Jun 25, 2012

Rajasthani Pyaaz Ki Kachori - I Love My India Series

Continuing my exploration into famous tastes of Rajasthan in the I Love My India Series, today's feature is Pyaaz Ki Kachori aka Onion Kachoris.

There's this feeling I go through when I prepare foods like this kachori. Initially, because its a new dish that I haven't prepared before, the whole thing its intimidating. Then, I sit down, look at it objectively and go through the steps in my head - trying to compartmentalize it and break it down into smaller steps. Which makes it easier in my head. Good progress. And then I procrastinate for a while. Don't we all anyway? Just say yes and make me feel good. I know the truth. Then one day, I finally get to it - there's the food excitement brewing in my head now. And when I start the cooking, the fun kicks in. There's light at the end of this tunnel. I see it now. 

Shaping up these kachoris is a pretty thing. Like frosting a cupcake. Your heart wants to do it. And it brings joy when you see a perfectly fried kachori ..one that does not split open in the middle of frying...one that does not turn black while frying because you walked away to catch up on facebook...and one that does not limp and become an oily mess after it has been fried. Like I said, a perfect kachori brings joy. And so does losing 20 lbs in 3 months - but we'll talk about it when that happens too.

The most fun part of this recipe is all the exotic ingredients that go into it. I thought it would be easier to just show it to you rather than list it all here. So here I go yearbook style..

Top row has crushed coriander, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom.
Middle row has Poppy seeds, chopped garlic, chopped ginger and chopped green chilli (well, orange ones too)
Bottom row has saunf, ajwain and white sesame seeds.
Phew. I know. Is this not fun? Its like these little pieces of sparkle that go into the filling...take one bite at the final product and there's nothing but a great firework in your mouth. 

In a pan, add about 1-2 tsps of oil. When oil it hot, add all the spices above except the sesame seeds. Saute for a min.

Then, add about 2-3 cups of finely chopped onions and fry till they turn pink. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder and a pinch of asofoetida.

In a small bowl, take about 1/2 cup besan. Add pinch of salt, pinch of turmeric powder and some red chilli powder for a kick. Add water to this and make into a paste without any lumps.

When the onions are cooked, add the besan paste and mix well.

Cook this for about 5-8 mins until the raw smell of the besan is gone.

Add finely chopped cilantro and mix well.

Finally add the white sesame seeds and mix well.

The filling for the kachoris is ready. I think one of these days I'm just going to make this as a side dish for rotis.

Now on to the kachori covers. My kitchenaid of late has become my trusted lieutenant in the kitchen - I seem to use it almost everyday and many times its not been for baking. I use it regularly for roti atta and just about any paratha - its a breeze with this. I just dump atta in this and throw in all the other ingredients and in a couple of mins, my parathas are cooking on the tawa.

For the kachori dough, add about 2 cups maida, 1/4 cup butter (that's half a stick), and salt to taste. You could also use ghee instead of butter if that's easily available.

Add water little by little to make a soft dough. If you are mixing by hand, mix up all the butter well with the flour and then add water little at a time until you can knead into a soft dough.

So this is how a little ball of dough turns into a pretty kachori.

Here are a few ready for their oil bath.

Fry the kachori is hot oil but make sure the flame is in medium - the dough has to cook fully and turn golden.

Drain on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

Serve them hot. If you are storing them, use a oven toaster for reheating or you could also use a tawa. Don't microwave to heat - that will just make it soggy. 

And now I'll just stop talking and let you all enjoy this. Go ahead, grab a bite.

Click here for a printable recipe for this post. 

Click here for more I Love My India: Rajasthan recipes. 

Enjoy. Peace Out!