Aalu ki kachori

Whenever at my parent’s house my maternal uncles used to visit us, my mother used to prepare proper UP (Uttar Pradesh) style food. There will be poori, dry potatoes veggie (which used to look like pickle because of extra oil and extra spices) one curry, curd with sugar or boondi ka raita and aalu ki kachori….. and sweet – that my uncles always used to bring, so mother never bothered to prepare.

This whole food served in steel thali (big size plate with edges) used to look so delicious that I always used to think that uncle’s visit should be more often ūüėč.

Among this whole platter my favorite used to be ‘aalu ki kachori’. I have never tasted such wonderful kachori in any restaurant till now.

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Before marriage I had never attempted to prepare them independently, actually I never dared to do, because I didn’t want to go through a disastrous attempt. But after marriage as we all do many experiments with food in kitchen, I too tried kachori. Taste was very good but a few of them tore and potato filling came out during frying.

Slowly over the years I continued making them and proudly can say that now I can fry every single kachori in perfect shape!!!!!!

Mother’s recipes and tips are always perfect despite the fact that they used to prepare everything with their guess work!!

 

Ingredients

For preparing dough….

Wheat flour 2+1/2 cups
Salt 3/4 tsp
Carom seeds 1 tsp
Oil 2 +1/2 tbsp
Rava 1+1/2 tbsp (optional)
Water 1 cup +1/4 cup

Potato masala :

Boiled Potatoes
Dry mango powder, garam masala, salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida, chopped green chillies, finely chopped green coriander leaves(optional) and grated ginger(optional).

Oil, to fry

Tips :

1.   We have to knead slightly loose dough than our regular chapati dough. Loose dough will be easy to roll with stuffed potato mix.

2.   If you are feeling that the quantity of water is making dough very loose, then you can reduce some amount of water.

3.¬† ¬†Adding rava adds extra crunch to kachori¬† but if you don’t have, comfortably leave it.

4.   Make sure that coriander leaves have no water in them, otherwise potato mix will be soggy and it will make rolling difficult. Also, mix will seep out while rolling and frying.

5.  After boiling, keep potatoes in a strainer for some time so that all water drains out. Soggy boiled potatoes are not good for filling.

6.  Do not prepare potato mixture 2-3 hours in advance. Salt in mixture will turn it soggy.

7.  If you are preparing kachori first time, fry one kachori at a time, gain confidence and slowly you can do 2-3 at a time.

Process:

Take wheat flour, salt, carom seeds, rava in a broad pan to prepare the dough. Add oil and mix everything together.

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Now start adding water to knead and prepare slightly loose dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and keep it aside.

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Peel and mash potatoes and add all spices as per your taste along with chopped green chillies, coriander leaves and grated ginger. Mix everything together and potato mix is ready.

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Start heating oil in a deep pan. During the time oil is getting hot we can start the preparation of filling and rolling kachori.

Take some amount of dough and prepare it like a smooth ball between your palms and roll it little bit with the help of rolling pin . If dough is sticky, use oil to grease your palms and at rolling surface.

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Now add small amount of potato mix on the slightly rolled dough.

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From the edges start collecting the dough with your fingers, bring it at the center, close it and pat it down lightly.

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If required, again grease rolling surfer with oil and very gently roll stuffed dough carefully and evenly from all sides. Evenly rolled kachori will puff up nicely. Be careful that potato mix should not come out while rolling.

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By now oil is hot enough for frying. Make sure that oil is not very hot¬† otherwise kachori will remain raw from inside. You can check the right temperature of oil by putting a tiny piece of dough in it. If it sinks in the bottom of the pan, oil is not hot enough to fry. If dough becomes brown immediately after adding into the oil , it’s too hot. With experience you will learn!!

Now gently slip kachori from the side of the pan and fry it by turning upside down gently a couple of times till it becomes brown and crisp.

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Sometimes while frying kachori might open up and stuffing can seep out. It happens if you have rolled kachori very thin or it is overstuffed with potato mixture. Don’t panic, take out that damaged kachori and all that stuffing which is floating on oil with laddle and continue frying the rest of the kachoris.

