Monday, January 5, 2009

Khasta Kachori

The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star. - Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

It was the mid of 2008 when for the first time after getting married I was going to visit my father-in-law at his current workplace. My f-i-l is a Colonel in the Indian Army and keeps moving around the whole country.

As a child I had always fancied joining the army...but fate had other plans for me. However, I was and still am impressed by those who throw caution to the wind, wear their hearts on their sleeves and fight for their motherland-army,navy,air force (all inclusive). It must a different kind of a high I guess.
I respect and admire the courage of a soul who wishes to dedicate his/her entire life in the service of his/her nation.

Although I have had several (treasured) oppurtunities to visit my friends in the army residences and club grounds in the military restricted zones, in Kolkata. I never have actually stayed (I mean overnight or long stay) within the army grounds/periphery.

This was a very much looked-forward-to stay for me. It was in Jaamnagar, Gujarat.(West India)
Right from the time I set foot on those 'awe-filled' grounds, I couldn't help but be amazed at the chivalry and manners of the people there,which are unparalleled. I met various officers of different ranks and grades and also tuned my fine dining habits a bit. :p

(Who knew that you had to keep your fork and knife at a certain angle to each other for the waiting bearer, to indicate that you are done eating. Thanks to my hub it was a saving grace.)

Its like being transported into a different world..very idealistic and self sufficient. The kitchen chefs even grew their own vegetables. I could rant on and on about my stay but then I would digress.

This was the place where I tasted the best Khasta Kachori (and packed a few for our return journey). I love a lot of delicacies that Kolkata has to offer, but khasta kachori isn't one of them. It is very heavy and has a residual taste.

However the ones I had in Jaamnagar were just perfect. Not heavy, but light and crsipy. A "re-discovery" of this delish snack.
I tried duplicating them here for the first time, and it turned out impeccable (but I shall not be the valedictorian). Try for yourselves. :)

(Deep-fried crispy pastry filled with savoury lentils)

For filling-
1 cup green mung dal/green gram,soaked for 4 hours
2 tbsp split black lentils/urad dal,soaked for 4 hours
1 tsp carom seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1 pinch aesfotida
2 tsp amchur powder/dried mango powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
3 tsps sugar
salt to taste

For pastry dough-
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp clarified butter/oil
a pinch of salt
lukewarm water for kneading dough
oil for deep frying

Boil the lentils half way cooked. Drain and cool.
In a food processor add the green and black lentils, and blend to a coarse paste.
In a pan heat a tbsp of oil and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter add ginger-garlic paste,aesfotida,turmeric,fennel seeds,amchur powder,red chilli powder and sugar.Mix well.
Add the ground lentils. Season with salt to taste.
Cook this mixture for about a miunte, so that there is no trace of any moisture in the filling.

In another bowl, take the flour, rice flour and add salt & clarified butter. Mix together to form a crumbly dough like that of a short crust pastry. Using water knead into a soft pliable dough.Let it rest for few minutes.

Pinch out a ping-pong ball sized dough and spread out on a flat surface with your fingers to form a small disc of say 2" in diameter. Add spoonful of the prepared filling, hold the edges together and join them with your hand, pull it out with your index finger and thumb.Pinch out the extra dough and roll the ball slightly between your hands.
Do the same with the rest of the dough.

Deep-fry the filled dough-balls in a wok of relatively hot oil (not smoking hot), on a medium flame, for about 4-5 minutes, until the kachori gets a nice light golden color.

Tip: Once out of the oil, the kachoris will darken in colour so take care not to over fry them.

Serve the crispy kachoris with imli/tamarind chutney or ketchup at tea-time with some tea/coffee. (Skip the scones and try these for a change!)

N.B. The best thing about this dish is that it is versatile. Infact almost all regions of the country(India) have their own version of the khasta kachori. The 'way' it is prepared remains the same. However, the 'ingredients' can be as little as four-five (basic ones being- lentils, sugar, salt, cumin, turmeric, chilli) or as many as listed above. It depends on personal tastes.

I share this with Sudeshna (of HereICook) for her Harvest- the festival of rice.

It also goes to Susan (of the Well Seasoned Cook) for her My Legume Affair- 7th helping hosted by Srivalli this time.

Now this dish goes in the very long-and-still-going-strong challenge--the Weekend Cookbook #36 challenge. (phew!) hosted by Sara.

And to FIC-Yellow hosted by Harini a.k.a. Sunshinemom.

I send this over to Lore(of Culinarty) for her Original recipe event.

And to Ruth for her Bookmarked Recipes.


