Kachori | Street Food of India.
Kachori is one of the most loved Indian snacks among the different regional inhabitants in India that has sensational taste and it can be used as a scrumptious meal too. In general, it is spicy in taste. Apart from India, various other countries also use Kachori as a staple snack food item in Pakistan and other parts of South Asia.
Kachori is also common in some other parts with South Asian diaspora like Trinidad, Tobago, Guyana and Suriname. In these places, Kachori has some other popular alternative names including Puri (stuffed Kachori), Kachauri, Kachodi and Katchuri – all of which are essentially same in taste but having a bit other sorts of pronunciations as spoken the natives of these places.
Food etymology says, Kachori was first originated in Uttar Pradesh or Rajasthan. Making Kachori is very easy. Usually Kachori is made of husked pigeon peas or yellow lentils (dal) after soaking it for 5-6 hours. Then dal is drained and ground coarsely. Then oil and add jeera are heated and when it splutters, ginger, heeng, green chillies are added to it and these are sauted till the colour changes.
Then dal (lentil), salt, garam masala, chilli powder, khus khus, coconut are added and these are sauted till it is fried. Sometimes, baking powder and salt are added to maida. Also ghee or oil and water are applied to maida to make the doughs softer. Then walnut sized rounds of the dal mixture are made and these are inserted centrally inside the maida-made doughs to make the fillings. Then oil is heated to deep-fry the Kachoris until it become brown.
Popularity of Kachori.
Kachori’s increasing popularity in India has many historical and cultural evidences associated with it. Even before the days of partition, Kachoris were always popular in old Delhi. Many Indian pre-independence novels and short stories had mention about this famous snack and those were served along with tea at that time.
At that point of time, samosas did not gain much popularity as a snack like recent days. After the partition, Banarasidas, the author of biographical story ‘Ardhakathanaka’, mentioned about the main protagonist buying Kachoris in Agra in 1613. For almost seven months, he bought a ser of Kachoris daily, and for that he had to pay only twenty rupees.
After independence also, Kachori’s popularity went on soaring high. In 1972, ‘Amar Prem’ a famous movie starring Rajesh Khanna was adapted from a famous short story ‘Hinger Kochuri’ (literally translated as asafoetida Kachori) written by Bengali author Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay.
Kachori has several variants which are different in forms, shapes and tastes. In recent days a different variant named Club Kachori (similar to stuffed puri) is also available which are big in size. Club Kachori is famous in Bangalore and surrounding other cities. This apart, in traditional Rajasthani cuisine, the Pyaaj Kachori (onion Kachori) is also very famous which is served with green coriander chutney.
Kachori’s in Particular Regions.
Another popular form of Kachori found in Jodhpur and surrounding parts of Rajasthan is the Mawa Kachori invented by Late Rawat Mal Ji Deora, which is a sweet dish dipped in sugary syrup. In Gujarat, Kachori is usually a round ball made of flour and dough filled with a stuffing of yellow moong dal, black pepper, red chilli powder and ginger paste.
In Delhi and central India, Kachori is often served as a chaat and it is served along with tamarind chutney. In metro cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, another kind of cripy Kachori is highly popular which is termed as ‘Khasta Kachori‘ or ‘Raj Kachori‘. Another variant includes sweet upwas (fast) Kachori which is made with potato, coconut and sugar stuffing.
All of these Kachoris are served with different kinds of chutneys made from tamarind (red chutney) and mint or coriander (green chutney). A Kachori stuffed with peas (Koraishutir Kochuri) is a delicacy in West Bengal. In North India, Kachori is accompanied by a curry made of potatoes, varied spices and chana (chole). This dish is served as a famous street food item named ‘Chhole bhature’.
Indian television food shows have given Kachori high ratings consistently as a popular street food. Kachori carries the tradition of Indian cooking heritage generation after generation.