Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Snack of India: Pakora

This is a snack I was introduced to during one of my friends and I's bollywood movie nights.  It's a south-Asian recipe that takes your favorite vegetables, dips them in a flavor-filled chickpea mixture, and fries them in oil.  It's similar to what we know as fritters, or Japanese tempura.  Perfect as an easy and healthy way to satisfy the munchies.

Pakora isn't pretty, but man is it GOOD!

I make them using non-standard veggies like broccoli and green beans.  Other options are things like potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, get the idea.  Anything goes!

You'll Need:

- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- dill
- ground cumin or ground coriander
- (optional) paprika 
- salt & pepper
- water

To Start:

- Mix all ingredients (spices are according to taste, but I use about a tbsp of the dill and cumin) except for the water.
- Slowly add the water while mixing until you get a mixture that is between pancake batter and hummus.  Ideally you want the mixture to stick, but without dripping too much when you roll your veggies into it.

- Should look something a little 'runnier' than this:

- Fill a pot of olive oil to about 1/4 an inch and heat on med-high (may have to play with settings for this - you don't want it to start spitting oil out - turn down if it starts popping oil).  
- Take a veggie, dip and coat it in the batter, and add it to the oil - try to get the pot evenly filled with each batch, but not crowded.
- When the veggie starts to get golden-brown on the underside, flip the veggie over in the pot to fry the other side.
- When done, place on a plate with a paper towel to cool.  Note: Always keep some veggies in the pot frying - don't take all veggies out at once/allow the pot to be empty or else it will likely make the oil start spitting.
- Once all veggies are fried (or batter runs out), pop in a bollywood movie and snack away!

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