PAKORA:what is pakora?
These are popular snacks in Pakistan and northern India, and are easy to make. People serve them to unexpected guests washed down with cups of tea, as the ingredients are readily available in subcontinental kitchens. You can make them with aubergines (eggplants), or potatoes, but the most important ingredient is the chickpea flour, or besan as it is called. You can grind your own from dried chickpeas if you can’t buy it at your local supermarket.
People enjoy eating these while sitting on their verandahs or balconies, and watching the rain in the monsoon season.
250 gr chickpea flour (besan)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
100 gr spinach, washed thoroughly, dried and finely shredded
6 green chillies, very finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala (see our recipe)
1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried mint
1 handful fresh coriander leaves, finely shredded
1 tbsp dried pomegranate seeds, soaked in water for 5 mins before using
¾ cup water
salt and pepper
oil for deep frying
Put the chickpea flour along with the vegetables, spices and herbs into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the water and knead until everything is evenly mixed. If you feel you need a little more water add some, but not too much.
Heat the oil in a frying pan or deep-fryer and when it starts to bubble, take a tbsp of the mixture and drop it into the pan. Continue doing this until you have a layer of Pakora and fry until they are lightly browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and drain on absorbent paper while cooking the next batch. Keep warm (in a preheated oven) until they are all cooked.
Serve with our mint and yoghurt sauce and the traditional cup of tea.