Pakoras are a quick and simple treat that will delight the tastebuds and your guests alike! You won't often find them on a menu or anywhere outside the Indian home. The onion bhaji is probably the closest thing many people will have tried to the pakora. My mum would make them on a weekend to have with mid-morning or afternoon tea, yum!
1 cup chickpea flour (aka gram or besan flour)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 onion, sliced
½ a potato, diced into 1cm cubes
1 green chilli, finely chopped
A handful of spinach
Place the ingredients in the first part of the list into a bowl. You may want to sieve the flour. You can use ground coriander but I used seeds then crush them in a pestle and mortar. This takes about 5 mins but is totally worth the effort.
Add cold water to the the bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands until you have a batter that resembles the consistency of a thick milkshake. I stick the bowl under a low running tap and gradually build up the batter.
Next add the ingredients in the second part of the list to the bowl and mix together well. Leave these to rest while you heat up the oil.
Keep the heat at a medium heat and test it's ready with a little drop of the batter. It should immediately start cooking if the oil is at the right temperature.
With a tablespoon, take a serving of the batter and vegetables and drop into the hot oil. It should hold together and start bubbling away. Continue to drop more servings into the oil until it gets crowded.
After a minute, start to turn over the pakoras loosely in the order you dropped them in. After about 5 mins they should be golden brown on both sides. Take one out to test. They should be cooked throughout and not gooey inside once ready.
Placing them onto some kitchen paper when ready helps removes excess oil. They'll stay hot for quite a while so you can cook the entire batch before serving.
Serve on their own or with tamarind sauce. Perfect with a cup of tea! Delicious when cold too.
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