Kachoris & Kingfisher Beer
Together with Kingfisher Beer, we're supporting National Curry Week, but rather than dish up the usual 'curry suspects' we're on a mission to explore India's terrain and how it's shaped the food from it serves. In the series we're heaindg to the snowy mountains and lakes of Kashmir to desert kingdoms and the hustle and bustle of cities to coastal paradise and lush jungles…it’s the Real Taste Of India.
For this recipe, we're heading to the urban hustle of Delhi and its' streetfood. During the partition of India and Pakistan, a large number of Punjabi’s came and settled in Delhi. They brought in their hearty fare. As refugee Punjabis settled on the roadsides they set up their make-shift kitchens known as Dabas. They grew in popularity because of their ‘fast food’ cooked in communal tandoors, tandoori kebabs, breads, and quick delicious stuffed breads such as Aloo Ka Parathas (Indian griddle breads stuffed with spiced potatoes) and kachoris, lentil puffed bread eaten on the go. Delhi is home to Indian streetfood eaten by a heaving wave of humanity whose tides wash in and out of streetfood bazaars.
These little puffed bread parcels pack an impressive spice punch. They articulate the rhythm of streetfood culture found across the Indian subcontinent, the fillings can vary from crushed spiced peas, chilli soaked potatoes or this whole spice lentil smash. The trick is to fry them over a low to medium heat making sure the dough is cooked all the way through and you end up with a crispy texture filled with fire cracking lentils.
How To Make Kachoris
- 300g Plain White or Wholemeal flour
- 60ml Olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 150ml water for kneading
Using a large bowl, tip in the flour, glug in the oil and dust in the salt. Mix thoroughly you’ll end up with a crumbly mix, now pour in the water incrementally, mixing all the time until you have stiff dough. Remove from the bowl and knead it on a floured surface for 10 minutes until it’s reached a dry elasticity. Pop it back into the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave for an hour.
For the lentil filling
- 200g of mixed lentils
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 80ml veg or rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Dash of salt to season
Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the pre-cooked lentils, drop into a blender and pulse with the olive oil until roughly smashed.
Heat a small frying pan with 2tbs of the veg oil and drop in the seeds until they cough and splutter, now tip in the lentils and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes and dust in the garam masala and chilli, frying for a further 10 minutes over a low heat until the lentil smash stops sticking to the pan. Leave to cool.
Return to the dough and tear off golf ball sized portions and form them into little spheres. You should end up with 12-14. Using the ball of your palm gently push down on the dough flattening them so that they spread to the size of a beer mat.
Take a teaspoon of the dry lentil mix and place in the middle of the dough round. Fold up the edges of the dough around the lentils to form a pinched parcel, sealing the contents thoroughly and once again gently flatten to a disc shape using the ball of your palm. Repeat until you have a fleet of lentil patties.
Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan over a high heat until the oil smokes, turn down to a low medium temperature and fry the kachoris on each side for 3-4 minutes until they’ve turned a gorgeous caramel colour. Serve with brown sauce.