A kachori is a delicious stuffed puri originally from Rajasthan but now commonly enjoyed throughout most of North India where it is often found as local street food. Rajasthan is India’s largest state & is located in the northwestern part of the country. The cuisine of Rajasthan is as varied & distinct as its inhabitants. From the royal dishes of the kingly Rajputs to the strict vegetarian dishes of the Marwaris, Rajasthani cuisine offers an endless variety of dishes to please every palate.
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!