Kachori is one of the most famous snacks in India. Across Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, it exists in various avatars. The firmness of the exterior cover differs and the spice lvel of the stuffing vary widely, making each recipe unique.
This softer Bengali version of the otherwise very crunchy kachori, is often eaten for breakfast along with Alur Dum or Chana dal. It is widely available with at mishti (sweet) shops in Calcutta, where people throng not just for the sweets, but for the savouries like Shingada (samosa) and Kachori!
This is my mother-in-law’s recipe.
- Maida (All purpose flour)- 1/2 cup, heaped
- Whole wheat flour (Atta)- 1/2 cup, flat
- Salt- 1/2 tsp (for the cover)
- Sugar- 1/2 tsp (for the cover)
- Urad dal, skinless (Black lentils, skinless)- 1/3 cup , before soaking
- Hing ( Asafoetida)- 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder- 1 tsp
- Fennel seeds (saunf) - 1/2 tsp
- Oil- for tadka- 2 tsp
- Oil- for frying
- Salt- to taste.
Method for the stuffing]
Wash and soak Urad dal (black lentils) for at least 2 hours.
Lift from the water, and of possible, without adding anymore water, grind to a coarse-ish paste. Keep aside.
Lightly roast and crush the fennel seeds with a rolling pin. Do not make a powder.
In a large wok, heat 1 tsp oil. Add in the hing.
30 seconds after putting in the hing, add in the urad dal paste. Add salt, sugar, red chilli flakes and saunf powder.
Fry for 2-3 minutes, till the raw smell goes off, and the dal paste just about starts sticking to the pan. It is very important not to dry the paste too much, else it will be impossible to roll out the kachori. Stop while it is darker in colour than you began, but still moist. Keep aside till needed.
Method for the cover]
In a large bowl, add both flours, salt, sugar and 1 tbsp oil. Crumble together with your hands till it bits. This process makes the cover of the kachori really crisp. Cover and keep aside for at least 20 minutes.
Now, heat the oil in a large wok. When the oil is hot, turn down the heat and keep it ready as you begin to attack the dough.
Shape into lemon sized balls and keep under a moistened tea towel or a moist kitchen paper.
Flatten a ball, and then with your thumb and fingers, slowly start pressing to make a small disc, trying to keep it evenly thick all around.
Now put in a teaspoonful of the stuffing. Before trying to put in the stuffing, try and make as many portions of the stuffing as there are dough balls.
Pinch the sides together and pull to the centre.
Flatten it, and then roll it around in your hand, trying to smooth it out and keep it back under the moist tea cloth. Repeat for the remaining doughballs. Keep covered for about 10-15 minutes.
Now take the stuffed balls, and brush with oil.
Gently roll out, trying not to let the cover break. DOn’t roll too thin, thus allowing it to puff up.
When you are done rolling, gently drop the kachori into the hot oil. Remember to keep the heat low, so the kachori cooks from inside and puffs up properly.
Put slight pressure on top, trying to turn the kachori slightly. You will notice it slowly puffing up.
Turn over and watch as the other side puffs up as well.
Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot with Chana dal or Alur dum.
Mouthwatering, eh? Then better go, get cooking!
For more such delicious recipes, look up
Nimki Matarshuti Kachuri