They certainly caught our young hero Reggie’s eye at the Diwali celebration in Walking Backwards for Christmas (and nearly spoiled his appetite for the desserts). Here’s a recipe for them – but careful, they may spoil your appetite for the sweets too.
1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¾ cup water
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup eggplant, peeled, thinly sliced, salted for an hour, then rinsed
2 large onions, sliced into rings
- Sift the chickpea flour into a medium bowl. Mix in the coriander, salt, cayenne, turmeric, chili powder and garam masala.
- Make a well in the center of the flower. Gradually pour the water into the well and mix to form a thick, smooth batter. Beat in a mixer for 4-5 minutes to incorporate air (this will make the batter fluffier). Mix in cilantro and crushed garlic. Let batter rest 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Heat at least one inch of oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. To test, put a drop of the batter in the oil. The batter should form a small ball on the surface of the pan, but not change color right away.
- Thoroughly coat the veggies in the batter and fry them in small batches until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels before serving.
You can make the pakoras one day in advance. Do not refrigerate. When ready to eat, place on a cookie sheet and heat in a 300°F oven. Any leftover pakoras work well in salads or sandwiches.