This may not be the most popular thing to say, but, I think, of all the Bengali culinary inventions, koraishutir kochuri (kachori stuffed with peas) is the most special. I mean, sure, roshogolla and macher jhal are great because what is a Bengali without mach and mishti? But whoever had the idea of encapsulating the subtle flavour of fresh green peas inside a flaky and crispy shell is genius! And nothing says festival or pujo more than the smell of freshly fried koraishutir kochuri. So here's wishing all my readers a very happy Durga Puja with these delicious kochuris!
For the stuffing
2 tbsp onion seeds
2 inches ginger
4 green chillies (or to taste)
500 gm frozen green peas, thawed
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
salt to taste
1/4 cup water (use as little water as possible)
For the shells
500 gm all-purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
lukewarm water for kneading
oil for deep frying
To make the stuffing
1. Grind the onion seeds, ginger and green chillies into a smooth paste using a little water.
2. Grind the green peas into a smooth paste using as little water as possible.
3. In a thick-bottomed pan heat the oil and temper with asafoetida.
4. Then add the peas paste and stir to mix the oil.
4. Next add the onion seeds, ginger and chilli paste and stir well.
5. Cook over medium heat, stirring continually, until all the water has evaporated and the mixture has turned a very dark green.
6. Add salt and sugar, remove from heat and let cool.
7. Once cool, make 20-25 equal sized balls out of the stuffing.
To make the shell
1. Mix flour, oil, salt and sugar in a large bowl and knead (do not add water at this stage) until everything has been thoroughly incorporated. You will know it's ready when pressing little mounds of flour in your hand forms little balls. In other words, the flour sticks together and doesn't fall apart.
2. Now using a little lukewarm water knead the flour to form a pliable dough that is neither too soft (to prevent breakage while frying) nor too hard (to make stuffing easy).
3. Cover with a damp muslin cloth or kitchen towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
4. Once the dough has rested, divide it into 20-25 small balls.
5. Next follow the video instructions above to form the kochuris*.
6. Once ready, deep fry them till both sides puff up.
* Do not let the formed kochuris sit for too long. Form and fry the kochuris simultaneously. Ask a friend to help for best results!