Practically any type of vegetable can be made into pakoras. Whatever vegetable you use, cut the pieces about the same size, so that they cook at the same speed. Eggplants, zucchini, potatoes, squash, and carrots can be sliced or cut into small chunks, cauliflower and broccoli into flowerets, and bell peppers into rings or strips. Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and folded spinach leaves can be put in whole. A welcome addition to any meal or feast, pakoras are an easy-to-make snack that goes well with a chutney.
Preparation and cooking time: 20 min
- 2 1/4 cups (225 g) chick-pea flour
- 1 tbs kalinji seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp asafetida
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup (250 ml) cold water
- 1 1/2 lbs (675 g) trimmed vegetables
- ghee or vegetable oil for deep-frying
1Sift the chick-pea flour into a large mixing bowl and add the spices, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add the cold water and whisk until you have a smooth batter, thick enough to coat the vegetables.
2Cut all the vegetables before heating the ghee. You may need to parboil large cauliflower flowerets. Use other vegetables raw.
3Put the ghee or vegetable oil over medium-high heat. The ghee is hot enough when a drop of batter put into it rises immediately to the surface and sizzles. Now put a handful of cut vegetables into the batter and coat them well. Put in one type of vegetable at a time – you’re going to fry each type separately. Take the coated vegetables out of the batter one by one and put them quickly into the hot ghee until the surface of the ghee is covered. Fry for several minutes until the pakoras are golden-brown and crisp, then remove them and let them drain. Fry all the pakoras in this way, never putting in more than one layer at a time.