Pistachio kachori are little dough balls filled with pistachio, chocolate and cream cheese. They’re a little like fried dumplings and they’re absolutely delicious.
Back along I was sent some of the ingredients to make a couple of the recipes from Indian-Inspired Desserts by Roopa Rawal of Devnaa. I’ve already posted the chocolate and hazelnut ladoo which turned out brilliantly. But although I made these pistachio chocolate kachori a while ago, I’ve got a little behind with my posting.
What are Kachori?
Kachori are crisp deep fried pastry balls usually stuffed with some sort of pea or lentil mixture. They’re mostly savoury and served as snacks alongside some sort of chutney. But in the state of Rajasthan they make a sweet version and douse them in syrup. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never eaten kachori before, but Roopa’s recipe for pistachio and chocolate cheese balls, flavoured with cardamom and fried inside pastry cases sounded too good to miss.
How to make Pistachio Chocolate Kachori
The process for making pistachio chocolate kachori is a little on the fiddly side. But they’re well worth the effort, so please don’t be put off. Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive about making them as it’s a fairly elaborate process and things could go wrong at any stage. But actually nothing much did go wrong.
There are five distinct stages.
1. Make Paneer
I’ve made yogurt and kefir cheese on many an occasion, but I’ve not made paneer before. I suspected it might not be quite as easy as it sounded in the recipe and I was right. Even though I folded my muslin into four, much of the solids must have passed through as there was a lot of whey left over. It was also white, not clear as I’d have expected.
Despite this, I still ended up with 24 truffle sized balls when the recipe stated 15 smaller ones. I tend to keep whey as I find it useful for all sorts of purposes. These white chocolate and whey scones, for example.
2. Create Filling
This is nice and easy and just involves some mixing. The book’s recipe states two tablespoons of chocolate chips and two of chopped pistachios. That doesn’t make it particularly easy to get the right amount, so I’ve given a measure for 25g of each.
3. Form Pastry
I always find pastry making a bit daunting and I’d never used this method before with these particular ingredients. But what a breeze. I was very impressed with the dough. It was simple to make and really easy to handle.
4. Roll & Stuff The Pastry
This was a bit fiddly, but not nearly as difficult as I’d feared. The pastry was surprisingly pliable and held together really well.
5. Deep Fry The Kachori
I’ve always stayed clear of deep frying, so I was rather reluctant to do this part. I didn’t put the full 7 cm depth of oil in the pan as a) I didn’t have enough and b) was a bit worried about having so much hot oil. In the end I used about 1½ cm and turned the pistachio kachori over half way through cooking. This seemed to work well. All I then needed to do was to drain them well on kitchen paper.
For a first attempt, I reckoned these were pretty good. I’ve learnt a thing or two and would hope to produce even better kachori next time. I’d pinch off more of the pastry from the underside and fry them for a little longer, as the dough wasn’t quite cooked enough in places.
It was well worth the effort as they were utterly delicious, crispy on the outside and sweet and creamy on the inside. CT has made several broad hints that I should have another go at these pistachio kachori. He says it’s in the interests of perfecting my kachori skills. Hmmm!
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these pistachio chocolate kachori, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you like Indian sweets, you might also like my blackberry, coconut & rose barfi.
Chocolate Chip Pistachio Kachori. PIN IT.
Pistachio Kachori – The Recipe
- 1 litre whole milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 30 g caster sugar
- 25 g chocolate chips (2 tbsp)
- 25 g pistachio nuts (2 tbsp) - chopped
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 200 g plain flour
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 150 ml warm water
- oil for frying
- Heat the milk in a pan over a moderate heat until it starts to boil.
- Add the lemon juice. The milk should split almost immediately. As soon as the mixture looks slightly green, remove from the heat.
- Line a colander or large sieve with a piece of cheesecloth or fine muslin. Pour the milk in carefully and allow the liquid to either drain into the sink or into a bowl if you want the whey for later use.
- Tie a knot in the cloth and hang it from the tap, or from a kitchen cupboard door knob as I do. Allow the paneer to drip for about two hours. Do remember to place a bowl underneath the cloth if you a) want to keep the whey or b) don't want your kitchen tops flooded.
- Meanwhile make the dough.
- Place the flour into a wide mixing bowl. Add the oil and rub into the flour.
- Make a well in the centre, add half of the warm water and stir from the inside out until the mixture comes together. Use more water if needed. You don't want the dough to be sticky, but it shouldn't be too dry either. Knead for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth ball. Cover and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Unwrap the paneer and put it into the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar and pulse a couple of times. Alternatively just mix together in a bowl.
- Stir in the pistachios, chocolate and cardamom.
- Roll ½ teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls. I made 24.
- Divide the dough into 24 pieces and roll each one into a circle big enough to encase the filling. You shouldn't need to add flour to the worktop as the pastry shouldn't be sticky.
- Place a paneer ball into the middle of a pastry circle and bring up the sides to cover the filling. Pinch the dough together at the top so that it holds and remove any excess if necessary. Cover with a tea towel whilst you repeat the process with the remaining filling and dough.
- Place about 7 cm of oil in a pan over a moderate heat. Test with a piece of pastry. It should sink to the bottom then rise after a couple of seconds and start to brown. Fry the kachori a few at a time until they're lightly golden and the pastry looks cooked.
- Serve warm with a sprinkling of icing sugar if liked.
As I made the Paneer with a litre of our local raw organic milk, I’m submitting these pistachio kachori to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary for her Shop Local event, which champions the buying of local foods.
I’m also sending them off to Javelin Warrior for his entirely made from scratch Made with Love Mondays.