I am no ‘kachori’ connoisseur but I know how I like them. Perhaps a bit too well, because I couldn’t resist the urge to make these when I spotted some elusive green chickpeas at my local Asian store. Now, it’s not traditional to make kachoris with green chickpea stuffing but what the heck, I let loose my imagination to tease the best out of my curious mind. And I ended up with these wonderfully ethereal ‘khasta’ – perfectly flakey crispy kachoris in the comfort of my home here in the UK. Now that’s what I call luxury.
For my English friends, the kachori is a close cousin of the poori but with a stuffing of spiced lentils or beans. It’s deliciously savoury with a good balance of spice, sweetness and tang. A typical kachori has a stuffing of mung lentils. In this one, I have used a combination of green chickpeas and peas. You can just use green peas for equally delicious results.
I love these with my morning cuppa with a bit of mint and coriander chutney on the side. I have shared the chutney recipe here
Green chickpea kachori / ‘khasta’ hara chana kachori / hare chane ki kachodiCourse: Breakfast, Snacks, StarterCuisine: Indian, Rajasthani, GujratiDifficulty: Medium
- For the dough
150g plain flour (maida)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste
water as needed
- For the stuffing:
100g green chickpeas/ green gram/ green garbanzo beans / harbara
6 green chillies (chopped)
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp amchoor powder (dried mango powder)
¼ tsp chaat masala
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander seeds (coarsely crushed)
1 tsp fennel seeds (coarsely crushed)
¼ tsp asafoetida
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
- For deep-frying:
- In a wide bowl, add the flour, salt and oil and mix until you get a crumbly texture that starts to bind together. Then start adding water, little by little, and knead into a soft dough. Dab it with some oil. Cover and keep it aside for between 30-60 minutes.
- Coarsely grind the green peas and chickpeas along with ginger and chilli to a paste. Add a tablespoon of water if the mixture gets too stodgy.
- In a pan, lightly fry the crushed coriander and fennel seeds in the oil for a minute. Tip in the green paste followed by all the stuffing spices – turmeric, amchoor powder, chaat masala, red chilli powder, garam masala, asafoetida, salt and sugar. Give it a good stir. Cover and cook over a low to medium flame for a minute. Remove the lid and continue cooking for another minute or until the filling starts to dry out a bit. The filling is ready. Let it cool down.
- Divide the dough (from step 2) into four equal parts. Then divide again to make 3-4 lime-sized balls from each quarter.
- Then divide the stuffing in the same way into the same number of portions as the dough.
- Take a ball of dough, flatten it between the palms of your hand and place a ball of stuffing on top.
- Close the dough around the stuffing. You will now have a ball of dough with stuffing inside.
- Flatten the stuffed dough ball using your thumb by pressing evenly along the edges. Continue doing so until a shallow bowl-like shape is formed.
- Deep fry each kachori, 2 or 3 at a time in a karahi or a deep-bottomed pan over a low to medium flame. Once the kachoris puff up a little and rise to the surface, increase the flame to a medium-high and continue frying on the other side until the pastry becomes light brown in colour.
- Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave the kachoris to cool and become more crispy and flakey. Enjoy with coriander mint green chutney or tamarind chutney and Indian chai.
- 1. Please do not worry if you can’t find green chickpeas where you live (or they are out of season). Simply double the quantity of green peas in this recipe and you’ll still have a good tasty kachori.
- 2. If you can’t find dried mango powder (amchoor), swap with a generous squeeze of lime in the stuffing.
- 3. I have kept this recipe vegan and used vegetable oil for the dough. You can swap the vegetable oil with a fat like ghee (moyen or mohan is the small amount of fat added to fried foods at the time of making dough).
- 4. You can bake these kachoris in the oven instead of deep-frying. Bake them at 180 degrees Celsius in a preheated oven until they are golden and crisp.
- 5. The key to the perfectly flakey and crisp (or ‘khasta’ as we call it in Hindi) kachori is in the deep-frying technique. The kachoris need to be fried at a low temperature initially so it takes some patience to watch them puff and rise to the surface in the pan before you can flip and increase the heat to brown the pastry on all sides.
- 6. The shell of kachori should be neither too thick nor too thin. A thin shell will make the kachori crispy at the risk of stuffing leakage. On the other hand, a thick shell can taste doughy and undercooked if not fried well.
- 7. The key to puffing up the kachori is in the way it has been flattened and moulded after stuffing. You can flatten it with a rolling pin if you like but I have had better results by simply pressing it evenly with my thumbs. The kachori has to be flattened evenly to get good puffy results in the end.