I am back in the US after 7 weeks at home....and am struggling with a major bout of homesickness :( . It seems so pointless being so far away from family sometimes. Anyway, now I will count days till december and cook my heart out.
The last few days at home were really really crazy food-wise since one person after another was vying to feed me their goodies! So one recipe at a time, I will share with you some of my most favorite recipes. Today, I wanted to try out 'kachori'. Basically it is a stuffed, fried bread. The stuffing can be ANYTHING that you want....as complicated or as simple as you want to make it. The easiest stuffing is potatoes or peas. Mom makes a stuffing out of soaked, ground dal.....she will post that recipe soon.
Note: these are fried....but I am in need of major comfort food right now.
The simplest order of move that I follow is
a. Make the stuffing first. b. While this cools, put the oil for deep-frying on medium heat. c. While the oils heats up and the stuffing cools, make the dough. d. Make stuffed dough-balls and deep fry.
For the stuffing:
Boiled, roughly mashed potatoes 4 (or boiled mashed peas)
Red Onion, chopped finely 1
Green chillies chopped 4-5
Oil 1 tblsp
Corriander leaves chopped to taste
Corriander pwder 3tspn
Red chilli pwd 1 tsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Take 1 tblsp on oil in pan. Once it is hot, put in some jeera seeds. Once they pop, saute the chopped onions and green chillies for 1-2 mins. Now put in the mashed potatoes (or peas). Saute for 1 min. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until integrated. After another 1 min, the smell will tempt you to eat the stuffing right there and then! Remove this mixture from the heat and let cool.
Note: A 'healthier' way will be to simply put all the stuffing ingredients together without sauteeing them. A slightly different taste. Also, you can use any leftover veggies for the stuffing. Further, you can add or leave out any ingredient for the stuffing.....no hard and fast rules.
For the bread:
Flour 500 grams
Oil 4 tblsp
Salt to taste
Ajwain seeds 3 pinches
Mix the flour, salt, oil, ajwain. Use water to make a dough (just like roti dough). This dough should be relatively flexible or loose since we need the elasticity in order to put in the stuffing. Make small balls of dough, diameter apprx 1inch.
Pulling it all together:
To make the actual kachori, take a clean dry rolling surface and brush it gently with oil. Now roll out one of the dough balls until it is big enough to the stuffed (do not make the this too thin, otherwise these are hellish to deep fry).
Take 1 tblsp of stuffing, put in the middle of the rolled out dough and pull together the edges of the rolled out dough until you get a round smooth ball with no trace of the stuffing showing outside. (I need to buy a camera soon! It is so hard to verbally describe some things!).
Now roll out this stuffed dough-ball into a small, round disc.
Note: this is a slightly tricky part. If the disc is too thin then the stuffing might spill out into the oil while deep frying. If it is too thick then the taste after frying is predominantly of the dough, not the stuffing. A little experimentation is needed until you find what works for you.
Deep fry this stuffed disc in hot oil on medium heat until it is golden-brown on both sides. Repeat until you run of the stuffing and the dough.
Note that while rolling out the dough we do not use loose flour to dust the dough. Instead, we use a little oil to grease this rolling surface so that the dough wont stick to the surface.
You can serve these as appetisers or snacks or a meal. Usual accompaniments are pickles or/and chutnies (corriander, mint, tamarind, 'saunth'....anything goes). Kachori's are also great as a picnic or travel food--easy to pack, taste good even when cold and do not need too many accompaniments to go along. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.