If you get the opportunity to visit India, there’s no doubt that you will encounter one of the country’s favourite street snacks – the crunchy, crispy delights known as kachori. Although these little treats are available throughout the land, sold by vendors at street-sides in all of the big cities, they experience a particularly high level of popularity in the states of Delhi, Maharastra, Gujerat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the Punjab.
A kachori consists of an outer shell made out of pastry crust and stuffed with a variety of tempting fillings. The pastry is created from a dough of plain flour, oil and a pinch of salt, rolled out and cut into little, round shapes. Once the filling has been added, the shapes are closed together to form a filled ball and these little, spherical parcels are deep-fried to achieve a perfect crispy texture and dark, golden brown colour.
It’s what’s Inside that Counts
In terms of fillings, there are many variations of kachori with each state enjoying their own, favourite recipes. In Uttar Pradesh, the state where kachori are believed to have originated, the favoured filling is yellow moong dal, seasoned with red chilli powder, coriander, turmeric, cumin, fennel, mustard seeds and asafoetida. The tastes of Gujerat run more on the sweet side, with the addition of a little sugar into the mix, whilst in Rajasthan onion kachori is a firm favourite. Mawa Kachori is another version favoured in Rajasthan, where rich and decadent cuisine reigns. These kachori are filled with cream and the shell dipped in sugar syrup – they can be found in the windows of many sweet shops throughout the state.
In Bengal, golden kachori parcels stuffed with spiced peas form a firm favourite street food snack. Further layers of texture are also frequently added to kachori fillings with grated coconut as well as dried fruit and nuts like raisins, cashews and almonds.
Delhi, one of the centres of Indian street food, renowned for its mind-blowing array of delectable delights, is famous for the kachori dish known as Raj Kachori. This regal recipe involves a bowl of spicy, savoury snacks or Indian chaat, flavoured with tasty toppings and sides, such as chutneys, chopped chillies, creamy curds or chunks of spiced potato.
Eat at Any Time
These conveniently bite-sized snacks are not only popular for filling hungry bellies whilst on the go, but also make a popular breakfast food. Additionally, kachori are great to offer around as a nibble or starter before sitting down to dinner, although in some of the northern states they are a fully integrated part of the meal and are often served with a potato curry or chickpea preparation.
There is one element of kachori consumption agreed throughout the states – these sumptuous snacks come hand in hand with chutneys. The preferred accompaniment to a savoury kachori is a fresh coriander or tangy tamarind chutney.
Amaya, one of London’s best Indian fine dining restaurants, offers its unique take on many of the most popular recipes of India. Try their Raj Kachori – a basket brimming with savoury snacks dressed in yoghurt and chutney and prepare to fall in love.