Matar kachori (peas stuffed fried dumplings) is a much loved Indian snack that can make almost anyone’s mouth salivate. Small balls of dough are stuffed with pickled spicy fresh peas and fried till they reach crispy flaky perfection. Served with some coriander mint chutney and date tamarind sweet chutney, this matar kachori is a must make for special occasions.
Things that forever have my silly stupid little heart:
2. Bedtime stories of my nani (grandma)
3. Antakshari (singing out loud) with my family on our rooftop in summer evenings
4. Puchkas or Gol gappa
5. Dance dance and dance some more!
6. My lil niece Sia 😘
7. Kachori – matar, daal + kachi aam, sattu + onion in that order.
Usually I give in and make matar kachori every year around this time for Holi. It’s a tradition. It’s a ritual. It’s something I plan my whole year around coz heck there isn’t anything better than a super crispy, perfectly flaky piece of deep fried dumpling / kachori stuffed with all kinds of spicy tangy achaari peas goodness.
I spent all of yesterday doing what I love best. Not cooking for a change. Rather reading. I had forgotten what a powerful thing writing is. In the quest to churn out posts for you guys in time for Holi, I had put aside my voice and started rambling on, concentrating more on the recipe than the story that usually I love to share. But after spending a good couple of hours reading my favorites like David Lebowitz, Orangette and The year in food I remembered what had made me start a blog in the first place.
Right off the start I knew it wouldn’t be a place for me to just share cut and dry recipes. Heck, if that’s what you are after (and no judgement here), you might find another website giving you loads of recipes. But me? This space here will always be filled with a chatty me. This space here will always be filled with food that is unabashedly fun, fast and fabulous, with stories that are intensely personal and photography that is forever moody. That doesn’t mean the recipes are not important. Of course they are. I make them many times over before sharing them here which is why you wont see me posting everyday coz its impossible to eat that much! But when I do share a recipe with you guys, its a piece of my soul. Something that I have made my own by tweaking it to suit my modern sensibilities or other classics from my mother and granny’s recipe books.
This matar kachori for instance. There isn’t a snack in the world i would trade these for, except may be these scrumptious Keema samosa. (Sorry but I am a samosa girl for life). These matar kachori are actually my husband’s family recipe, something that his naani used to make for him. As a child he spent a considerable amount of time living with his granny till the age of 11 and till date his love for those delicacies know no bounds. So come Holi, this and Malpua with Rabri are something I absolutely have to make. The dahi bhalla/ vada is optional. As is the mutton curry. But this matar kachori and those malpuas, nope. Not a chance.
So yes, I know we are all busy trying to get healthier and do the “clean eating” thing. While we are at it, can I just point it out how much that term annoys me! What is clean eating? And where does it say only fruits and vegan things are clean? May be I am old and too set in my ways but for me food will always be more than just a calorie number, so much more than a fad of the season you need to blindly follow, and definitely much more wholesome, hearty and soul-fixing than a bowl of styled to hell smoothie will ever be. So yes, be healthy. Of course take care of what you put in your body but not coz its fashionable or coz you need to lose weight. Do it coz food is so much more than mere sustenance for the body.
In fact foods like this matar kachori are sustenance for the soul. They are the invisible but edible love that every person craves for. They are those indelible memories that make a person. And when it comes to celebrating, how can a special dish like this matar kachori not be a part of the feast? So this Holi, along with whatever you make, give these a try. They are exactly what your party needs to be perfect.
The dough is simple enough with an usual cast ; flour, salt, ghee, chilled water ( a must). Given that fresh peas are soon going to be a thing of past, this is the perfect time to go ahead and make these. We love our filling to be spicy and tangy. So the pre-boiled peas are then cooked with some onions, achaari spices and organic chickpea flour and ground coarsely. This masala is then stuffed into rolled out discs of th dough and deep fried. It seems simple. Easy right? It is but it can be a little tricky too! So please pay attention to the instructions if you wish to achieve a perfectly flaky (karara) matar kachori. I used my diminutive charms and considerable nagging prowess to get these gems on making the perfect dough from my neighborhood mithai wala. Trust me , those tips are pro!
So go ahead make these delicious matar kachori this Holi or just about any time you are in the mood for some good old desi snack. While you are at it and indulging in fried stuff, make some keema samosa and savour them too! After all Holi comes just once a year and if you dont indulge now, you know you wont for the next three months what with the impending Indian summer. But if you are set on a baked savory, these caprese empanadas (cheese + tomato+ basil stuffed gujiya) are sheer perfection!!
Many a brain storming sessions and discussions, that experience called “adda” would be incomplete without this ubiquitous and humble Indian snack of matar kachori and adrak wali chai.
Invite friends over, get those karahis ready and go make these matar kachoris like there is no tomorrow. I know many sad and deplorable things are going on in the world, food seems trivial at times. But sharing food with someone is much larger than just food. Its about forging friendships that break barriers, its about giving someone comfort, its creating a loving powerful memory for your little one, and I can vouch about the impact of these small memories. They almost always lead to beautiful soulful things like books and poems you cant put down and other times help create smaller but equally honest things like this space here -a little girl still remembering her childhood and recreating it one dish at a time, for you, her new friends.
Wishing everyone a life of love and joy,