Holi 2023: Crunchy Bihari Kachri To Your Festive Pakoda Platter
Image Credit: Kachri is also known as Chana Dal Pakori. Image courtesy: Maayeka

Holi is always a special occasion for Indian families, but each and every one has specific rituals that are followed based on region of origin. The rituals are handed down through generations, and recipes are an integral part of the celebrations—and this holds true for all festivals. In my Bengali family, Holi is celebrated with Pakodas, Elo Jhelo Nimki and cooking up a brilliant Mutton Kosha in the evening. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across a brilliant new Pakoda variety after getting married. Kachri, also known as Chana Dal Pakori, is a crunchy, crispy Pakoda variety that’s cooked in the family I married into. 

My in-laws are from Patna, Bihar—a state popular for gems like Litti Chokha, Sattu Parathas, a rich Mustard Fish Curry, an even richer Mutton Curry, and many others. In Bihar, Holi is considered to be the beginning of the new year, so the celebrations last for two days encompassing Holika Dahan and Holi. During my first Holi after getting married, I came across my mother-in-law preparing a huge platter of Pakodas on the evening before Holi, the night which is popularly known for Holika Dahan or Agaja (as they call it in Bihar). Most of the Pakodas were ones I was familiar with because they were made with veggies like potatoes, cauliflowers, green chillies, etc. Kachri was the only one I hadn’t ever seen or tasted before. 

My mother-in-law explained that Kachri is one of the traditional Pakodas her family prepares as an arpan or submission to the Agaja. While many in Bihar prepare Kachri on all special occasions, my mother-in-law only makes it around Holi, making it a very special treat indeed. She also has a very specific way of making it. Unlike most Pakodas, which are roughly shaped or round, the Kachri she makes is small, bite-sized, in fact almost bullet-sized. Obviously, the hand control and coordination needed to make every Kachri the same size is an art, and my mother-in-law is a master at it. She makes them this particular size because they are easy to eat and the small size ensures that every Kachri is equally crunchy. Her method works, and how! 

If you are looking to expand your Holi 2023 special Pakoda platter, then this Kachri recipe would be the perfect addition. Kachri is very easy to make and you can easily whip up a batch effortlessly while you’re making other Pakodas for the celebrations. Here’s my mother-in-law's recipe for you to try out this Holi 2023. 


1 cup chana dal, soaked overnight 

1 onion, finely chopped 

2 green chillies, finely chopped 

½ tsp turmeric powder 

¼ tsp black pepper powder 

Salt, to taste 

Oil, for frying 


1. Drain the soaked chana dal, place it in a mixer jar and grind it into a fine paste. Use a splash or two of water if needed. 

2. Transfer the ground chana dal into a large bowl. 

3. Add the onions, green chillies, turmeric powder, black pepper powder and salt. 

4. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps and the batter is consistent. 

5. Heat oil in a wok, then using the tips of your fingers, drop bullet-sized bits of the batter into the oil. 

6. Fry the Kachri until it turns crispy and golden-brown. Drain them into paper towels to soak up any extra oil. 

7. Serve the Kachri hot with chutney.