Cauliflower and Zucchini Pakoras

7 07 2013

I asked my housemate Fred to write up the recipe for his pakoras since they were such a big hit at our Indian themed community dinner. Lucky for us he agreed to, so what follows is the recipe he used to make them. If you are having any sort of party (or just want to celebrate life) I highly recommend these little snacks!

What on earth is a pakora?

A pakora is generally a  vegetable dipped in a seasoned garbanzo flour or graham flour based batter, and deep fried.

Pakoras are relatively easy and fun to make, and are certain to be a crowd pleaser even among children who aren’t too fond of vegetables or even those who don’t have much of a taste for Indian food.

You may eat them with your fingers as a snack, or as an accompaniment to a sumptuous banquet, or anything else along the spectrum of the meal scale. This recipe has been adapted from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine; The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking.

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The first step in pakora making is to gather an ingredients pile.  Here’s what you’ll need to make 25-35 pieces:

1+1/3 cups of chickpea flour (sifted, if you are into sifting.  I’m personally not a sifter)

1+1/2 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of your favorite oil.

2 tablespoons of ground coriander

2 teaspoons of ginger powder (if you have it)

1/4 to 1/2 tsp of baking powder

Oil for deep frying.  I used XVOO (extra virgin olive oil).

1 head of cauliflower

a zucchini

STEP 1:

Mix the flour with the salt and the 2 tsps of oil and coriander powder and ginger powder and baking powder.  Add a few tablespoons of water and mix thoroughly.  Continue to add water until the consistency is like that of heavy cream.  (consistency is important for proper cooking!) let sit for 10-15 mins and stir again to check consistency is still right.

STEP 2:

Heat 2.5-3 inches of oil in a deep frying vessel of your choice until ready for frying. (355 degrees or so)

STEP 3:

Dip 5 or 6 quartered cauliflower flowerets or zucchini half moons into the batter, letting the excess drip off, and then one at a time carefully place into the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown.  Take out and put in a colander or on a plate with a paper towel or cloth towel to absorb the excess oil.

STEP 4: Serve immediately!  (after letting cool enough to safely consume) or keep warm for a little while until ready to serve.

Note: If you want to increase the experience, you can make some sort of a ‘yogurt-ish’ dipping sauce including shredded cucumbers, cilantro, salt, tomatoes, or something along these lines.  Or vegenaise.  They will be very enjoyable without a dipping sauce as well.





Garlicky Cilantro Slaw

3 07 2013

As we saw from the last post, cabbage is both very high in antioxidants and in season right now. Thus, I asked Madeleine to share with us today this phenomenal cabbage salad that she brought to our last community dinner. I highly recommend you stock up on some farm fresh cabbage and serve this at your fourth of july feasts! As long as you like cilantro, you won’t be disappointed.

IMG_0381Hi, my name is Madeleine and I am a former Riverbank farm intern. I have lived on a couple different organic farms and have learned a lot about eating seasonally. I currently work as a nurse but my husband works on the farm so while I may not get to eat the veg right out of the field,  I do get to eat my fair share of delicious fresh vegetables and farm market trade treats (like cheese! and cookies!).

This recipe uses many ingredients that are abundant and delicious right now.  The recipe is inspired by a chutney recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbook Flavors of India. It uses Caraflex cabbage. My husband brought his love of this type of cabbage from Germany and we started growing it at Riverbank farm. It makes the cutest little pointed heads, like little gnome hats and is especially sweet and tender (regular white cabbage would work as well). The other seasonal stars are garlic scapes (the flower stalk of the growing garlic plant), cilantro and purplette onions (a small early variety of onion, guess what color they are…). This slaw was a big hit at our Indian themed pot luck last week where we had lots of breads and curries but not much in the way of fresh salads.

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Ingredients:

3-4 cups thinly sliced cabbageIMG_0404

2 purplette onions sliced

¼ cup roasted salted, shelled peanuts or almonds

3 garlic scapes

2 more purplette onions (or 1 small red onion or a bunch of scallions)

3 cups fresh cilantro finely chopped

2 fresh green chilies or a few shakes of cayenne pepper to taste

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 t salt

1 T maple syrup

5 T lime juice

¼ cup olive oil

1. Combine the cabbage and sliced onions in a bowl and set aside.

2. Put the nuts into an electric blender and chop until finely ground.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and pulse until smooth with slight texture.

4. Dress the cabbage and onions with the dressing and let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors combine.

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Grilled Kohlrabi

16 06 2013

Here’s the next post in what seems to be a series of kohlrabi recipes….what can I say, it’s new love (-: Anyway, I brought this to a picnic and everyone seemed to love it, so why don’t you give it a try?

Ingredients:

4 bulbs of kohlrabi, peeled and diced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup of soy free coconut aminos

1T molasses

3 cloves of pressed garlic

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

tinfoil

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Mix all ingredients in a large Tupperware and let sit to soak in the flavors. Add more olive oil and soy sauce if you need it, you are looking to have enough liquid to coat the kohlrabi. Depending on the Tupperware you chose, you can also shake it every so often to get the liquid to coat the kohlrabi on top. After the kohlrabi has marinated, or while it is marinating, heat up the barbecue (or go to someone else’s picnic).

Spoon the kohlrabi into tinfoil (I split it in half so it didn’t get to big) and place on the barbecue. Grill the kohlrabi until it is really soft and has some golden brown spots and then transfer back to the Tupperware full of marinade and serve warm. Enjoy!








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