INDIA: “You won’t get a blocked nose. Instead, you will cherish and love the aroma of these freshly fried round flattened ball made of fine flour, called Kachori,” said Halwai Radhey Lal, as he saw me sniffing during my visit to famous Marghat Waley Hanuman Temple in old Delhi. And yes, he was so damn right.
My nose was working overtime, but I enjoyed the amazing aromas and the spicy haze of smoke all around in the air. All I could smell was deep-frying and spices and see men who were deftly stuffing round balls of maida (all-purpose flour) with a baked mixture of yellow moong dal or urad dal (crushed and washed horse beans), besan (crushed and washed gram flour), black pepper, red chili powder, salt, and other spices and rolling them before slipping them into the moderately hot oil.
And I was loving it…
Radhey Lal offered me a plate of this delectable specialty from his shop where a fresh load was being fried. The kachori exploded in my mouth, releasing an array of rich, exotic flavors of the fillings and I couldn’t stop myself from finishing it in one go.
You see, street food is an essential part of the Indian lifestyle; it in fact is a way of life. Being a traveler, I have tasted hundreds of different Indian street food dishes from almost all regions across the country. The list is very long; hence I am going to share my experiences through my articles about the best street food dishes in India one by one.
And in this issue, as I am already talking about Kachori, I will continue with this popular Indian breakfast street food. I personally love Kachoris served in the appetizer-sized portions ideal for an avid food lover like me. Delectable Kachoris with different kinds of fillings are famous traditional chaat items known for their lip-smacking taste and mostly eaten as a snack and that has managed to retain their individuality over the years.
Read Also: Samosa: King Of Snacks In India
The kachori supposedly originated in Rajasthan and was created by the Marwaris, who took it with them wherever they went and settled across the country. Vegetarians and experts in spicing up their food even with limited local produce made the kachoris in the desert with ‘Thanda masala’ that essentially are dhania and sounf along with some haldi.
The most famous variant is the hard form, stuffed with spicy moong dal mixture and called the Khasta Kachori. Flakey from outside and hollow inside, Khasta can be eaten at any time of the day and tastes amazing with morning and evening tea.
Over the years, at different places, people have experimented with various kinds of fillings that are equally delicious, and different variations have evolved. A few notable ones are:
- Flaky Mogar kachori, Pyaz (onion) ki Kachori, Mawa or dry fruit kachori, Nagori kachori, and Raj kachori from Rajasthan
- Shegaon kachori in Maharashtra,
- Sattu kachori in Bihar,
- Varanasi kachori, Pyaz (onion) ki Kachori, Gol kachori, Badiyon ki kachori, and Paneer ki kachori in Uttar Pradesh,
- Lilva kachori, and Spicy Masala Kachori in Gujarat,
- Matar Ki Kachori, or koraishuti kochuri, Heeng (asafetida) kachori in West Bengal,
- Hare Chane ki Kachori in north India, etc.
In modern days, people also experiment with Cheese filled Kachori.
They’re still much more to tell you, and I will be back with the details soon. Till then keep exploring and become an addict!!! Ciao…