My memories of winter are inextricably tied with Ahmedabad, where I grew up. There used to be a proper winter then, lasting about 3 months, with the weather turning a complete 360 degrees from the heat that engulfs the city most part of the year. Hands going numb with cold, razais and jackets coming out of their hiding in closets, monkey caps, and truckloads of winter veggies and delicacies – Ahmedabad goes the whole hog.
There’s no ‘proper’ winter in Bangalore, where I live now. Oh, there’s a nip in the air and some beautiful days, but nowhere close to the mind-numbing cold that I have experienced back then. So, on chilly days like this in Bangalore, I try to rustle up a storm in my kitchen. I try to make the most of the winter veggies that Bangalore has to offer, try to relive those precious days from my adolescence.
Fresh pigeon peas – tuver lilva or tuver dana in Gujarati, tuvarai in Tamil – is one of my favourite winter veggies. I love cooking with it, and one of my favourite things to make with these peas is Gujarati-style kachori. I think tuver lilva ni kachori, made with green peas and/or potatoes – are one of the bestest-ever things to eat during winters! Thankfully, the family loves them too, and I get an excuse to make them all the more often.
You have to try these kachoris out to understand why I am raving so much about them. Do that, won’t you?
Here’s how we make these Gujarati tuver lilva ni kachori, with the addition of green peas.
Ingredients (yields 18-20 pieces):
For the filling:
- 2 cups shelled fresh pigeon peas (tuver lilva or tuver dana)
- 1 cup shelled fresh green peas (vatana)
- A fistful of coriander leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt, to taste
- 2-3 pinches of asafoetida
- 1 tablespoon garam masala (optional, I used MDH brand)
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- 2 green chillies
- Red chilli powder, to taste (optional)
- Juice of 3/4 of a lemon, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons of sugar, or to taste
- 8-10 whole raw cashewnuts
- 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon mustard
For the outer shell:
- 1-1/2 cups maida
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- Salt, to taste
- A little oil to bind the dough
Oil, to deep fry the kachoris
First, prepare the dough for the outer shell of the kachori.
- Mix together the maida and whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Add salt to taste and about 1 tablespoon oil.
- Adding water little by little, bind everything together into a soft dough.
- Cover and keep aside till you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
Now, we will proceed to make the filling.
- Wash the pigeon peas and green peas well under running water. Pat dry using a cotton cloth. Coarsely crush them using a mixer. Just pulse the mixer twice or thrice, giving the ingredients a mix with a spoon in between. You don’t have to make a fine paste – just coarsely crush the peas.
- Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add mustard, and let it pop. Add in the crushed pigeon peas and green peas. Cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the peas disappears, about 2 minutes. Let this cool down completely.
- To the cooked and cooled peas, add salt and sugar to taste, asafoetida, lemon juice, garam masala (if using), raisins and grated coconut. Finely chop coriander and add to the peas. Chop ginger and green chillies, grind to a paste, and add this to the peas. Chop the cashewnuts and add to the peas. Add red chilli powder, if using. Mix well, taste, and adjust seasonings if needed. Keep aside.
Now, we will make the kachoris.
1. Heat oil for deep frying in a large pan, till smoking point.
2. Meanwhile, get the kachoris ready. Make small balls out of the dough and roll one into a small circle. Spread the pea stuffing evenly over the circle, then close it. Seal the edges. Drop the prepared kachori into hot oil and lower flame to medium. Deep fry evenly on both sides, drain excess oil, and transfer to a serving plate.
3. Prepare all kachoris similarly. Serve them hot with spicy green chutney and sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney.
- Here is how I make the spicy green chutney that I serve with these kachoris.
- Here is how I make the sweet-and-sour tamarind chutney that goes beautifully with these kachoris.
- If you think the heat from the ginger and green chillies is good enough, skip adding the red chilli powder. You might even want to use more green chillies, depending upon your personal taste preferences.
- These kachoris can be made using pigeon peas (tuver lilva or tuver dana) entirely, skipping the green peas. If you want, you can even add in some potatoes, like I did here.
- These kachoris can be made plain and simple with a stuffing made of just pigeon peas, green peas, ginger and green chilli paste, asafoetida, mustard, salt, sugar, lemon juice and turmeric powder, with red chilli powder added in if needed. The garam masala, cashewnuts, coconut and raisins can be omitted, but they give a lovely flavour to the kachoris, so I personally wouldn’t recommend the omission.
- Typical Gujarati kachoris do have sugar in them, but you may leave it out if you want to. Again, that isn’t something I would recommend doing.
- You can skip the maida and make the kachoris with whole wheat flour as well.
You like? I hope you will try out these kachoris at home too, and that you will love them as much as we do!
This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Winter Special Recipes’.