MMMMMMMM!!!! I tell you something!!! These are one of my most FAVOURITE things to eat in the world!!! It takes me back to when i first discovered Belgrave road in Leicester. I still go to the same shop now and by the pakora's from this little tiny restaurant. From the outside of the shop it really doesn't look that appealing, but once you walk inside, it is like a little Aladdin's cave for foodies!!!! The front of the counter has all sorts of Delicious farsans which are Indian savouries. At the back of the shop is all the array of brightly coloured sweets. Every time i go into this shop i absolutely drewl over the sights and smells.
One of the thing i really like about this shop is that the owner of the shop is so so friendly! Because we have been shopping there for years he knows me and my family and if i ever go in there on my own, he always asks how my family are and i can tell that he is truly genuine ( which seems to be a rarity ) This friendly attitude definitely helps to entice us into the shop, but REALLY! as if i need to be persuaded to go into this shop. OH! and how can i forget the green chutney that makes there pakoras really special. I have never been able to find a recipe which is even similar to their green chutney, but oh well i suppose it makes us go back for more every time.
When i cook these i seem to go on a mad spice Marathon and make as many snacky recipes possible. Somehow these little nuggets of love make me go bazerk! i just cant help it! i would make all the pickles and chutney too! My husband always spins his eyes at me when he can see me preparing the batter! I think he knows now that when he sees me making these, he knows that he is probably not going to be eating anything else for a couple of days until all the the different snacks are eaten up.
I am so surprised that neither of us are over weight aseptically my husband, but then again he always stays nice and slim! or sick of the sight of them but we are not. Well I am not :-)
In the early days of my cooking, for some reason i could never quite get them right. But after a while i think that my pakora's have been finally perfected. I now cook these little goodies on a monthly basis.
You could do a slight variation of the recipe too instead of chopping the vegetables into small cubes you could thinly slice the vegetables and just simply did the slices into the batter
Here I present to you My Mixed vegetable pakora recipe:
Makes about 15-20
1 cup of sieved gram flour (besan)
3 tbs rice flour (optional but makes the pakoras nice and crispy)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp ajwain seeds
a pinch of asafoetida (Hing)
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder (dhania-jeera)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder (1/2 tsp is very mild)
1-2 tbs fenugreek leaves (methi)
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)
1 small onion finely chopped
1 cup boiled finely diced mixed vegetables ( i use frozen )
1-2tbs sunflower oil
about 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp soda bi carb
Enough water to make a thick batter
1) Pre-heat some oil in a pan, ensuring that you use enough oil to cover the pakoras
2) Sieve the flours into a large bowl
3) Add all of the powdered spices ond mix well
4) Add the ginger and the chilli if you are using. Mix well
5) At this point i add the water and salt to the mix. You have to mix everything together to make a nice smooth batter, that does not contain any lumps. This batter is better when it is dropping consistency because the vegetable still contain a lot of water.
6) Now add the soda-bicarb, the oil, and the coriander and fenugreek leaves, and mix really well, especially to incorporate all of the oil.
7) Add all of the vegetable of choice and mix really well. I forgot to mention that you can add fresh spinach leaves right now and mix well. I haven't used it in this recipe but i recommend it as it tastes really nice. When you mix all of the veg i try and break up the onion, but try and leave a few nice and chunky.
8) By this time your oil should be really nice and hot, so get some spoons ready to form the pakora's.
9) With a tsp or Tbs, which ever your preference to how big you pakora's are. ( i prefer my pakora's bigger and softer)
10) The tip to frying is to not crowd the pan to much as it slows down the cooking process and your pakora's will be oil soaked.
11) spoon the mixture into the oil. I like to try and keep mine roundish so i try to have a heap of the batter and vegetables on my spoon and then put it in the oil quickly so that it retains a nice shape.
12) Fry for a few moments , Oh and another tip, I always fry a tested one and let it stand for a few moments to set in the middle and to cool down to a temperature that is comfortable in your mouth. This is to help distinguish all of the flavours so that you can balance them out if you need to. They should be to your liking in chilli hotness, balancing of spices and salt etc
13) Fry the rest of the batter if you are happy with the flavours in your pakora
14) Drain on kitchen paper and serve with, coriander, or tamerind chutney, fresh coriander leaves, salad or pickle of choice. Really nice with plain yogurt