KOCHURI WITH ALURDOM (stuffed luchis with potato curry)

Luchis is a uniquely Bengali dish dating back over a hundred years.  It is usually cooked with lentils, but at this time of year with the peas in season, they do a different version with fresh peas instead of lentils. A good accompaniment to this dish is potato curry. This is a cheap and traditional Kolkata dish that people cook at home. You can have it at any time of the day and it can be cooked in just a couple of minutes.

Ingredients – dough:
500gm dough
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp ghee
1 cup water (approx.)

Ingredients – filling:
4 tbsp kalai or urhad dal soaked in water overnight or for several hours – OR fresh peas, when in season.
½ tsp aniseed
½ tsp cumin seed*
1/8 teaspoon onion seeds*
½ tsp salt
pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons ghee
*dry fried and powdered

Ingredients -potato curry:
1kg small potatoes, unpeeled
100gms onion, chopped
150gms onion paste
3 tsp turmeric paste
1 tsp red chilli paste
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 cups water
Garam masala
2 bay leaves

Method – Filling:

1. Drain water from dal. Grind to a fine paste. If using fresh peas, just grind them to a fine paste.

2. Heat one tablespoon of ghee in a karai, add dal or peas, the powdered masalas, salt and sugar. Stir and cook till completely blended. Keep aside until dough is ready.

Method – Dough:

1. Sieve together the flour and salt. Add one tablespoon of ghee and sufficient water to form pliable dough. Knead until soft.

2. Divide dough into 8 portions and roll into balls. Inserting finger in the centre of a ball of dough, work with fingers to increase the hole to form a cup.

Method – Dough & Filling:

1. Stuff the dough cup with some of the filling. Close cup, sealing well, re-roll to a ball. Press flat and then roll on floured board into rounds twice the size of ordinary luchis but much thicker.

2. Deep fry in ghee till lightly browned. Drain off ghee and serve.

Method – Potato Curry:

1. Boil the potatoes in water, till just done. Drain in colander and pour cold water over them. Cool and then peel.

2. Heat ghee till very hot. Fry chopped onions till golden brown. Add onion paste and cook a couple of minutes, then add turmeric and red chilli paste.

3. Cook without adding any water, but without burning the masalas, for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and let it come to the boil.

4. Add boiled potatoes, sugar and salt and simmer until liquid is reduced to half. In a separate pan heat 1 teaspoon ghee.

5. Add garam masala and bay leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes and pour onto the potatoes. Stir and cook a couple of minutes longer and then remove from heat.