While kachoris are commonly eaten in several parts of India, the club kachoris of Kolkata give the dish a unique twist.
If you wake up in Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh one day, you’d be tantalized by the aroma of freshly-made kachoris early in the morning. This is a staple breakfast in these parts of the country. Although it is said that kachoris originated in Rajasthan, we find a penchant for this crispy snack in many other parts of the country too. In fact, there are a variety of kachoris that are fried, including the Banarasi kachori and the Nagori kachori. Some are sweet while others are spicy, but the essence of this deep-fried dish remains intact. In Delhi too, there are plenty of food stalls and restaurants that make kachoris and serve them with aloo ki subzi (potato curry). It is the way the kachori is made and the things that are stuffed in it that distinguishes one from the other.
You may find pyaaz kachoris (onion kachoris) in Delhi and other metro cities but to savour the best one, you’ll have to head to Rajasthan. The caramelized onions are spruced up with the kachori masala and filled in the hollow dough to be deep-fried. Since it is the desert area, cool spices like saunf are added to the kachori to balance the heat. The accompaniments for kachori also vary from region to region. You’ll be served a tangy imly chutney (tamarind) in one part of the country or a spicy coriander and mint chutney in some other. However, to make it a fulfilling breakfast dish, kachori is paired with aloo ki subzi in most areas like Uttar Pradesh.
What struck us the most upon looking for kachoris is the club kachori of Kolkata. Did you know that such a dish existed? We didn’t until now. Kolkata, the metro city which is famous for its baigan bhaja, fish fry and chops on Park Street, is also home to a distinct style of kachori. Surprised much? The uniqueness of the kachori lies in its size and filling. Unlike the large, round kachoris found elsewhere, the club kachoris are bite-sized pooris which are fluffy and tasty at the same time.
Stuffed with urad dal paste, the kachoris are nothing like the khasta kachoris that you relish in Delhi or UP. Their USP lies in the fact that they are made from maida like others, but when you break it open, you’ll find a strong hint of heeng filling the room and appetizing your taste buds. Ginger and chilli are also mixed with the kachori masala, giving it a unique taste.
Asafoetida or heeng is the highlight of the kachori as is the addition of urad dal or black gram paste. The mini pooris are usually served with a side of spicy potato curry or aloo ki subzi. If you’re thinking that this curry is ordinary, there’s a twist here too. The potato curry is often cooked with pumpkin aka kaddu and mashed together to give a fiery accompaniment to the crunchy and fluffy dish.
This club kachori with aloo ki subzi is a classic breakfast combination in Kolkata, made at home as well as found on the busy streets. Want to try some today? Here’s the recipe.