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Raj Kachauri, Spicy Street food of North India
Raj Kachori

Mamta Gupta

Raj Kachori is one of the numerous types of Kachauries from India. It is different from the more common dal/lentil filled Khasta Kachauri of north India. It is a deep fried, crispy, pastry ball, which is filled with chopped potatoes, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes etc. and topped with yoghurt, chutneys and sauces just before it is served. It comes under the heading of ‘Chaats’, the famous street foods of India. Makes about 10-12

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Ingredients

For the dough;
200 gm. or 2 cups fine semolina (you can use plain flour if you do not have semolina)
50 gm. or 1/2 cup plain, white flour or maida
60 gm. or 1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter or oil
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 full tsp. salt
225 ml. or 1 cup warm water (approximately) to make dough
Oil for deep frying
For the filling;
Potatoes, boiled, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped finely
2 cups Spicy Chickpeas. You can use boiled/tinned chickpeas instead, but will need to add spices (salt, chilli, roast cumin powder) to them
1 large tomato, de-seeded and finely chopped (optional)
3-4 green chillies, chopped finely
2-3 tbs. chopped coriander leaves
To serve
250 ml. or 1 cup thick yoghurt, beaten lightly with a little milk and salt
125 ml. or 1/2 cup Green Mango Chutney
125ml. or 1/2 cup Tamarind Chutney
1 tbs. roast cumin seeds, coarsely ground
100 gm. or 1/2 cup of ‘besan sev’, deep fried savoury vermicelli made from besan flour or pea flour (optional)
1 tsp. chilli powder
A little salt
1 cup pomegranate pearls or finely chopped apples in lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

1.Sift flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
2.Rub in oil.
3.Add enough water to make a firm dough. Keep aside covered with a cling film or moist cloth, for 30 minutes.
4.Divide the dough into 12-14 portions, roll into balls and keep covered with a moist cloth.
5.Roll out 3-4 at a time to the thickness of about 3 mm circles, size 3 1/2 inch or 9 cm., from centre out, keeping the centre slightly thicker than the edges. If you make them thin in the centre, they will not balloon up properly. You need each one to be ballooned, so that they can be filled later on.
6.Deep fry them in medium hot to low hot oil, very slowly. If you cook them fast in hot oil, they will become soft like Poories. What you need are absolutely crisp balls, which remain crisp when cold. If they become soft, just eat them as poories, don’t waste other ingredients trying to make Raj kachauries!
7.Making the filling;
8.Boil potatoes, cool and chop into very small cubes.
9.Drain the boiled/tinned chickpeas.
10.Place potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, chopped coriander etc. in a bowl and mix gently. Keep aside.
11.You can keep the filling ingredients separate, piling in as much or as little of each one into the kachauri, as you serve.
12.Serving;
13.Break open the top of a kachauri, creating a large hole, exposing the inside of the cavity. Push the broken bits of pastry inside, don’t discard them.
14.Fill the cavity with a little of the mix you have prepared.
15.Spoon a little yoghurt on top, then a little sprinkling of besan save and finally spoon over a little of both the chutneys. Sprinkle a little roast cumin and chilli powder on top.
16.Top with pomegranate or other fruit in lemon juice for added colour (optional).
17.Serve immediately.
18.Also see Chaat Selection.

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