Moong Dal Kachori (Stuffed Lentil Baskets)


moong-dal-kachoriMy mom used to make really delicious Crispy Moong-Dal Kachoris, and I still remember what a glutton I used to be when I ate those! of course, I could never have enough of these, or the lilva kachoris, their second counterpart. But then, crisp and flaky on the outside, and warm and flavorful on the inside, you just can't stay away from Kachoris! Do I sound like a commercial? guess what, once you try the recipe below, you'll start promoting it yourself! I've used moong-dal, or yellow (split-pea) dal as a filling, but you can experiment with peas, tuver dal, or even any other lentil of your choice. It looks like hard work, but believe me, its totally worth the effort! Flavored with lentils sauteed in spices, and complete with raisins and shredded coconut to add that extra punch, these Moong Dal Kachoris are a treat to the eyes and the tongue!

Ingredients

For the Kachori Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour or whole grain white flour
1 tbsp semolina (fine rava)
4 tbsp warm melted ghee (clarified butter)
salt - to taste
1/2 tsp lemon juice
hot water - to knead the dough
oil for frying kachoris

For the Filling
2 cups Moong Dal - soaked for at least 2 hours
1 tspn cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tspn carom seeds (ajwain) or saunf
1/2 tspn asafoetida (hing)(optional)
1 tspn turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tspn red chilli powder
2 tbsp green chilli-ginger paste
1 tbsp grated coconut
1 tbsp coriander - finely chopped
a bunch of raisins (optional)
2 tspn sugar
2 tbsp oil
salt and lemon juice - to taste

Method
Take the Moong Dal and let it soak in water for at least 3-4 hours.

For the kachori, mix the salt, semolina, lemon juice and flour together and add the warm ghee to it. Mix well so that the entire flour is oiled and forms crumbles. Now knead it using warm water into a firm dough(not too thin or soft, just pliable enough). The warm water and rava will help make the crust more crispy. Cover with a wet cloth and leave aside for 25-30 mins.

Now take a saucepan, add 2 tbsp oil to it, then add the cumin, carrom seeds, saunf and asafoetida. When seeds splutter, add the soaked moong dal to this, after removing all water. Season with green chilli-ginger paste, salt, lemon juice, sugar and the spices. Cook for 8-10 mins, then remove from flame. Mix the grated coconut, chopped cilantro and raisins and keep aside.

Now divide the dough into small portions, and roll each one into 3" diam. disc. Put a large spoonful of the filling into the center, then fold the dough over the filling to form a pouch and shape it into a basket from the top(as shown in the pic) You can grease your palms a little and roll the ball between them to form an even ball if that's easier. Make sure to seal the filling at the top else it will all ooze out when you fry them! Repeat for all the kachoris.

Deep Fry: Now heat oil in a wok and deep fry 3-4 kachoris at a time over low-to-medium flame till they are golden brown in color. Do not fry on high heat as they will turn brown but will be uncooked from inside.

Baked: Alternately, you can preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then place the kachoris on a large oven tray. Space them at least half inch apart and apply light margarine to them with a brush. Now bake them for 10-15 mins, then rotate the tray by 180 degrees to bake on the other side for 10 mins, or till the surface becomes light brown in color.

Of course, the fried version is much tastier than the baked one, but if healthy is more important to you than tasty, you know what to choose!

Tip for Crispy Kachoris The semolina and the lemon juice help make the crust more crispy. Also, fry the kachoris on low heat, then when its time to serve, refry them or bake them on high temperature; this will also make them crispier.

Lay out your beautiful Moong Dal Kachoris on a platter. Serve hot with Green Chutney or sweet-and-sour Tamarind Chutney. I'm sending these to Dangit who's collecting Party Dishes for her daughter's first b'day!

Related Recipes:
Crispy Vegetable Samosas
Tuver-Lilva ni Kachori
Khasta Dal Kachori Chaat

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43 comments :

Nags said...

the kachoris look so pretty! but we need one cup ghee for the crust?

Anonymous said...

oh! they look wonderful, and yeah, my mom made these for me too, and I actually liked them better than the lilva ones:)

~janani

Mansi Desai said...

oops! thanks for pointing out the typo Nags! that's how I make sure people are actually reading my posts:D hehehe...I've updated the measurements:)

janani - moms are so great na! I love lilva kachoris more, but my hubby likes these:)

Sonu said...

Hi Mansi,
ooooooohhh...u always remind me my mom badly in Gujarati dish;) tht's gud u always remind us to maintain our culture and food also:) it's very traditional dish of gujju. mane yaad che...lilva ni kachori khavi hoy to dadi ane mom tuvero(a ton of;)folva besadta...pan pachi khava ni pan etli maja aave...oh what a nice days...!!!

BTW, I must have to wait so far to cut down the price of AeroGarden...Mansi, it's so expensive(abt to $250), here in Australia:(
Anyway, thanks 4 kachori recipe.
bye, take care.
Sonu:)

Sunshinemom said...

