Fresh Tuvar/Lilva Kachori
Updated 13th June 2020
Happy Father’s Day Dad
June – 2016
Though Father’s Day is celebrated on different dates by different countries, the one that is commonly celebrated by most people is the Sunday that falls during the third week of June.
I cannot remember the last time I celebrated Father’s Day with my Dad as we live a sea and ocean apart. However, that doesn’t stop me from making his favourite food on this special day. However, whenever we visit him or he comes to visit me, I try and make most of his favourite dishes. Like my father in law he loves all the Gujarati style Farsan which are fresh snacks that are generally enjoyed during tea time or as an accompaniment to a large spread of lunch or dinner. Serve any kind of farsan to my dad and he is the happiest man.
Today has been a very emotional day for hubby and me, we dearly miss dada as we called him (my father in law). Even though the kids called and wished hubby, we miss family even more. Favourite food tends to take care of all those emotional feelings. While we couldn’t share the hot lilva kachoris with my dad, we enjoyed them on our own and shared some with my neighbours.
From the vegetable market I got some fresh tuvar, pigeon pea or lilva as its called. Whenever lilva season begins here in Kenya, the first thing I think of is kachoris. Known as mbaazi in Kiswahili, the beginning crop tends be tender and green. Though it takes a long time to remove the peas from the pods, I don’t mind as I know its heading towards a super yummy snack. The task is much easier when I watch telly and open up the pods.
Different types of Kachoris
Kachoris to different parts of India is different. While in West Bengal, UP and Odisha are more flattish and usually served with a curry, like ….. Rajasthani kachoris are big, crispy and flaky. They are generally enjoyed with chutneys, or as a chaat. Gujarati kachoris are different. They are small usually shaped like a ball or semi circle shaped. The fillings for Gujarati style kachoris varies from peas, moong dal to pigeon peas. Either used on its own or as a combination, the crispy outer pastry and the soft delicious filling makes one delish snack. Whenever I have to make a full Gujarati meal for friends of family I prefer to make kachoris compared to samosa. I’ve helped my mum make kachoris ever since I was a kid.
- Matar Kachori/Peas Kachori
- Palak Paneer Kachori
- Hinger Kochuri – Bengali style kachori that Sujata loves to serve with potato curry
- Urad Dal Kachori – North Indian style kachori by Poonam that’s usually served as a snack
- Moong Dal Khasta Kachori – Ruchi makes them Rajasthani Style
Fresh Tuvar/Lilva Kachori
I learnt how to make these kachoris from my mum as she use to love them and also because they are my dad’s favourite. As we had to make enough kachoris for the huge family, my mum had a few tricks up her sleeve. She would add grated potato so the filling was easier to shape, and also she would make the semi circle ones, as she found that method much faster than creating the balls. Its important to use fresh lilva or pigeon peas. You can use frozen one but not the dried pigeon peas.
Ingredients Required for Lilva Kachori
- Plain Flour – all purpose flour, maida for the pastry. You can use wheat flour but I find that they do not stay crispy for long time.
- Salt – required for both the pastry dough and the filling
- Oil – for the pastry dough, for tempering and deep frying
- Lilva – pigeon peas, mbaazi , fresh
- Potato – to hold the filling together. Don’t add too much
- Fresh Coconut – I love to add some, however its optional
- Water – to form the dough
- Mustard Seeds – rai for tempering
- Cumin Seeds – jeera for tempering
- Turmeric Powder – haldi, hardar
- Asafetida – hing, optional if you don’t have any.
- Coriander Cumin Powder – dhana jiru, an essential in Gujarati cooking
- Fresh Ginger – processed to a paste or grated
- Green Chillis – processed to a paste
- Sugar – all Gujarati farsans call for sugar, not too much but just to balance the flavours
- Lemon Juice – preferably fresh
- Cinnamon powder – taj powder, a little for flavouring
- Clove powder – laving powder a little for flavouring
- Fresh Coriander – dhana, dhania finely chopped
- Chutney – serve with a chutney of your choice. We prefer a green chutney. Some love to have it with tomato ketchup.
