This strange looking brown lump is actually a very yummy snack known as Khasta Kachori.
These yummy things are not normally for my tummy being excessively over-spiced and hence almost always avoided. However, a chance visit to Akola almost thirty years ago introduced me to this delicacy. At 8 in the morning, the train stops at a sleepy district town called Shegaon which is renowned for its kachori. Somehow train journeys always make me hungry and since it was almost 12 hours since my last meal, I was ready to deviate from the norm and try Shegaon Station's Kachori with my tea. One bite and I was hooked. Unfortunately, no other kachori matches up to this and , I have tried in vain to get the recipe for this simply divine kachori.
Yesterday, I found a recipe of sorts , in my mother in law's book which had all the ingredients without any measurements! When I asked her how she could write down such a recipe, she said that you should vary the spices to your own individual taste!
So I have made my own recipe which I must say can do with a bit of alteration but before I come to the final and authentic Shegaon Station Khasta Kachori recipe, I will share what I did yesterday.
You will need for the filling :
1/2 cup of chick pea flour ( besan)
1 tspn of oil
2 tspns of fine fennel seed ( saunf)
1 Bay leaf
3 fat round red chillies
1 tspn of dried mango powder ( aamchur)
salt and gud to taste.
For the outer coating
1 cup of flour ( maida)
1 tbspn of hot oil
salt to taste
The besan should be lightly roasted in the oil . Gradually add the rest of the ingredients ( except for the mango powder and the gud). Keep roasting till there is a fine aroma of roasting spices and chick pea flour. Remove from the fire and allow to cool a bit before pulverising in the coffee grinder. Add the gud and aamchur till the mixture is a blend of sweet and sour.
This masala can be kept in an air tight bottle till required.
To make the outer covering, the flour should be sifted with salt . The oil heated separately and poured into the pile of flour. Knead into a dough with water and set aside for around 10 minutes.
To make the Kachoris, the dough should be made into tiny balls and rolled out into thickish roundels. Put a generous amount of the masala into each puri and close up the mouth to make a ball. Again roll out and deep fry in hot oil, lowering the heat after adding the puris. The puris should be turned over till they are evenly browned . Drain off excess oil and serve hot with sweet tamarind chutney or just plain.
One cup of Maida will make around 6 kachoris. The left over masala can be used to stuff another 6!
You can do what I am going to do ......make kachoris everyday, till I get the taste just right!
But, if any of you do have the original recipe............please please do share it with me.