Potlis are really a treat to the eyes! And you are so right about the fried ones tasting better than baked ones - It is such a pain! I think I will just come and drool on this one rather than make - If I do I will end up eating more than I should:)

Manggy said...

Wow, those look glorious! Are they anything like samosas? Sorry, my vocab is very tiny :( I hope I can learn to make it one day-- as it is I have no idea where I'd get asafoetida, it's the first I've heard of it!

anita said...

this is a great recipe Mansi! my husband loves these so much and the ones you get outside are so not tasty!! now I can win some points by making them at home!:) I love your pic, and the kachoris look so beautiful! you are a great cook girl!:)

-Anita

Mansi Desai said...

manggy - your vocab is pretty better than many non-indians:) and yes, the crust here is similar to a "samosa", but the filling is diff...I have the samosa recipe linked at the end of this post, btw:) and you can safely try this without 'asafoetida', so don't let that discourage you:)D

sonu - 250 is really atrocious! we get it for 149 in US!!! did u try buying it online? thanks for the kachori compliments!:)

sunshinemon - this is one thinkg that tastes better "actual" rather than "virtual":)

anita - I'm pleased to know you are all set to earn brownie points using this recipe:) good luck gal!:)

Sangeeth said...

loved ur kachori mansi....the way they look...wow! very tempting....i make them in balls but have to try ur shape..its interesting :)

A&N said...

Oh I love Kachoris. A is a health freak :( so, mebbe we will bake one for him ;) and fry the rest!

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

wow love ur presentation mansi! this again is new to me..but i guess i would be making this at home very soon!! u r tempting me sooo much! ;-)

ranji said...

moong dal kachori looks fantastic mansi..have prepared only samosas so far..yet to make kachoris...the baking idea is gr8..i made baked samosas ..so baked kachoris will also be good. healthier too :)...

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

These look like a great snack.

Fried always tastes better than baked (unfortunately).

Rachna said...

hi mansi, i have never seen kachoris in a potli shape, so cute and tempting!!!!

Namratha said...

Oh those baskets look so pretty Mansi, nice way to make Kachoris! :)

Vaishali said...

I love kachoris, Mansi, but have never seen them shaped quite so beautifully before.

bee said...

i am loving this crust recipe. gotta try it soon. i prefer moong dal to lilva.

Tee said...

kachoris are my absolute fav! And i prefer the moong dal ones to the lilva ones. My mom makes using udad dal...those tate good too. all in all..i love kachori :)
Loved your presentation!

Madhuram said...

This one is new to me Mansi. It looks like a money bag, very cute. Thanks for the tips reg. egg substitutes.

mitr_bayarea said...

Mansi-

great looking kachoris, have never tried these before.

Divya Vikram said...

They look like flowers..Have never heard of this recipe..Maybe I will try the baked version.

Simply...Gluten-free said...

This picture is a work of art!

Kevin said...

Those look really good! Nice presentation!

Sujatha said...

Lovely presentation, Mansi! Very artistic.. Kachoris are my favorites and once in a while I buy the frozen ones when I have a craving.. These look utterly delicious, and I sure got to try these soon.. thanks for sharing :)

Mansi Desai said...

thank you so much ppl for all your encouragement! it does feel nice to be called an "artistic chef"!:) I was pleasantly proud of myself too at how these turned out:D

Cris said...

These look so pretty and healthy! The picture is lovely!

Aparna said...

You don't sound like a commercial at all. I'll second all you said about kachoris. Just love them, especially muttar kachoris.
I'm going to try them baked liked you suggested.
You should be glad I don't live close by, or else I'd be camping over at your place!:D

Pooja said...

that basket looks so cute :) ....

Alka said...

One of my gujju friend made this for her b'day treat and i swear i m still unable to forget the taste that lingered in my mouth for days ahead
Thanks for sharing the recipe,coz at that time i never thought of collecting such recipes(IF only i cud have foreseen my future i had preserved so many of such wonderful recipes)

Lisa said...

This is something I would be sure to enjoy. Thank you for including instructions for a baked version.

Sagari said...

kachori looks beautiful mansi

priyaskitchen said...

so pretty..very nice...

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

they look sooo cute .. really yummy ..

Amrita said...

Wow what a creative way to make kachories.And easy too. Must pass this to my sis.

daphne said...

Here is another use for lentils! Those kachoris look so adorable.. I don't think I can stop at one.

Lore said...

I bet I would qualify as a glutton if I'm anywhere near these yummy crispy baskets. Yum!

Jude said...

Cute little packages. I'm really liking the ingredients in the filling.

Zinobia said...

I liked the recipe Ill try it sometime zinobia

Kalai said...

Adorable kachoris, Mansi!! Love the baking option, too. :)

Padma said...

Kochoris in those potli shape looks great and love the idea of baking them

Dhanggit said...

these are so adorable!! Great ideas for parties!! Thanks for this wonderful entry you made for my little one!

Anonymous said...

Have a send off party on thursday. Wanted to try something as a starter. Will try this.

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