Puris (or pooris) are a delicious deep-fried Indian bread commonly eaten throughout the India sub-continent. Puris are enjoyed throughout India & are eaten particularly on festive occasions & holidays. Now stuffed puris are known as kachoris & can be made with a variety of different vegetarian fillings. Regardless of the filling, kachoris are always a huge favorite among both kids & adults alike. For this particular recipe, I have decided to use tender petite green peas ☺. My tasty Mattar Kachori can be eaten for breakfast or as a light snack or meal & are especially great for picnics since they travel well.
MATTAR KACHORI (Green Pea Stuffed Puri)
2 cups whole wheat flour (atta)
pinch of salt to taste
water, as needed
a few tbsp of all-purpose flour, as needed
vegetable or peanut oil for deep frying
For the Green Pea Filling
1 cup petite green peas (thaw if frozen & drain well)
1 small onion, finely minced
2-3 small green Thai chilies, finely minced (to taste)
½” piece of ginger, peeled & finely grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp fennel seeds
2 green cardamom pods, gently crushed
½” cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tsp amchur (dried mango) powder
½ tsp garam masala
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp cilantro leaves, finely minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour & the salt. Mix together & slowly add the water while kneading until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is sticky, just add a little all-purpose flour. Now roll the dough into a round ball & spread the top lightly with a little oil. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel & set aside until needed (or at least 30 minutes).
In a small dry skillet on medium heat, gently toast the cumin seeds along with the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, green cardamom pods, cinnamon stick & cloves until lightly browned and fragrant. Using a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder), grind the whole spices into a fine powder & set aside until needed.
In a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onions – cook until translucent & softened. Next, add in the green chilies & ginger. Let cook for a couple of minutes & then add in the red chili powder, amchur powder, garam masala & freshly ground spices. Remember to season with salt & pepper. Keep stirring & let cook until you have a fairly dry mixture – any liquid should be completely evaporated. The green peas should be completely tender. Remove the skillet from the heat, allow to cool & then lightly mash the green pea mixture using the back of a large wooden spoon. Personally, I like a coarse mash with a little texture. Set aside until needed.
Using a clean work surface sprinkled with some all-purpose flour, gently knead the puri dough & divide it equally into round balls (roughly ping pong ball size). At this point, you can use a puri machine (similar to a tortilla press) or a rolling pin to make the puris. Roll them out evenly into round circles (4-5 inches in diameter). Next, add about one tbsp of the cooled green pea filling to the center of your puri. Then carefully gather up the sides sealing them together & forming a ball. Gently pat into a flattened disc using your palms & gently roll out into a circle about 4-5” in diameter. If it tears, don’t worry - just pinch it together & patch it up.
*Alternatively, you could roll out 2 separate puris. Then evenly spread a little of the cooled filling on top of one puri, place the other directly on top. Now pinch the edges together to form a tight seal and roll out the edges so they are smooth & seamless.
Heat a deep skillet with enough oil to deep fry. When hot, carefully add the puris (2-3 at a time) & fry until golden brown. You may need to fry them in batches. Drain well & serve immediately with your favorite chutneys, pickles & yogurt. Dal puris are also traditionally eaten with a spicy potato curry.
Try making these puris/kachoris using tender petite corn kernels instead of green peas to make delicious Makki ki Kachoris ☺. Or Edamame Kachoris! However for a smoother corn filling, it is much easier to grind the corn into a coarse paste using very little water. Then proceed with the recipe as directed above although the cooking time of the corn will vary. Or try making some Edamame Kachoris!