matar kachori - a flaky, crisp deep fried pastry filled with spiced peas filling. in hindi matar means peas and kachori is the fried & flaky pastry. these are like spiced empanadas.
the matar kachori filling can be varied from savory to sweet, from potato & peas to lentils and even onions. i shall be posting the other versions as well, my favorite being the khasta kachori where the filling is made from urad dal (black lentils). this recipe can also be called khasta matar kachori as the outer pastry is flaky and crisp.
as we are still in the winters, khasta kachoris are a nice warm breakfast (yes you read it right, breakfast in the northern indian states) or a mid brunch or evening snack. served hot with some spicy coriander chutney and sweet dates chutney, this is a food lover’s delight.
they are not much different from the samosas except for the filling and the shape.
step by step recipe to make perfect khasta matar kachori:
1: sieve flour with salt and baking powder.
2: add oil.
3: with your fingertips mix the oil with the flour and form a bread crumb like consistency.
4: now add water to the flour.
5: knead into a dough which is smooth and firm. the dough should not be sticky. cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 30-40 mins.
6: in the meantime now prepare the filling. boil the peas. strain and keep aside. you can boil the peas in a steamer or pressure cooker. the potatoes were added to some other dish
7: mash the peas to a coarse or semi-coarse consistency with a potato masher. keep aside.
8: heat oil and fry whole cumin till they get browned.
9: add crushed ginger-green chili & fry for a minute on a low flame.
10: add the coarsely mashed peas.
11: add all the dry spice powders and stir well.
12: add the besan (chickpea flour) and saute for a couple of minutes. the besan soaks up all the moisture and as result, the stuffing mixture becomes dry. hence making it easier to roll the kachoris.
13: keep the prepared pea filling aside.
14: make about 5-6 equal sized balls from the dough.
15: roll into a 3-4 inches diameter disc with a rolling pin or using your palms flatten the ball.
16: place the matar (peas) filling in the center of the disc. brush the edges with water. brushing the edges is optional. i do this so that the dough sticks very well while folding and the filling has no chance to come out.
17: bring together all the edges in the center and join them. then press them downwards towards the center. this step is much like the way we do for stuffed parathas. make sure there are no gaps in the pastry.
18: flatten gently to a kachori of about 4-5 inches in size. you can also roll using a rolling pin, but do very gently as otherwise the pastry covering breaks.
19: cover all the prepared kachori in a damp cloth and keep aside till you heat the oil. now slid them gently in to the oil. the oil should not be very hot nor should be at low heat, but medium hot. read the notes section below for getting the right temperature while frying.
20: the kachoris would start puffing up.
21: fry the kachoris till they become golden brown and flaky from both sides.
matar kachori recipe below:
- 1 cup all purpose flour/maida (you can also use whole wheat flour or both the flours in 50:50 amount)
- 1 tbsp oil or ghee ((i used sunflower oil)
- ¼ cup warm water
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
- ¼ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
- ½ tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
- ½ tsp fennel powder/saunf pwder
- ½ tsp chaat masala
- ½ tsp amchur powder/dry mango powder
- ½ tsp green chili-ginger paste or crushed or minced (use about ¼ inch of ginger and ½ or 1 green chili and crush in a mortar & pestle)
- ¼ tsp cumin/jeera
- 1 tbsp besan or gram flour
- 2 tsp oil or ghee
- salt as required
- 2 to 3 cups oil
- sift the flour, salt and baking powder.
- add oil and form a bread crumb like mixture.
- add water and form a tight dough.
- cover with a damp cloth and keep aside.
- boil or steam the peas.
- mash them coarsely or semi-coarsely.
- heat oil and fry the cumin.
- then add the crushed ginger and green chili.
- fry for a minute.
- now add the dry spice powders and salt.
- stir and add the gram flour.
- saute for 2-3 minutes.
- check the seasoning and add some more of the spice powders or salt, if required.
- make equal sized 5-6 balls from the dough.
- roll into 3-4 inch round on a dusted board.
- add some of the stuffing in the center.
- brush some water on the edges.
- bring together all the edges and pinch them.
- press the edges downwards below.
- roll into a 4-5 inches kachori.
- prepare all matar kachoris like these.
- keep the kachoris covered with a wet cloth.
- now heat oil.
- at medium flame, fry the kachoris till they become golden, flaky and crisp.
- serve matar kachori hot with some coriander chutney or tamarind chutney.
also the amount of water required to knead is another important factor that determines the flakiness
too much water will make the dough crisp but not flaky and too little can dry out the dough.
keep the dough covered with a moist cloth at all times.
next comes the frying. too hot oil won’t allow the dough to get flaky resulting in a crisp exterior with uncooked interiors and filling.
too cold oil would end up the dough soaking a lot of oil and the result would be an oily pastry
to check the temperature while frying, add a small piece of dough to the oil.if it comes steadily to the surface, then the kachoris are ready to be fried
if the the dough comes quickly, the oil is hot. so lower the flame
if it takes a lot of time to come, then the dough is cold. increase the flame.
a point to be remembered is that when you add the kachoris to the hot oil, the temperature of the oil does get lowered naturally, so accordingly increase a bit of the flame.
the spices in the filling can be adjusted as per your preference.
if mango powder is not available, then add some lemon juice instead.
the recipe can be doubled or tripled.