Serve hot kachoris with your choice of chutney, sauce or dips!!

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Pyaaz ke pakode(crispy onion bhajji)

Pyaaj ke karare pakode
(crispy onion bhajji)

I have a very interesting story regarding how I learned to prepare these crispy onion bhajji!!! In North India “bhajji” word is not used. You prepare bhajji with potatoes, onion, green chillies or cauliflower…. the word is “pakoda.”

After my marriage I came to Chennai and here I got introduced to the word bhajji. After 10 months staying in Chennai we went to Jamaica. There was an Indian restaurant named Akbar. As an appetizer onion bhajji used to be served. It used to be less oily, and unlike onion pakode, crispy fried slices of onion wrapped with less flour used to be served. We used to enjoy them thoroughly and I always wondered how do they manage to use such less flour and have every slice separate without getting stuck with each other. I tried to replicate at home but failed miserably.

Three years later when when we were settled down in Bangalore, Manish and I were watching Sanjeev Kapoor’s show on TV and there he was cooking the same onion bhajji!!! We both jumped with joy to see the whole process and next weekend this onion bhajji was part of our breakfast!!!!
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Ingredients :
Onions
Oil for frying
Gram flour
salt

Process :
Peel onions and wash them nicely. Chop them vertically in long stripes.
You really need to chop a lot of onions here so take help from your family members…
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Add salt as per your taste in these chopped onion and mix nicely. Now let these salted onions rest for 20-30 minutes.

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During this resting period salt will melt and onions will be wet.

Now start sprinkling gram flour (besan) 1 tbsp at a time on these wet salty onion. We are not going to add water here, so use that much gram flour only which gets mixed with wet onions.

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Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the onion and besan mix. As there is less flour wrapped around onions, bhajjis wouldn’t absorb much oil during frying.

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Serve hot onion bhajji with your choice of chutney or sauce!!!

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Murrukku

During Deepawali or Holi festival my mother used to prepare namakpara, shakkarpara and two three varieties of sev and mixture. But after marriage I came to Chennai and later shifted to Bangalore. Here I heard a complete new name for savoury snack as, “Murukku” and it tasted really good.

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I asked someone (can’t remember who it was) for the recipe and it was such a lengthy process that I gave up any idea of trying this. Later, we shifted to our own house in an apartment complex. Here once again I heard about the recipe of Murrukku and it was very easy to follow. Actually, my apartment friend Ashwini had introduced this recipe. She herself is an amazing cook and believes a lot in healthy cooking. But this recipe was made popular in our apartment by Sunitha, a nice hearted person who also prepares the best melt-in-mouth mysore pak (but that story is for another day). Since then whether it is Deepawali or Holi, I never miss preparing Murukku….

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Ingredients :
White urad daal 250 gm
Rice flour 500gm
Salt 3tsp
Butter/ghee 3 – 4 tbsp
Asafoetida 1/8tsp
Water 1+1/2 cup (for boiling daal)
Cumin seeds (jeera) 4tsp
Oil to fry
Process :
Nicely wash urad daal twice and soak it for an hour.

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After an hour use same water and boil urad daal nicely in pressure cooker.

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Daal should be boiled till it is completely soft and then grind it in mixer without adding extra water. But if it is too thick and it is difficult to grind then add some water. Grind it till daal resembles a paste.

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Take it out in a pan and add rice flour, salt, jeera, asafoetida and butter.

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Mix everything together and give it a shape of smooth dough. If mixture is dry and difficult to shape as dough, add some water.

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This is murukku making mould.

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But without this also murrukku can be prepared. Make a lemon size ball from the doug, roll it on oil greased  kitchen counter and shape that as murukku.

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Heat oil in a pan and when oil is getting hot, start preparing murrukku and keep them on butter paper or on clean kitchen platform.

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Fry murukku on medium to sim heat.

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Take them out when they turn light brown and let them cool. Once cooled, fill in an air tight container. Enjoy your evening tea with crispy murrukku.

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