Pastry-encased cinnamon-spiced peas
These delicious balls of pea-green joy are an old Gujarati delicacy. They are often served at family functions because they’re very easy to wolf down when no one is looking. Baked in the oven, they are best served on a bed of sharp lime-pickled onions, alongside some mint and yoghurt chutney.
A food processor is ideal to make the kachori mixture, but if you don’t have one, you can use a pestle and mortar and a potato masher. Amazingly, pea kachori can be made almost entirely from items you’ll probably already have in the freezer and store cupboard.
MAKES AROUND 25 KACHORI (TO SERVE 5 TO 8 PEOPLE)
© 2023 Meera Sodha / Penguin · Reproduced with permission.
You Will Need
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a tray with some oil.
Place the ginger and green chillies in a food processor and blitz into a paste, or bash them up using a pestle and mortar. If using a food processor, remove the paste and set to one side. Briefly blitz the peas in the food processor and set aside, or mash up using a potato masher.
Put 3 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan on a medium heat and, when it’s hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add the ginger and chilli paste, stir-fry for a couple of minutes, then add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Now add the cinnamon, garam masala, turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until there is little to no moisture left but the peas are still bright green. Transfer to a bowl and put to one side.
To make the dough, put the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle and add the salt and oil. Rub through with your fingers until the flour resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour in 120ml of the water and add the rest little by little, kneading it into the dough until it feels nice and firm. Pour a teaspoon of oil into your hands and pat the dough with it to keep it moist.