“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” Craig Claiborne
Pakoras are a popular Indian snack that are perfect for a rainy day or to serve as appetizers. Traditional pakoras are made with different vegetables, which are dipped in a spicy besan (chickpea flour) batter, and deep fried. These delicious, crispy snacks are even better when paired with a cup of hot aromatic ‘Masala Chai’. This snack would also be great with Cardamon Walnut Chai Cake. Sweet cake, savory pakoras, and Masala chai… tea party!
I remember while growing up, whenever it would be rainy and gloomy on a weekend my dad would tell my mum that it was “a perfect day for chai and pakoras!”. Obviously this was a hint of what he was hoping to get with his afternoon chai. So that was it… the afternoon was
cooked… booked: hot chai and crispy pakoras.
Sunday was just one of those days! We woke up to the rain and it just wasn’t stopping. Hoping for some sunshine we attempted to go about our day but soon realized it was going to be like this all day. After moping around the house I suddenly remembered what my dad always hinted to my mom. HD was excited and accepted the proposition graciously [love sigh::my guinea pig]. And our plan was made! Evening chai with vegetable pakoras, and a Bollywood movie.
I used onions, potatoes, long hot peppers, and green chilies for my vegetable pakoras. These can be made with pretty much any vegetable of your liking (cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini… etc.)
1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala (basic blend of ground Indian spices)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup water
1 cup of finely sliced potatoes
1 medium onion cut julienne style
1 green chili finely chopped
2 long hot peppers cut in one inch pieces
Sift the chickpea flour into a medium bowl. Mix in the coriander powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala and garlic. Make a well in the center of the flour. Gradually pour the water into the well and mix to form a thick, smooth batter. Mix in the fresh coriander and mint. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Once mixture has settled mix in all vegetables. Over medium-high heat in a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the coated vegetables in small batches until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels before serving. Pakoras test best when eaten hot and fresh. Serve them with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or just plain!