Vegetable Pakoras/Fritters & Apple Chutney.
Pakoras are popular spiced, batter-dipped, deep-fried, vegetables that make perfect snacks
or hors d'oeuvres. Ghee is the preferred medium for frying pakoras, although you can use nut
or vegetable oil. Serve hot pakoras with your favourite chutney or dip.
Try batter-frying various types of vegetables. Cauliflower pakoras are probably the most
popular, but equally delicious are potato rings, zucchini chunks, spinach leaves,
pumpkin slices, eggplant rings, baby tomatoes, sweet potatoes, red or green pepper slices,
asparagus tips, and artichoke hearts.
Cook pakoras slowly to ensure that the batter and the vegetables cook simultaneously.
You needn't precook the vegetables.
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
BATTER SITTING TIME: 10-15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
YIELD: 2 dozen large or 3 dozen medium pakoras
2/3 cup (165 ml) chickpea flour
2/3 cup (165 ml) plain flour
2/3 cup (165 ml) self-raising flour
2 teaspoons (12 ml) salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon (7 ml) turmeric
2 teaspoons (10 ml) cayenne pepper
1 teaspoons (7 ml) ground coriander
2 teaspoons (10 ml) green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
about 2 cups (625 ml) cold water,
or enough to make a smooth batter
bite-sized vegetable pieces of your choice
ghee or oil for deep-frying
1. Combine the flours, salt, powdered spices, and green chilis in a bowl.
Mix well with a wire whisk.
2. Slowly add cold water while whisking the batter until it achieves the consistency of
medium-light cream. When you dip the vegetable in the batter, it should be completely
coated but neither thick and heavy nor runny and thin. Have extra flour and water on hand
to adjust the consistency as required. Let the batter sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Heat fresh ghee or oil, to the depth of 6.5-7.5 cm (2-3 inches), in a wok or
deep-frying vessel until the temperature reaches about 180 degrees C/345-355 degrees F.
Dip 5 or 6 pieces of vegetable in the batter and, one at a time, carefully slip them into
the hot oil.
4. The temperature will fall, but try to maintain it between 173-180 degrees C
(345-355 degrees F) throughout the frying. Fry until the pakoras are golden brown,
turning to cook them evenly on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on
paper towels. Continue cooking until all the pakoras are done. Serve immediately or
keep warm, uncovered, in a preheated cool oven for up to 1/2 hour.
(tastes great with pakoras)
Chutney varies immensely according to the kind of apples used, but invariably sour
Granny Smiths seem to produce the best results. This chutney is hot yet sweet and
can be served as an accompaniment to a great variety of savoury dishes. Allow 1-4
spoonfuls per serving. Apple chutney can be refrigerated in a sealed container.
PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: 1 hour
YIELD: enough for 10 persons
2 tablespoons (40 ml) ghee or oil
1 teaspoon (7 ml) cumin seeds
2 fresh hot green chilis, cut into thin rings
2 teaspoons (10 ml) minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon (5 ml) turmeric
500 g (about 1 pound) tangy green apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 teaspoon (6 ml) ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon (3 ml) ground nutmeg
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
1. Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy 2-litre/quart saucepan over medium heat. Saute the
cumin seeds in the hot ghee until golden brown. Add the green chilies and minced ginger
and saute for 1 minute; then add the turmeric and the sliced apples. Stirfry for 2-3 minutes.
2. Reduce the heat to low and add the water, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally,
for about 15-20 minutes or until the apples become soft. Add the sugar and continue to cook
the chutney until it becomes jam-like. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate
for up to a week.