We don't really deep fry foods at our house but this recipe is the exception to the rule. Pakoras are a little bit indulgent and we often eat them with a vegetarian/vegan meal of chickpea korma or especially with our favourite masoor daal (red lentil curry).
We were first introduced to the humble pakora at our favourite Indian take-away in Vancouver. We started making our own when I began experiencing more problems with dairy and eating out became more problematic. I cook them on a night when we want to feel like we have had a special take-away meal without ordering take-away.
If you don't own a deep fryer then cook in a deep heavy-bottomed pot with a few inches of oil. I cook them outside so the deep fried smell doesn't go through the house. The pakoras freeze or keep in the fridge well for a gentle reheat later. Unfortunately, ours never last long enough with my biggest kid eating them cold out of the fridge as a late night snack. There is never a pakora left the morning after an Indian feast!
- 1 cup of besan (chickpea) flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 3/4 - 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
- 1 tsp. crushed or minced garlic
- 2 cups of assorted fresh vegetables of your choice such as finely chopped cabbage, corn, green beans, green onion and/or grated carrot
- rice bran oil for frying
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and then add the water and mix well. Your batter should resemble thick cake batter. Add your veggies and stir. Try to keep the veggies uniform in size so they will cook evenly.
In a heavy bottom pot, pour your rice bran oil in so it is a few inches high and heat until hot enough for frying. You can test this by dipping a chopstick or wooden spoon handle in the hot oil and if small but vigorous bubbles form then your oil is ready.
Drop the batter in by the heaping tablespoon and fry until cooked through. Try not to make the pakoras too large as they will struggle to cook through in the middle. Place cooked fritters on a plate or tray covered in paper towel. These freeze well or can be stored in the fridge, reheated or simply eaten cold. Makes approximately 24 pakoras depending on the size.