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How to make kachoris for school lunch

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Here in Chandler tomorrow, July 21, is back to school. All Chandler schools which follow a modified year round schedule, schools open in the third week of July. One of the first things Moms have to think of when kids go back to school is how to provide filling, nutritious school lunches that kids would actually eat. One good option for school lunch is kachori. Kachoris are Indian fried bread stuffed with dry ingredients like peas, lentils and spices. They are similar to puris except for the filling. Kachoris are good for school lunches since they are filled with nutritious ingredients like green peas, lentils etc that provide kids with much needed proteins and vitamins. They are easy to eat as kids can eat them like a pizza. They are easy to make and can be prepared the day before and packed into lunch boxes. Here is a simple recipe for green kachoris made from peas. If you do not want to make your own kachoris, Little India in Tempe makes fresh kachoris. You can also buy frozen kachoris in Indian groceries like Ashoka and Lee Lee Oriental Supermarket in Chandler.

Green Kachoris

Stuffing

  • 2 cans garden peas (drained and mashed)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp asafetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp bhaja masala
  • 1 tsp chopped green chilies
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp canola oil

Bread dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 cups canola oil (for frying)
  • 1½ cups water

Method
In a sauté pan heat canola oil. Fry the onions in the oil till translucent. Add ginger paste and the mashed peas. Add salt, asafetida, cumin, garam masala and bhaja masala powders. Keep sautéing till the stuffing mixture is dry. Finish with chopped chilies and cilantro.
Knead the flour with the salt, sugar and 1 tsp oil. Knead into a soft dough with the water. Make 2” balls with the dough. Form a cup with each ball and put 1 tsp stuffing into the cup. Roll back into a ball and use a rolling pin to make a 4” disk (kachori). Repeat the process with the rest of the dough balls. In a wok heat the remaining canola oil. Deep fry the kachoris in oil till it puffs up. Fry the other side, drain and keep on a paper towel lined platter. Fry all the kachoris but do not stack them, so that they remain puffed . Serve hot with chutney or ketchup. For school lunch, let kachoris cool completely before wrapping in tin foil and packing in lunchbox.

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