We love our festivals don’t we? Whether it is the Festival of Lights ‘Diwali’ or the festival of colors ‘Holi’ we celebrate them with the equal fervor. Indian movies have songs centering around the Holi festivities and one could not help but being caught up in the madness.
Like everyone else my brother and I loved playing Holi when we were young. The lure of the colors, hiding in corners waiting for some unsuspecting soul to walk by before you scared the daylights out of them with water Balloons and colors was just too exciting. We would roam the streets of our neighborhood chanting “Holi hai bhai Holi hai, bura na mano holi hai”, which effectively meant “Don’t get offended because it is Holi”.
Our grandfather would spoil us by giving us an allowance to buy some water pistols, colors (Gulal) and balloons, and we would spend the night filling the Balloons with colored water to go and play with our friends. No one was spared from the wrath of our water pistols and we would come home drenched in the weirdest of colors to our mothers dismay.
And, after all, the madness we as a family would sit together and eat “Khastha kachoris with that Khate Aloo” (Indian styled stuffed flaky pasties with tangy potato curry) and then just watch an excellent movie and sleep. The Kachoris was a family favorite, especially my Grandpa’s and my mother would frequently make them for him.
Khastha actually means flaky and they are India’s answer too the western flaky pasties. Stuffed with a very delicious ‘Moong Dal’ filling the Kachoris melt in your mouth and are a treat that were the highlight of Holi.
And what should I saw about the Khate Aloo? if I had to marry a curry it will be this aloo curry. I cannot tell you how it tastes because you have to eat this mind blowing Tomato and Potato goodness to understand why I speak so highly of it. Below are the recipes for both the dishes for you, trust me you will love them.
Recipe for the Kachori (Makes 12)
For the Dough
2 cups Plain flour
¼ cup melted Ghee
½ tsp Salt
Vegetable Oil to deep fry the Kachoris when ready to cook.
Mix all the ingredients together to make a very soft dough. Add a little extra flour if you need but be very sparse with it.
For the filling
½ cup yellow moong dal (soaked for atleast 4 hours in cold water or for 1 hour in warm water)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tsp freshly grated Ginger
½ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp Amchur powder/chat masala
Salt to taste
1 tsp Salt
Drain all the water from the dal.
Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, Ginger, Green chilli and Asafoetida.
Add the Dal and all the masalas and mix well. Cook for 10 minutes on a low flame till the dal is nicely coated in all the masalas. Turn off the heat and let the dal cool completely.
Once the dal is cooled, grind it coarsely in a grinder to make the filling.
When ready to cook divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll out each portion of the dough into a circle of 50 mm. (2″) diameter.
Place one portion of the filling mixture in the center of the rolled dough circle.
Surround the filling mixture with the dough by slowly stretching it over the filling mixture.
Seal the ends tightly and remove any excess dough if necessary. Roll each filled portion into a circle of 62 mm. (2½”) diameter taking care to ensure that the filling does not spill out. Gently press the center of the Kachori with your thumb. You have to ensure that the dough doesn’t tear as the Kachoris can split while frying and completely fill your fry pan with the dal.
Deep fry on low heat in hot oil till golden brown on both sides. The Kachoris should puff up slowly like puris. These take a long time to cook as the crust is thick and need to be cooked on the inside also.
Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside. The Kachoris can be stored into air tight containers for 3 – 4 days. They go really well Tea as well.
For the Khatte Aloo
4 – 5 Large Potatoes, boiled until done and cut into chunks (you can leave the skin on if your wish)
1 Green chilli
4 medium Tomatoes blanched in hot water and then pureed
2 cloves Garlic chopped thinly
1 ½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Red Chilli powder (I added 1 ½ tsp)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
2 tsp Vegetable oil
A pinch of Asafoetida
Freshly chopped Coriander
Heat ol in a pan and add the cumin seeds, Garlic and Asafoetida.
Add the Tomato puree gently as it will splutter. Cover and cook for 10 minutes till the oil starts leaving the sides.
Add the Potatoes and all the masalas and green chillies and mix well. Cook for 10 minutes till the Potatoes are completely coated in the bright masalas.
Add 2 cups of hot water and gently simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes. I love this curry a little watery. If you find it is too watery for you, crush some of the Potatoes with a spatula in the curry, this will make it thick.
Sprinkle lots of freshly chopped Coriander and serve with the Kachoris.
PS: Kachori recipe courtesy : http://www.tarladalal.com/Khasta-Kachori-2815r