the moisture to dry out but we don’t want them to be jammy. They should have a bite. I usually mix in a little bit of raw chopped onions so as to pronounce the onion flavor and texture.
Deep fried flatbread stuffed with a spicy fiery onion filling
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Servings: 8to 10 kachoris
Mixing Bowls, Saute Pan, Deep Pot/Kadhai for frying
For The Kachoris
1.5cupall purpose flour
5-6tbspvegetable shortening,substitute with oil
1/2cupwater (I used 10 tbsp),water should not be cold
Oil for frying
For The Onion Stuffing
1tbsp black pepeprcorn(adjust to taste)
1tbspfinely chopped ginger
1largeonion (yield 1.5 cups chopped onions)dont chop the onions too fine
2 smallpotatoes, boiled and peeled
2green chillies,finely chopped
Red chilli powder,to taste
For Lehsun Mirch Chutney
2heads (20-25)garlic clovespeeled
4-5dried red chillies (or use fresh red chillies)
2tspvinegar,adjust to taste
Salt to taste
Make the Kachori Dough
Combine all the dough ingredients except water in a deep bowl/parat. Mix and rub the flour with palms and finger till you are able to form a loose ball of flour(thsi makes sure that the moyan is right and the kachoris will be flaky).
Start adding water slowly and kneading into a soft pilable dough. Your water quantity might be different than mine since different flours have different absoprtion quality. Knead well for 4 to 5 minutes.Cover and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. It will loosen a bit and will be easy to work with.
Make the Onion Stuffing
In a small sauce pan, dry roast the whole spices- coriander, cumin & black peppecorns. Cool a bit and grind coarsely. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wide pan. Add asafetida to the oil and chopped 1.25 cups onions. Sprinkle 1/4 tso salt. Keep the heat on medium high and saute the onions for 3-5 minutes untill you see that they are transculent but not mushy or cooked. Dont lower the heat else the onions will get watery. Dont let the onions brown. Cook till the moisture is dry.
Add ginger, green chillies, tumeric and red chilli powder next. Saute for a 3-4minutes.
Add potatoes, crumble them in the pan as you add, add besan, mango powder and salt to taste.
Mix well, and mash potatoes using back of the spoon. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the 1/4 cup chopped onion and mix well. Cool down completely.
Make the Kachoris
Divide the rested dough into 8-10 equal portions. Set aside a small portion of dough to test the oil.
Roll out each portion of the dough into a 2.5-3 inch diameter circle.
Place 2-3 tbsp of the onion filling in the center.PInch the extra dough as you close the parcel.
Press gently and pat with hands to flatten the kachori, try to make the edges a bit thin.
Prick the kachoris 1-2 times with a fork. Keep all the kachoris ready before you start frying.
Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a wide pot/kadai over medium-high heat till you see ripples on the surface.
Turn the heat to medium-low and wait for 2-3 minutes. to check the temperature of oil, add a pinch of dough, it should noty come up to surface sizzling (oil is too hot). If it comes very slowly(oil is cold). It should rise to the surfce slowly(not very slowly)
Slowly slide 2-3 kachoris at a time into the hot oil. Dont crowd the oil.
Deep-fry the kachoris till golden.Drain on an absorbent kitchen paper and serve hot with chutney (recipe below) and chai.
Make The Chuntey
Soak the dried red chillies in 1/4 cup hot water for 15 mins. Skip this step if using fresh chillies.
Place the garlic, vingear, salt and soaked chillies in a blender. Blend to a smooth paste using soaking water as need. Keep pasty dont make too runny.
Heat oil in small pan, temper with cumin seeds, add the chutney paste. Mix and cook for 6-8 minutes. Store refrigerated for 2 weeks.
Spring has hit full force here in the valley and looks like the bright sun is here to stay. A crisp, pleasant mornings is what awaits us as we get out of the bed & I feel so inspired to stay active and finish up a lot of chores by noon. A certain kind of energy engrosses me throughout the now longer days and we have also started our evening strolls to the nearby Sunset Park. Onset of spring is also apparent in the tall peach tree in our front yard and I am already spotting a couple of buds signaling that the fruit will be here in no time. I am planning to can the fruit this year,something which I missed doing last summer.
The Indian festival of spring, Holi is round the corner and like most celebrations back home this festival is also full of food & colors(of the real kind). I prepared these coconut & mavagujiya which is categorically made during Holi in my family.It is a sorta indian empanada with a sweet filling.The eggless pastry is flaky but dense at the same time,its lightly crispy on the outside but gooey in the center from the ghee,though you can do any kind of filling but traditionally milk solids (mava) mixed with aromatic cardamom and variety of nuts are stuffed inside,making it a wholesome holiday grub.
