The buzz is on – clean up home, shopping sprees, recipe collections for parties, Puja room decoration, and friends and family to invite over. It is the time of the year when you want everything to be just perfect.
With the beautiful oil filled Diyas and colorful candles spreading soft lights, the heart is filled with a beautiful warm glow. The colorful rangolis, thoran, flower garlands hanging outside the main door bring in joy and laughter. And then there are the sweets, new clothes for everyone, time to meet friends and neighbors and wish them a Happy Diwali.
The spirited activities build a momentum right after the Navratri Poojas are over and keep you on your toes right to the day of Diwali.
You begin to find stuff you have not used in a while, a forgotten dress, never worn before, suddenly surfaces from the deep dark shadows of the closet. The pantry and kitchen cleaning leaves you promising yourself never to buy so many new pots and pans ever again.
Yet, you secretly are aching for the new dress you have marked as yours for the Diwali day and the new pot or pan and a piece of new jewelery you must buy on Dhanteras. After all Diwali is a time of celebrating, cherishing friends and family, being thankful for gifts of life and a time to spread good cheer.
As with all festive activities, food is going to be a big part of the celebration. The cooking of special snacks and sweets begins early and in keeping with the true Diwali spirit, here is a recipe for Khasta Kachori.
Crispy Khasta kachori is just the thing to get your Diwali party started with! Not only does it look spectacular, it is flavorful and sets a sweet and spicy tone right at the beginning of the party.
- To make the outer covering:
- 1 C Maida or all purpose flour
- Salt to taste about ¼ tsp
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 Tbs fine suji semolina
- 6 – 7 Tbs ice cold water about 90 ml
- Oil for frying
- To make the filling
- ¼ C urad dal flour
- ½ tsp fennel powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp amchoor
- Pinch of asafoetida powder
- ½ tsp Anardana powder
- 1/2 – 1/3 Tsp salt
- a few methi seeds powdered
- 2 tsp oil
- Make the dough :
- Mix flour, salt and oil
- Add in the water a tbs at a time, until the dough is well mixed.
- Take care not to over knead the dough.
- Cover and keep in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Make the filling:
- In a microwave proof glass bowl, add the urad dal flour and roast it (dry) for 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir and pop it back in for another 30 seconds. Based on your microwave, this will take about a minute or minute and a half.
- In case you do not want to use a microwave, dry roast the urad dal flour in a skillet on medium heat, until aromatic and slightly changes color.
- Add in oil into a pan, add the asafoetida and the roasted powder, and cook for another minute.
- Switch the heat off and add in the rest of the spices and mix things up.
- Cover and allow it to cool.
- (Note: If you don't have access to urad dal flour, simply roast the some split urad dal in oil until lightly browned. Cool and grind to a fine powder)
- Compose the Kachori
- Make small equal sized round balls out of the dough. You will get about 10 – 12 of those.
- Working with your finger tips, flatten the dough balls into a small disc. Ensure the sides are much thinner than the center of the discs.
- Holding the dough disc in the shape of a cup fill in the center with some of the filling. Take care to place the stuffing only in the center.
- Pinch the ends together, ensuring no air stays in. And with your palms, make this into a ball once again.
- Repeat step 2, 3 and 4 for the rest of the dough.
- Roll out the balls into circles once again, taking care not to roll them too thin.
- Heat up oil for frying and bring it to about 90*C or medium hot.
- Add the rolled out kachoris and fry them on medium heat. Flip only when one side is completely puffed up. Cook until deliciously golden colored on both sides.
- How to Serve:
- Knocking softly with a spoon, break open the top of a kachori, Add in finely chopped onions, boiled and diced poatoes, thin Sev, green chutney, Tamarind and Date chutney and beaten yogurt. Eat immediately.
- Success Tips:
- Cook on low medium heat even if you are tempted to hasten the process. Quickly fried kachoris will not stay crisp.
- When kneading the dough, ensure you do not over mix it.