Gabriel loves to cook all kinds of foods, from baking to a full roast dinner and of course burgers.
I always have cooked potatoes in my fridge because I love homemade chips; however, I also love homemade pakoras. I have my own little twist on how I make my pakoras, and I'll share my technique with you here.
My recipe is tried and tested and always works a treat. It results in golden brown pakoras with a crisp outer layer and an indulgent softer centre. I like to add plenty of herbs and spices, but for me the key to the perfect mix is not too much water. You are not making a pancake mix. The mix should be sticky, not wet. If the mix is too wet you will end up with a potato and pea pancake—so be bold and hold off on the water.
The other thing I like to do is use cooked potatoes. I find this makes the centre softer and I don't have to fry them for too long, getting a more golden colour rather than a brown looking pakora.
There's no rule book when cooking, but I always suggest following the recipe exactly for the first time to get the basics right. When you have successfully achieved that, by all means make your own signature pakoras.
Pakoras are a great way to use up leftover vegetables. Broccoli takes on a whole different meaning when cooked in this way. Cauliflower and courgettes are not my favourite vegetables, but used in a pakora recipe they shine. Another bonus is these tasty bites are perfect for vegetarians so they're a great all-rounder: a starter, a snack, a light lunch or a late supper.
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- 250 grams chickpea (gram) flour
- 50 grams self-raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 300 grams whole potatoes, peeled and cooked (boiled)
- 300 grams onions, finely chopped
- 3 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 100 grams frozen peas, thawed
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes (optional)
- Handful fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Sunflower oil, for frying
- Cut the cooked boiled potatoes into small cube-like pieces. Set aside.
- Place all the remaining ingredients except the water and the sunflower oil into a large deep bottomed bowl. Mix throughly to ensure and even mixture. Add the cooked potatoes and gently mix, as in fig 1.
- Little by little add some water. Do not add too much. You want the water to make the mix sticky not wet. Like a binder rather than a wet batter, as in fig 2.
- Heat your oil. I like to use a deep fat fryer as the temperature is controlled. If you don't have one, use a deep-bottomed pan and check the oil temperature: a cube of bread sizzles when the oil has reached the correct temperature.
- Carefully lower tablespoons of the sticky mix into the hot oil, as in fig 3. You can use a second spoon to gently ease the mix of the first spoon if you need to. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes to get a deep golden colour and a crisp outer layer. The centre will be soft.
- Remove the pakoras with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper, as in fig 4.
- Serve the pakoras warm with the chilled carrot and onion raita on the side. Deliciously easy.
Read More From Delishably
I usually make cucumber raita to accompany my pakoras, but on this occasion I didn't have a cucumber so I rummaged around in my fridge and still couldn't find anything suitable. Raiding my daughter's pet bunny's food box resulted in a carrot raita instead. The result was a sweet refreshing raita that really complemented the potato and pea pakoras. Thanks, Skipper! (That's the bunny's name, not my daughter's.)
I used small carrots as I find them much sweeter (and so does Skipper), so I will suggest you do the same. If you don't have a readily available supply of small fresh carrots I would suggest adding some dried sultanas to your raita mix to add a natural sweetness.
The raita can be made the day before and stored in the fridge till ready to serve. Serve chilled on the side to add depth and texture to your pakora dish. Enjoy!
Carrot and Onion Raita
- 3 small carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 small white onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Handful freshly chopped coriander
- 200 ml natural yogurt
- Pinch salt
- Put all the ingredients into a medium-size bowl and mix throughly together.
- Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.
- Serve chilled on the side with the hot vegetable pakoras. This raita also works well as a dip with popadoms.
© 2018 Gabriel Wilson