The Eid menu is an extravaganza of sweets and savory and there is an assortment of traditional Pakistani, as well as international cuisines at each household. Regardless of your Eid style, an ideal menu is a combination of everybody’s food preferences in the family.
This Eid, get your hands on some traditional recipes like kheer (rice pudding), siwaiyyan (vermicelli) and sheer khurma (vermicelli in sweet milk). Also incorporate some international Eid traditions like the Middle Eastern Umm Ali (sweet bread pudding) and the Indian malpura (sweet fritters stuffed with dried fruits and dipped in sugar syrup). Your main course can be kebabs inspired by the Lebanese or Turkish cuisine, beef or lamb curries following Malaysian techniques or might as well stick to the Indo-Pak show-stealer – biryani!
Khasta Kachori is a Rajisthani tradition of our family, passed down by my grandmother. We call them Firdous Kachoris in her memory. Khasta Kachoris are served hot for Eid breakfast as the men return from the Eidgah after prayers and the women are all decked up in fancy clothes and accessories. I use white whole wheat for healthy Kachoris, but you can use half maida (all-purpose flour) and half whole wheat. All-purpose flour makes the fluffiest Kachoris of all, but it is unfriendly for the waistline. Fried moong daal (split moong lentils) or chicken tikka are two fillings which can either be used separately or mixed to stuff the Kachoris. If you’re vegetarian, you can go with the lentils.
Kachori fillings Fried moong filling
Soak a cup of moong lentils in water for an hour and then fry them in about two to three tablespoons oil. Add a pinch of spices: garam masala (all spice), red chili powder, chopped green chilies, clove powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder. Fry well. Grind them coarsely in a grinder. Keep them nice and crumbly; do not grind to a paste.
Chicken tikka filling
Boil chicken pieces and take of the meat. Make small pieces with your hands and fry them with a few tablespoons of oil with chicken tikka masala. If you can’t find it, add all spice powder, red chili powder, black pepper and salt.
Ingredients for kachori dough
White whole wheat flour - 4 cups
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Making the kachoris
Use a mixer with a dough hook or your hands to knead the kachori dough. Mix white whole wheat flour, vegetable oil and salt first to a crumbly consistency. Add tiny quantities of water (about two teaspoons each time) to knead the flour into smooth dough.
Set the dough to rest for 30 minutes in a bowl and cover it with a wet thin towel or muslin cloth.
Next, make smooth round balls from the dough of about one and half inch diameter. To do this, use a rolling pin (bailan) and roll out flat, thin, roughly circular pancakes from each ball.
Place a small amount of filling in the center of the pancake and enclose it inside by lifting the outer sides and fusing them together. A round pouch shape is attained which will then be pressed down gently for a flat round kachori.
Deep fry the Kachoris until they turn golden brown.
Enjoy them with a choice of your favorite chutney.
Anum Ali is a US based creative writer and home baker. She is an editor and staff writer for Muslim youth magazines and websites, and publishes her own food, travel, and photography blogs.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.
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