I love to cook. Making yummy food for myself and others makes me really happy. Tonight though, I got to combine two activities that make me happy: cooking, and hanging out with my friend, Megan.
Through a completely collaborative effort, we made a delicious, Indian-inspired meal: Chicken curry with vegetables, basmati rice, vegetable pakoras, and a cool yogurt and dill cucumber salad.
The pakoras were a lot of fun to make. First Megan whipped up a batter of chickpea flour, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, and salt. To that we added chopped onion, garlic, cauliflower, and spinach. Once combined, I got to deep fry stuff. I don’t do this very often (well, except for the 3 batches of fish cakes I made in Barbados). Once we got the amount and temperature of the oil correct, we were flying. What came out of the oil were these tasty, golden bundles of deep fried vegetable goodness. With a bit of apple chutney to serve, these pakoras were a great addition to our flavourful trip to India.
Recipe: Vegetable Pakoras with Cauliflower, Spinach, and Onion
Firstly, I apologize for no measurements. I’ll try to give approximations so you have somewhere to start from. Megan and I were aiming for a consistency similar to pancake batter. You know, somewhere between runny tempura and thick cookie dough.
- Chickpea flour, about 2 cups
- Garam Masala, about 2 tsps
- Turmeric, about 1/2 tsp
- Chili Powder, about 1/2 tsp (more or less depending on how spicy you like your food)
- Optional spices: cumin, ground coriander, ginger powder (these were in our packaged Garam Masala spice, so we chose not to add extra)
- Salt, about 1/4 tsp
- Water, enough to created a batter of pancake like consistency. We probably used about 3/4 of a cup
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a deep pot or deep fryer, heat your vegetable oil to optimum deep frying temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine your chickpea flour, Garam Masala, turmeric, chili powder, optional spices, and salt. Stir with a fork to mix your dry ingredients.
- Slowly add water, mixing as you go, until you have a batter that is similar to that of pancakes. You don’t want it too runny and you don’t want it too thick. I know – that’s really helpful. But I have faith that you’ll get it exactly the way you want it.
- Once your batter is where you want it, add in your chopped veggies and mix until coated.
- Using a couple of small tea spoons, carefully drop the mixture into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd! Fry until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes).
- Remove from oil and allow to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and serve with a spicy chutney. Apple, peach, or mango would all work well.