Holi was one of the most busy time in my grandma’s house. I remember how lunch & sometimes dinner was cooked early so that the later part of the day could be spent making gujiya and other savory things.It may look like a quickie but when we are talking hundreds of such homemade pastries, it was too much work. She started the preparations a week ahead, the neighborhood and all the house help were given boxes full of these as a token of the festival and since these last for almost a weeks if stored properly, we always had lots of them left as anytime snack after the festival had winded up.
Mava or Khoya is solidified milk, quite comparable to ricotta but less moist.It is used in making most of the indian sweets and desserts. You take one bite of the it and you discern that unique dense and milky taste. If you do not have access to indian stores , you could make your own mava at home (recipe here).The filling can be made a day ahead and once fried, these gujiya freeze very well too. Making gujiya is labor intensive so plan it on a not so busy day. Have fun & Happy Holi.
Ingredients (Makes 15)
For the filling (Makes extra. I had about 1/2 cup leftover filling)
2-3 tbsp ghee, divided
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup crushed nuts ( I used almonds & cashews)
2 tbsp melon seeds, optional
4 oz mava/khoya, grated when cold (homemade or store-bought)
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the crust
1.5 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp ghee, melted ( (homemade or store-bought)
2-4 tbsp shortening, softened (In India, use Dalda)
1/2 cup warm water (adjust quantity required for kneading)
Oil for frying
For the glue
1 tbsp all-purpose flour + 1.5 tbsp water
For the syrup
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp green cardamom powder
Make the filling:-
In a heavy bottomed pan/kadhai, heat up 1 tbsp ghee on low heat. Add desiccated coconut to it and lightly toast the coconut till you smell a nice aroma. Transfer the coconut to a big bowl.Melt another tbsp of ghee and add the nuts & melon seeds(if using) to the kadhai and toast them on low heat. Transfer to the same bowl as coconut.Next, on very low heat, melt another tbsp ghee( you might not need ghee if using homemade mava) and add the grated khoya/mava to it.On very low heat, cook the mava till it loosens and starts becoming runny. You will need to continuously stir it so that it does not stick to the bottom. Once the mava starts to clump up, transfer to the same bowl.Note – If you see a lot of fat oozing out of the mava, try to skim off as much as you can.
Let all the ingredients completely cool . Once cold, add the cardamom powder & granulated sugar and combine well. Set aside or refrigerate( if you are making a day ahead).
Make the Dough for the crust:-
Sift the flour once. Mix the flour with ghee and shortening ( a tbsp at a time) and work it with your fingers. While doing so try to make a ball of the flour, if the flour clumps up and does not break when you drop it, stop adding the shortening.Mix the flour gently with warm water. Add water slowly and handle the dough gently till it comes together. Once its together, knead for 2-3 minutes and (very important) cover it with a damp cloth and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Make the glue :-
In a small bowl, mix up 1 tbsp flour with water. It should not be lumpy. Set aside.
Making the Gujiya
Once the dough has rested, pinch equal portions of the dough and keep them covered with a damp cloth. Press each portion between palms to make a smooth ball. Roll out each portion into a 3″ circle. Dip a finger into the glue (made earlier) and spread it all around the edge of the rolled dough. Pick up the rolled dough into your palms and pinch the centre of the edge on one side in such a way that one of the ends is closed to form a semi circle. Spoon a tablespoon of the filling and bring all the edges together to form a crescent. When you seal the edges, try to form sort of a dough border by pressing the edges so that you can make a pattern laterMake sure the edges are completely sealed, else the filling will ooze out while frying. Note – Do not overstuff the filling else when you fry the gujiyas will puff up too much and filling will ooze out.
You could leave it as it is or use back or a fork or ravioli cutter to make a pretty edge. I used my hands to pinch the dough and fold it over itself to make a pattern. Place the gujiya on a plate & cover with a damp cloth. Make all the gujiyas in the same way and let sit covered till ready to fry.
Heat up enough oil to fry the gujiyas. The oil is at the right temperature when you put a lithe dough into it and it comes up slowly to the surface without sizzling away. Fry the gujiyas 2-3 at a time on low heat, turning all around till golden fried in color. Note – Do not rush the frying, else your gujiyas will have blisters all over and they will be brown on outside but raw in the center.
Tranfer to the top of a cooling rack and leave to cool.
Make the Syrup :-
While the gujiyas are cooling, bring the sugar & water to a boil and let simmer for 1 minutes. Add the cardamom (or saffron) and mix well. Brush this syrup on all sides of the gujiyas while they are warm.
Serve gujiyas at room temperature with thandai (spiced milk drink).If you want to freeze,let the gujiyas cool completely and store in air tight containers.