These delicious, crunchy little delights are known as pakoras and are one of the most popular of all Indian dishes. Pakoras are often served in Indian restaurants with chutney as a starter or a snack. The batter is made using besan flour or ground chickpeas. Chickpeas are a good source of zinc, folate and protein. They are also a significant source of calcium. Some sources quote it as equal to yogurt and close to milk. Chickpeas are also very high in dietary fiber and low in fat making them an extremely healthy food source.
This version uses cauliflower, but many other vegetables can be used substituted including capsicum, potato, eggplant, sweet potato and onions. You could even make up a mixture of different vegetables.
Served with a fresh garden salad and chutney, pakoras can be served as a nutritious, tasty lunch or dinner.
- 1 medium cauliflower cut into medium sized flowerets
- Ghee for deep frying
- 1 ½ cups besan flour
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon asafetida
- 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¾ cup milk
- ¾ cup water
Sift flours together and add all the other dry ingredients.
Mix the water and milk together and gradually add to the dry ingredients, little by little, whisking well until you have a batter that isn’t too runny or too thick and has no lumps (it should cover the cauliflower pieces in a nice even coating)
Heat the ghee on medium high heat (it is ready when you drop a little batter in and it immediately rises to the surface)
Dip the cauliflower pieces into the batter and fry in the ghee until golden brown (if the ghee is too hot, the pakoras will cook too quickly and the cauliflower will remain crunchy)
Drain the pakoras well on a cake cooler sitting on top of a baking tray.
Serve with chutney of your choice