- Vegan friendly
- Satvik friendly
- As it’s a fried snack, enjoy it in moderation
FRESH TUVAR/LILVA KACHORI
For The Pastry Dough:
- 1½ cup plain flour
- ½ - ¾ cup water room temperature
- 4 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp salt
For The Filling:
- 1 cup fresh pigeon pea, lilva, tuvar
- ½ cup peeled and grated potato
- 2 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp asafetida optional
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp green chilli paste
- ¾ -1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander cumin powder dhana jiru
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp clove powder
- ½ cup fresh coriander chopped
- ¼ tsp grated coconut fresh
- oil for deep frying
Preparation of Pastry Dough:
- Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.
- Rub in the oil.
- Add the water and form a dough that is not too soft or too hard.
- Don’t knead the dough too much.
- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave it on the side till required.
Preparation of the Filling:
- Coarsely mince the pigeon peas in a food processor.
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add mustard and cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add hing and turmeric powder. Add the grated potato immediately. Mix well.
- Lower the heat and stir fry the potato for about 2 minutes.
- Add the minced pigeon peas. Mix well. Cover the pan and let the vegetable cook for about 3 to 4 minutes over very low heat.
- Take the pan off the heat. Add ginger, chilli, salt and sugar. Mix well.
- When the mixture cools down a bit, add coconut, fresh coriander, lemon juice, dhana jiru,cinnamon and clove powder. Mix it well.
Preparation of the Kachoris:
- Divide the dough into 24 parts and roll each part into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth.
- Make 24 balls from the filling.(about a heaped tablespoonful)
- To shape the filling into balls, you'll have to press it gently in your fist and shape.
- Roll the one part of the dough into a circle, about 3 inches in diameter.
- Place the filling ball in the middle of the circle. Gather up the edges to the middle. Pinch the edges together. The kachori at this stage will resemble a money bag. Remove any excess dough from the top by pinching it up. Roll the kachori gently into a proper round shape and place it on a greased tray
- Prepare the rest of the kachoris in the same way.
Frying the Kachoris:
- Heat the oil in a deep pan, wok or karai over medium heat.
- Drop a tiny piece of the dough into the hot oil. If it comes up immediately the oil is ready.
- Half fry 6 to 8 kachoris at a time lightly. Remove them with a slotted spoon or jara.
- At this stage you can freeze the kachoris by arranging the cold ones in a single layer in an airtight tin. Cover with cling film, close the lid and freeze. To fry, you must deforst them in a microwave oven or allow them to melt a bit for 15-20 mins at room temperature.
- Leave the half fried kachoris in a colander till you need to fry them to serve.
Frying the Kachoris:
- Heat oil the oil that's in the wok, karai or pan over medium heat.
- Add a tiny piece of dough to the hot oil. If it sizzles up immediately then the oil is ready.
- Add 6-8 half fried kachoris, lower the heat and fry them, turning them over frequently till they are light golden in colour.
- Fry the remaining kachoris ans serve with them hot with yoru favourite chutney or tomato ketchup.
- If there is any dough left over, which there will be if you remove the extra dough while preparing the kachoris, roll them out into a circle and fry them. They taste good with a cup of masala tea.
- Prepare the half fried kachoris a day ahead and store them in a container in the fridge. Layer the kachoris on kitchen towel or foil in the container. Cover and refrigerate.
- Don’t overcook the tuvar otherwise the filling will taste dry.
- Adjust the amount of spices used according to your taste.
- While preparing the kachoris, keep them under a damp cloth so that the dough does not become dry.
- If the dough sticks to your rolling pin or board, smear them with a bit of oil.
- Remember to remove as much excess dough as you can otherwise the kachori will taste of raw dough on one side.
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