Try making these lentil-filled snacks. A popular street-food in India, they're perfect for entertaining or as an afternoon pick-me-up
- Serves: 10 persons
- 300g plain flour
- 2tbsp ghee
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 1tsp ajwain seeds
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 2tsp fennel seeds
- 1tsp coriander seeds
- 100g moong lentils , soaked overnight
- 100g urid lentils , soaked overnight
- 2green chillies , one slit lengthways and one finely chopped
- 1tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1tbsp ghee
- 4tbsp gram flour
- 2tbsp grated ginger
- ½tsp ground turmeric
- ¼tsp asafoetida
- 1tsp sugar
- 1tsp garam masala
- oil , for deep-frying
Step 1To make the dough, mix the flour and ½ tsp salt in a medium bowl. Add the ghee, oil, ajwain seeds and a small amount of lukewarm water. Keep mixing and gradually adding up to 150ml water, until a soft dough forms with no flour remaining on your hands. Knead the dough on a clean surface. Make into a ball, put into a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 1 hr in a warm place.
Step 2For the filling, toast the cumin seeds, 1 tsp of the fennel seeds and coriander seeds in a small dry frying pan for 3-4 mins. Leave to cool, then in a coffee or spice grinder, grind the whole spices to a fine powder and set aside.
Step 3Put the soaked and drained lentils, the slit green chilli and 8 tbsp of water in a small food processor. Blitz the lentils in short bursts to make a coarse paste. Some of the lentils can stay whole to give texture.
Step 4Heat the rapeseed oil and ghee in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tsp fennel seeds and cook for 1 min to allow the aroma to release. Stir in the gram flour – it needs to be roasted to get rid of the raw smell. Cook on a low heat for 5 mins, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn. Stir in the lentil mixture and mix well to ensure there are no lumps. Tip in the ginger, chopped green chilli, turmeric, asafoetida, 1½ tsp salt, the sugar, 1 tsp of the spice powder you prepared earlier and the garam masala. Mix well and cook for 2-3 mins until the water has evaporated. The lentil filling should be dry and thick. Take off heat and allow to cool.
Step 5To make the kachori, divide the rested dough into 10 equal portions and roll each one into a ball. Take a ball of dough and flatten with both palms into a flat circle, then by pressing your thumb against the ends, to make it thinner and larger in size. Put in the cup of your palm, so the dough takes that shape and fill with 1 tbsp of cooled filling.
Step 6Bring the sides of the dough to the centre and pinch the ends to seal (try not to pinch too much of the dough together or that end will be too doughy). Repeat the process for 10 portions.
Step 7Heat a wok or karai half-filled with oil over a high heat and bring to 180C or until a piece of the dough dropped in sizzles immediately. Carefully lower in a few of the kachori and continue to cook in batches for 4 mins each time until browned. Remove using a slotted spoon and put on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain. Serve immediately with your choice of sauces or chutney (we used coriander relish) and hot masala tea, if you like.