>> Sunday, September 6, 2009
For the monthly roundup of the Spanish blog HEMC, Asian cooking, I have opted for something I've been wanting to try for a long time but never got to it: pakoras, delicious vegetable fritters originating from India. So far I had only eaten pakoras once in my life, four summers ago in a restaurant in Scotland, in a village called St. Andrews. But I obviously was quite impressed, because I had not forgotten the pakoras since then. I found them delicious among the Scottish mist, so far from their homeland, poor little pakoras... To prepare them at my home I looked for a super-genuine recipe. And there's no better place for Indian vegetarian cuisine than the wonderful site Manjula's kitchen. Mrs. Manjula is a lovely Indian granny featuring in her site a lot of cooking videos so very practical that you feel almost like she's demostrating the recipe in your own kitchen. I want to be just like her when I'm old(er).
For me these vegetable fritters are a hybrid of the Spanish type fritters and the tortillas de camarones, because the batter is very similar to the dough of the tortillas, made of chickpea flour. The result is crispy and scrumptious.
Pakoras from Manjula's kitchen
Mix both flours with the water. The consistency must be similar to a pancake batter. Even though Madame Manjula doesn't say anything, I left the batter to rest for a while for the flour to hydrate properly. The batter thickens a little bit if you do so. In the meantime crush the coriander seed, chop the cilantro leaves and chilies and add everything to the batter. Slice the vegetables and dip them in the batter. As per Manjula's instructions, deep-fry them in at least 1 1/2 inches of oil. The oil must be medium-hot, so that the vegetable pieces don't brown too quickly. They must take between 4 and 5 minutes to cook. You can turn them halfway. Fry them in small batches and put them on kitchen paper to get rid of some oil. And... enjoy them! I've found pakoras delicious and very easy to make. So delicious that I've eaten the remaining ones cold for merienda when no one was looking... Next time I will try this recipe with different vegetables, mushrooms or artichokes can be a good match.