  1. Thanks for participating in teh event.I presume it was a great experience to stay at a military base. As a child I used to hate the lives of army and policemen (cause my father is in Indian Police service, and he always stay out of home). But now I started loving the honour and rspect of the job.

  2. Jamnagar is my birthplace and I love those kachoris. I wish I could have some now. I must make me those good eats.

  3. tui kothai???????

    these kochuris are lovely!!!!! as usaul..great pictures too....:-)

  4. Looks crispy , i never tried this..prefect entry for all the events u have send for n very clever too..

  5. Delicious Kachori !!!
    In Gujarat We are very much fond of eating Kachori and Samosa with various types of home made chutanies.

    Naval Langa

  6. This looks amazing, I have never had the opportunity but friend dough, and lentils.. very savory.. Something I would LOVE to try someday soon!

  7. Yum I adore Indian food but I've never tried these. Thanks for sharing the recipe for them :)

  8. Looks fantastic, has turned out perfectly, great job Navita!

  9. Wow... U have a wonderful blog here... Kachoris looks delicious! Never tried making them at home. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  10. Hi Navitha..Thanks for dropping by...Kachori look delicious and tempting :)

  11. Thank you for the crispy, yummy kachoris, Navita! My Dad was in the Defence too (Not in the force but in admin). I always loved watching the training sessions in the morning on way to school and like you said - yes, dining the right way was terribly important, also many other things like a certain way to answer the phone etc.! My husband still finds some things hilarious:)

  12. I had always wanted to join the INA too!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and for dropping by my blog :)

  13. Thanks for the entry Navita..can you pls edit to make it 7th helping..thanks

  14. Looks tasty ur kachori, I ve only tasted once. U ve a great blog!

  15. Your khasta kachoris look fabulous. There's no way in heck I could make them though. They're way toooooo difficult for me.

  16. Those look delicious! Sounds like a great experience for you...:)

  17. Hi Navita, kachoris looks yummy! nice write up there, loved reading through

  18. kachoris looks awesome.. nice pics. i have had in chaat places..but never made.

  19. u hve nice blog,..i think i will be bck soon,...:-)

  20. Thank you so much guys..but I must add that these are easy to make...they only look as if they are difficult. Trust me on this one.

  21. LOL! MY fine dining skills suck! I am a true Indian girl! Ha ha ha.

  22. The kachoris look yummy! I'm particularly interested in your pastry dough recipe :) Your visit to your father in law's sounds great!

  23. these look perfect - wow! the pastry dough looks delicious. thanks for stopping back my blog btw...i'm adding you to my reader :)

  24. Lovely and perfect.Mouthwatering kachoris.I too find them heavy,will try this version and see.Perfect entry.

  25. thanks for visiting my blog. I am glad you found it interesting enough to read. You are on my fav. food blog list so u will hear from me every now and again. take care. peace.

  26. Hmmm...I would try one of those...perhaps more than one even. :o) Looks great!

  27. They're lucky they can grow their own veggies, nothing can buy that!
    The katchoris look delicious and that mango powder is certainly the most intriguing ingredient, I've never heard of that one before :).
    Thanks for sharing them with the Original Recipes Round-Up!

  28. I've only had this once...packed with spices and full of wonderful flavours. Would love to try again!

  29. Got some left...I'm coming over. YUM!!

  30. Those are the best kachoris I have ever seen. Now u have to come & give me some:-0 Really!

  31. Your kachoris turned out so beautifully! We don't have an Indian grocer in our town, so I'll have to see if I can hunt down carom and aesfotida (I'll have to look them up first to see what they are) before we can attempt it. :)

  32. How funny. My father-in-law also used to be in the RAF (UK's Royal Air Force). While I can appreciate people dedicating themselves to their country, it's not for me. Too much discipline and rigidness! :-)

    Interesting looking thingies you have there...(pardon me, I don't know Indian cooking very well).

  33. arrey wahhh!!!!!!!!
    I never knew they are something that a beginner like me also can try!Umm there is lot 2 learn for me!
    Thanks for the lively narration of recipe :)
    Got here thru Google reader recommendations...and am glad i did!

  34. Hi! First timer at your blog!
    The kachoris look YUMMY!
    Will definitely give the a try.
    You've made them sound so simple in your recipe

  35. Hi,

    can I just ask what do you mean by half-way cook the lentils? How long exactly? Thanks a lot

  36. Mouthwatering...........

  37. Beautiful pictures! Mouth watering recipe.....
    Keep it up!

  38. this recipe is fantastic , flawless,,,,,,, u can t leave without having it,,,, must try,,,,,,


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