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