Moong Daal Kachori, those delectable fried flaky puff pastries generously filled with a paste of moong dal and an aromatic blend of spices, holds a special place in my heart. This snack is not just a personal favorite but also a celebrated street food icon in North India, particularly adored in regions like Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Now, you might be wondering, “What is Khasta Kachori?” Well, “Khasta” translates to crisp and flaky, and these kachoris live up to their name. They maintain their delightful crunch for an extended period. Typically, they are stuffed with soaked and coarsely ground moong dal (split mung beans) or urad dal (white lentil). I personally favor the moong dal variety for its exquisite flavor.
My fond memories of relishing Kachoris in India, often accompanied by my baby brother, bring a smile to my face. Even today, when I visit, I find myself indulging in these treats almost daily (let’s keep it our little secret). In my hometown of Ajmer, Rajasthan, these kachoris are served with a heavenly combination of spicy water and a chickpea-based curry.
My love for Kachoris has now been passed on to my daughter, who frequently requests me to prepare them. While I used to make them traditionally with all-purpose flour, I realized my husband was missing out, so I decided to experiment with different gluten-free flours. Once again, GF by Jules emerged as a winner, making it my top recommendation for first-time kachori makers. I’ve also had success with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 flour, but my preference still leans towards the former.
To savor these kachoris to the fullest, serve them with date and tamarind chutney, which you can easily find in Indian stores. Alternatively, enjoy them “chaat-style” by topping with yogurt, chopped onions, a dash of chaat masala, namkeen (savory snack mix), and an assortment of chutneys.
While the recipe may seem a bit demanding, the effort is absolutely worth it. Just follow the instructions carefully the first time, and I hope you give this recipe a try soon. Enjoy every bite
For the Dough:
- – 2 cups gluten-free 1-1 all-purpose flour
- – ½ teaspoon salt
- – ¼ cup olive oil
- – ½ cup water (adjust as needed)
For the Lentil Stuffing:
- – ½ cup moong dal (washed and soaked for 2 hours)
- – ½ tablespoon olive oil
- – ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- – ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- – ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- – ½ teaspoon dry ginger powder
- – 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- – 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
- – 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder) (adjust to taste)
For Deep Frying:
- – Oil (as needed)
Instructions for Preparing the Kachori Dough:
1. In a bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour (gluten-free) and salt, mixing them thoroughly.
2. Incorporate ¼ cup of olive oil into the flour mixture.
3. Using your fingertips, blend the oil with the flour until it resembles a breadcrumb-like texture.
4. Gradually add water in portions and knead the dough until it becomes soft and pliable.
5. Cover the dough with a damp muslin cloth or a wet paper towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Instructions for Making the Moong Dal Filling:
1. Begin by rinsing ½ cup of moong dal in a bowl. Soak the moong dal in an ample amount of water for 2 hours.
2. After soaking, drain all the water and transfer the soaked moong lentils to a food processor.
3. Grind the moong dal to a coarse mixture.
4. Heat a flat-bottomed pan and add ½ tablespoon of oil.
5. Once the oil is warm, reduce the heat to low.
6. Add each of the spice powders one at a time.
7. Maintain the flame at its lowest setting and mix the spices thoroughly, ensuring they do not burn.
8. Introduce the coarsely ground moong dal into the pan, along with salt and a pinch of asafetida.
9. On low heat, thoroughly combine all the ingredients.
10. Continuously sauté and stir for 3 to 4 minutes over low heat.
11. Taste the mixture and, if necessary, adjust the spice levels by adding more red chili powder, mango powder, or salt. Allow the mixture to cool.
12. Shape the moong dal mixture into small balls, optionally using a bit of oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Assembling the Kachoris:
1. After letting the dough rest for 30 minutes, gently knead it.
2. Shape the dough into a log, and then divide it into equal portions. Typically, you’ll have around 10 equal portions.
3. Take one of the dough pieces and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a 5-inch tortilla.
4. Place a ball of the moong dal stuffing onto the flattened dough.
5. Bring the edges of the dough together and seal them at the center, removing any excess dough.
6. Flatten the top of the kachori, and then use the rolling pin to gently create a kachori of medium thickness.
7. Be cautious not to break the kachoris while doing this.
8. Repeat this process to stuff and prepare all the kachoris.
9. Arrange the prepared kachoris on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil.
**Important Note:** To ensure that the gluten-free dough fries well and the kachoris don’t break, place the prepared kachoris on a baking dish and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. This will give them a nice crust, reducing the chances of breakage.
1. Retrieve the kachoris from the oven.
2. Begin by heating oil for frying, ensuring the flame is set to low.
3. Once the oil reaches the right temperature, carefully add the kachoris.
4. As the kachori starts to puff up, gently coax each one with a spoon to encourage proper puffing.
5. Once the base turns a light golden color, delicately flip them over. Frying typically takes about 7 to 9 minutes.
6. It’s essential to exercise patience while frying these kachoris.
7. Continue frying over low to low-medium heat until they attain a golden hue. You can turn them frequently to ensure even browning.
8. Adjust the temperature as needed, maintaining it between low and low-medium.
9. Fry them until they become golden and acquire a delightful crispness on the outside.
10. Place the moong dal khasta kachoris on kitchen paper towels to allow excess oil to be absorbed.
11. Follow the same frying process for all the kachoris.
12. Serve the kachoris while they are warm, accompanied by tamarind dates chutney and green chutney. For a delightful twist, you can create a chat by adding vegan yogurt, chopped onions, and namkeen on top.