Veggie Pakoras

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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.

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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

cooking oil


  1. Sift the chickpea flour into a medium bowl. Mix in the coriander, salt, cayenne, turmeric, chili powder and garam masala.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.