Khasta Dal Kachoris-Spiced Lentils Stuffed Kachoris

Khasta Dal Kachoris-Spiced Lentils Stuffed Kachoris
As I promised in my last post, here is one of the recipes that I made last week at restaurant day event at our place.
 
We had ‘khasta dal kachoris’ with ‘dubki wale aloo’. I will share here today the recipe to make khasta dal kachoris.
 
With its origin in Western state of Rajasthan, kachoris are popular snack in various parts of India, often enjoyed with a cup of hot tea. It is perfect snack to eat in morning or in the evening, at street vendors or at home, on rainy or cold days, with friends or during festivities.
 
Kachoris is general term to describe stuffed fried snacks and khasta means crumbly. 
 
While writing this post, I looked out of the window at grey clouds and was thinking how to best describe them. They are small, crispy and flaky goodie stuffed with different kinds of spicy filling, which simply warms you up. The fillings used to make kachoris can be different kinds. The lentils (dal) based stuffings are more popular in Northern and Western parts of India.
 
I must admit that I am really tempted to go and get one from the kitchen. I ended up having them with my cup of tea..
 
Back in India we used to buy kachoris from one of the store located in old part of my hometown. The store has huge selection of sweet and savory snacks and amazingly is 100 years old. The specialty of this place is that the owner makes all the sweets and snacks with ghee. You know how we Indians are so fond of ghee…
 
While staying away from India it is not that easy to get all your favorite food items from the Indian/Asian stores. So, if you want to eat them you have to learn to make things yourselves. I first learned how to make kachoris from a friend. 
 Kachoris are often eaten with different kinds of chutneys, or with ‘dubki wale aloo’, which are potatoes cooked in spicy runny gravy. Also they are served as ‘chaat’ with yoghurt, mint-coriander and sweet-sour chutneys.
 
Eaten in any form, it is just yummy!
 
 Knead the dough and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
 
 Cook the lentil with spices until it is crumbly and it is slightly dry.
 Portion out the dough and shape them into balls. Roll out one ball with a rolling pin into a thick circle. Holding rolled dough in the palm of your hand place 1 tbsp of the filling in the center. Gather the edges of the dough together, gently pushing the filling with your thumb and close the seam together by squeezing the dough together. Flatten the filled balls by gently pressing in between the palms of your hands.
 
Ingredients:
For dough:
250 g all-purpose flour
50-60 g vegetable oil; extra for frying
½ tsp salt
70-80 ml water
 
For filling:
100 gm yellow moong dal/lentils
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 green chili paste (optional)
1 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely grinded
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp amchur/mango powder
¾ tsp salt (or according to taste)
 
Notes:
Lime juice can be subsituted for amchur/mango powder.
Adding more oil makes it more crumbly. 
 
Method:
Making the dough:
Sift flour and salt together into a bowl. Add in the oil and combine it together by running your fingers through the mixture. It should form crumbles.
 
Now add water (little at a time) to form soft and non-sticky dough. Cover the dough with kitchen towel and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
 
Making filling:
Wash the lentils and soak them in enough water for 1-2 hours. Strain out all the water and grind lentils to a coarse texture. It should not be sticky paste.
 
Heat oil on medium heat in a non-stick pan and add asafoetida and green chilli paste. Stir quickly and when they start to sizzle add ginger paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel seeds and chili powder.  Cook the spices briefly (30 seconds to a minute) and add in the ground lentils. Add in the salt.
 
Cook at low to medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. The mixture should get dark color, look crumbly and little bit dry. Add in the amchur/mango powder and garam masala to the mixture. Stir it one more time and take off the heat. Let it cool down.
 
Making kachoris:
Divide the dough into 12-13 portions and shape them into balls.
 
Roll out one ball with a rolling pin into a thick circle (8-10 cm). Holding rolled dough in the palm of your hand place 1 tbsp of the filling in the center. Gather the edges of the dough together, gently pushing the filling with your thumb and close the seam together by squeezing the dough together. Repeat with rest of the dough in the same manner.
 
Flatten the filled balls by gently pressing in between the palms of your hands (around 7cm).
 
To deep fry kachoris heat enough oil in a wide vessel. The oil should be hot but not very hot. The best way to know if the oil is hot enough is by adding a pinch of dough and it should come right up.
 
Keeping heat at low to medium slowly drop 2-3 kachoris into the oil. Deep fry them until golden brown, carefully cooking them on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain them on paper towels.
 
Hot crispy kachoris are ready for serving. The flaky crust should completely enclose the spicy lentil filling. 
 
 
Preparation Time: 30-40 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Makes: 12-13


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