You can think of Pakoras like the Indian Tempura, although we’re not quite sure which came first! The batter is much thicker than tempura batter, as it’s an equally important element to the vegetables. Some Indians also prefer having the fried batter alone! We tend to eat Pakoras as an appetiser or an hors d’oeuvre, often preferring to eat at the coffee table in a dining room, before moving over to the dining table for the first course. Another popular pakora is the paneer pakora. Simply swap the veggies for 1 inch cubes of fresh paneer.
Recipe: Veggie Pakoras
1 potato, thinly sliced
1 small eggplant thinly sliced
6-7 cauliflower florets
Oil for deep frying.
For the batter:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
1 tsp hot oil
1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Carom seeds roughly pounded
a large pinch of Asafoetida powder
1. Mix all the ingredients for the batter together and add enough water to make a smooth batter, similar to pancake batter.
2. Heat oil in a deep pan for deep frying. Oil should be at least 5cm deep.
3. When the oil is nice and hot / begins to smoke a little, dip the veggies of the same type one at a time into the batter and immediately fry in the oil. Wait 10-15 seconds between adding veggies to prevent sticking, and do not overcrowd the pan. It may take 2-3 batches to finish all the pakoras.
4. Turn the pakoras every 15-20 seconds until they turn golden. Turning is essential to prevent overcooking or burning on any side.
5. Remove from the oil and drain on absorbant paper, kitchen roll is fine.
6. Serve hot with chilli sauce, green chutney, mango chutney or ketchup.
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