We lived in three houses during our 10-year stint in Jodhpur, Rajasthan (India). I am not sure how the human brain chooses which moments to capture and store as memories, but a lot of my long-term recollections are from Jodhpur, or maybe it’s because I jog my memory to that time a lot. I remember the color of our milkmaid’s daughter’s hair, knotted and milk-chocolate brown; the sound of our milkman’s motorbike on which he looked like a cowboy, saddled with two giant milk canisters on each side, complete with a loopy white turban. My mother would walk out on the ledge of our garden with a steel vessel in hand, and complain about him watering the milk down every day. In the afternoons, the same ledge was used to bargain over vegetables and fruits with cart-vendors who came over to sell their wares door-to-door, and in the evenings with the baker that came with fresh milk bread and savory patties.

Sometimes, my mother would take me to the grocers near-by, and I would happily trail after her in the event that she was feeling exceptionally magnanimous and let me buy a comic book (which was often). I could go on and on, with how I had my ears pierced from a cart vendor’s rusty tools and how I used to make earrings out of Neem stems and twigs for my sister in that garden.  Its all like a movie in my head, some borrowed memories, some manufactured.

Jodhpur has a very famous confectioner called Janta Sweet Home that sells the world’s best Pyaaz ki Kachoris and Mirchi Badas (ugh! this English language! There are no good words to describe those things, I’m sorry – at best, it’s loosely termed spicy onion pastries and jumbo green chili fritters). Janta Sweet Home excursions were reserved for special occasions, but there was a local Halwai (confectioner) in the open-air farmer’s market near our home who had long line-ups around the clock. Sometimes, my sister and I would run over and combine our dwindling savings to satisfy Kachori cravings, and sometimes our father would bring them on his way home from work. You have to understand, these are not your everyday savory snacks, they’re the antithesis of crispy and soft, crumbly and firm, light and filling… Ineffable! Just make it! The spicy onion filling is something I have not been able to mimic, but this version is pretty dope and we love it. Serve with coriander-mint chutney or mango pickle, your choice.


Print Recipe
Rajasthani Pyaaz Ki Kachori (Spicy Onion Pastry)
The mother of all Indian snacks - Kachori, when served hot and crunchy with hot, too-sweet chai, the smorgasbord of flavors is sure to blow your mind. Try it, you will not regret it.
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Kachoris
Ingredients
For Kachori dough (shell)
For filling (stuffing)
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Kachoris
Ingredients
For Kachori dough (shell)
For filling (stuffing)
Instructions
Kachori dough
  1. In a bowl, sift all-purpose flour and add salt. Slowly add oil and mix well into the dough. Use your hands if necessary. The dough should roughly bind in your fist when done
  2. Knead using enough water to make a stiff dough. Cover with a wet (muslin) cloth and set aside
Kachori filling
  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds and crushed coriander seeds. Let crackle for 5-10 seconds.
  2. Add 3/4 of the chopped onions (reserve 1/4 for later) and saute until translucent (~2-3 minutes)
  3. Add garlic, ginger, green chilies,red chili powder, and dried mango powder. Mix well and saute for a minute
  4. Add boiled potatoes and crush them in the pan. Do not mash, leave it slightly lumpy
  5. Add chickpea flour, sugar and garam masala. Saute for 3-4 minutes
  6. Remove from heat and add the remainder of chopped red onions. Mix well and let cool
  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll out the dough into a round shape (~2.5" circle)
  8. Place the rolled out dough on your palm and place 2-3 tbsp filling in the centre
  9. Scrunch your palm, flatten the edges and make a sealed pouch with your fingers (similar to when making dumplings or patty). Wet your fingers if necessary, the kachoris must be sealed so they don't disintegrate when frying
  10. Pat with hands gently flatten the shape and poke holes with a fork
  11. Repeat this process with the remaining dough until all kachoris are filled and poked
  12. Heat oil in a deep set pan, when the oil is hot, bring to medium heat and deep fry the kachoris 2-3 at a time, until golden. Low/medium heat is necessary to ensure cooking from the inside
  13. Drain on paper towels and serve with chutney and chai, or store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Feel free to warm them in a toaster oven at 300 F for 2-3 minutes