Last Minute Kachori for ICC

Seriously guys, what is it about a family wedding that can throw your life so out of gear.
I went home to Kerala for just 4 days for a cousins wedding. But it was 4 days of pure frenzied madness. I can’t really pinpoint what it was that has me feeling so distraught! Was it the fact that my baby cousin actually got married ( I felt sooo OLD), or was it the awful heat of Cochin coupled with the outrageous amount of jewelry I was made to wear,
or was it the million comments I had to hear about my weight( ranging from aunts asking if I was pregnant; to cousins asking me if I had balloons hidden under my clothes. One man(may he have a thousand sleepless nights….even asked me if the Himalayas have moved to Cochin!
All my excuses of thyroid related weight gain were met with incredulous looks! Anyway I am so glad to be back home in Goa………

Kachori- Fried Indian Snack


Kachori…forgive my poori-like horrible picture (it was taken just an hour before we left) but I must tell you these fried snacks were delicious ( I know what you are thinking…NO I just had a bite..a teeny weeny bite…)My kids LOVED them and I will definitely try them with different fillings sometime later…so here’s the recipe I used…

First make the dough:
Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour/Maida – 2cups
Oil/ Ghee – 1/4cup
Salt – 1/2tsp
Water for kneading

Method:

* Mix the flour and salt, Add the oil/ghee and mix till you get a bread crumbs texture.
* Slowly add water and make a soft dough. Knead well for about 8 minutes.
* Cover and keep aside to rest for atleast half hour.

Special Tips / Notes for the dough:

* Keep the dough covered at all times, if not it will dry up and not puff up when frying. If the dough is made right wet cloth can be used if not just a towel.
* The dough could spring back for many reasons:
* Dough is too cold (If wet cloth is used)
* Dough is not soft enough.
* Not kneaded for enough time.
* Oil is less.
* Not rested enough.

For the onion filling:
Onions – 2 cups
Nigella Seeds (Kalongi) – 2tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) – 2tsp
Bay leaves – 2
Green chillies – 1 1/2tsp finely chopped
Bengal gram flour (besan) – 2tbsp
Coriander (dhania) powder – 2tsp
Chili powder – 2tsp
Garam masala – 1tsp
Coriander leaves – 3tbsp, finely chopped
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste

Method:

* Heat the oil in a pan. Add the nigella seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves, green chillies and onions and sauté till the onions turn light brown in color.
* Add the gram flour, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
* Add the chopped coriander and mix well. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
* Divide into 12 equal portions and keep aside.

Assembling the Kachoris:

* Make a small ball from the dough. Roll out into a 2 inch diameter circle. Or flatten the ball using your fingers having the center thick and sides little thin.
* Place about 1.5 tsp of the filling in the center of the rolled dough.
* Cover the filling with the dough by slowly stretching it over the filling. Seal the ends and remove excess dough. Repeat with all the balls and keep aside for 5 -7 mins.
* Then using your palm, flatten the balls by lightly pressing it, as using the rolling pin will make the filling come out. (See notes below). Keep aside covered. Repeat with the remaining dough.
* Meanwhile heat some oil for deep frying. The oil should not become smoking hot. Test to see if the temperature is right by dropping a tiny ball of dough and see if it is rising slowly to the top.
* Drop the kachoris in batches of 3-4 gently into the oil. It should rise up slowly. If you don’t want to use lot of oil, use just enough for two or three at a time and fry them.
* After it rises up (about 2 minutes), turn it over.
* Cook for about 6 to 10 minutes till the side down gets a golden brown color.
* Turn and cook the other side for another 6 minutes or till its golden brown in color.
* Remove when done, cool and store in airtight container.
* Serve with coriander chutney and tamarind chutney

Special Tips / Notes for making the Kachoris:

* You can fry 3 kachori’s at a time.
* The oil should be at a heat when you drop some dough it should come up slowly, if the dough comes up too fast the oil is too hot, if it does not come up then the oil is cold.
* It will not be crisp if the oil is too hot.

Moong Dal Halwa for ICC

I should have atleast looked online for some pics of this delicious Indian Sweet; to tell you the truth I had NO idea what this was even supposed to look like or even heard of it until Srivalli announced this months ICC recipe.

I followed the recipe using milk instead of Khoya but I guess I should have fried the dal for a lot longer as it looks drier as compared to the pics on Google…also I reduced the ghee a bit…maybe that’s why…

But still I have only this to say…IT WAS JUST MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH-DELICIOUS!!!!!!

Ingredients
Split (Yellow) Moong dhal – 1 cup
Ghee – 1/2 cup
Sugar – 3/4 cups to 1 cup (as per required sweetness)
Milk – 1/2 cup (Notes from Lataji – instead of water for the sugar, this gives the khoya added taste, Simran’s recipe asked for water)
Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.

Method to Prepare:

Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind to a paste.

Heat a heavy Kadai, take initially only 1/2 of the ghee and heat it.

Add the dhal and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky as the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.

Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick.

Add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.

Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.

Keep the fir low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.

Cook until the ghee surfaces.

Garnish with cashews and raisins.

Notes :

* Use a thick bottom pan or better nonstick pan
* Don’t leave the halwa unattended. The dal can stick and it can go from just done to burnt in a second so keep stirring as much as possible. You should remember to keep stirring to prevent dhal from sticking irrespective of the ghee added.
* You aren’t looking for the halwa to get too thick when you turn off the heat. It was thicken as it cools.
* Cook until ghee surfaces on the sides and the halwa attains a very nice shine.
* Initially, it may appear that all the ghee is being used up. But as the dhal cooks the ghee separates. So the ghee measure is sufficient.
* In both recipes depending on how you got the moong dal paste, you may require slightly more ghee to get the texture
* Though original recipe didn’t call for roasting the dhal before soaking, Lataji felt roasting it a bit gives more fragrance.

Also a special Thank You to Lathaji and Simran’s Mom for recipe inputs.

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