Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Melt in your mouth Khasta Kachoris

Easter long weekend was a blessing indeed. Lots of sunshine and warm temperatures creeping in through my window, birds chirping sweetly early in the morning, it is utterly a wonderful feeling. With a steamy cup of coffee, I was thinking it is time to make something spicy(not hot!) and mouth watering which would serve as a light but filling snack! It suddenly dawned on me that some sort of chaat is in order!

Growing up in India, believe it or not, I wasn't a fan of street chaat! The road side vendors in Ahmedabad, selling pani puris, ragda patties, pavbhaji,dalwadas and what not, dressed in the shabbiest of clothing and the sweat from their foreheads falling straight down in the pot of pani! Their hands, they scratch their heads with, would go right in the same pot of pani to make you tasty(!) chaat! Uh,uh, not a pretty picture! On top of it, people around them, with their mouths full of big puris and pani running down their chins, I was like, man, how can somebody stand this?!

Well, it was somewhat a different story when I came to Canada. I still am not fond of chaats. But hubby dear is! And as we all know, in North America, you were required to make your own chaat before the explosion of Indian population! These days, we have so many restaurants that serve only chaats to satisfy any palate, but still nothing is like homemade stuff. Over the years, I have experimented a lot and I have learned of ways to replicate different recipes. So here is one of multi tasker recipe! You can eat it as puris or as a chaat, smothered with spicy and tangy chutneys, yogurt and tons of other fixings, where each plate creates a whole new experience in your mouth. And you don't have to go out to any restaurant and splurge. You can have this in the comfort of your home.

Khasta Kachori(makes 16)

1.5 cups of All purpose flour
3 tbsp ghee
1/4 cup water
Salt to taste

For filling:
1/2 cup besan
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seedsgarlic-ginger paste
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp amchur (dry mango powder)
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Other ingredients :Oil for deep frying

How to :

For the dough :Mix all the ingredients and make a firm dough by using a little water. Knead for at least 5 to 7 minutes. Divide the dough into 16 equal portion and keep it under a wet kitchen towel.

For the filling :Heat the oil in a pan, put the cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the well drained moong dal and fry for a few seconds. Add the green chilli-ginger paste, fennel seeds, chilli powder, garam masala, besan, amchur and salt. Stir for 5-7 minutes till all the masalas are cooked properly. Cool and divide it into 16 equal parts. Shape each part into a ball and keep aside.

For Kachoris: Roll each part of the dough to a puri of 2" diameter. Put a tbsp of the filling mixture in the centre of the rolled puri. Cover the filling mixture with the dough by slowly stretching it over the filling mixture. Close the ends tightly by pinching them together. Roll each filled puris to upto 2½" diameter. Also make sure that the filling does not spill out. Lightly press the centre of the kachori with a thumb. Deep fry in a hot oil over a slow flame till they puff up and turns golden brown on both sides. Cool and keep aside.

To serve as chaat:

Keep one kachori on a plate and a crack a hole in the centre of it. Fill it with 3 to 4 tbsp of the beaten plain yogurt. I also added boiled whole moong to get some nutrition out of this! Drizzle the green chutney and tamarind chutney. Sprinkle chilli powder, jeera powder, salt and coriander on the top of the kachori.Sprinkle sev on top. Serve immediately.

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