Friday, January 16, 2009

Cauliflower Pakoras

This recipe comes from Neelam Bhatra, from whom I took a class on Indian cooking some 20 years ago (!) in Santa Monica. (Her husband owned the company I worked for at the time.) I recently made this for a dinner party, using cauliflower, slices of sweet potato, and green beans. It turned out great! This is a no-fail recipe, as long as you are comfortable with deep-frying. But you should at least double the recipe for more than a half-dozen people.

1-2 lbs. cauliflower, cut into florets (can also use green beans, thinly sliced potato)
1 c. garbanzo flour
2/3 c. water, approximately
2 t. coriander powder
1 t. cumin powder
1/4 t. paprika
pinch of baking soda
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

Sift garbanzo flour. Mix all dry ingredients into flour. Next add chopped cilantro and water and make a medium thick batter.

Heat oil in a wok or any other pan. Dip each floret into batter and put into hot oil carefully – to prevent splattering. Fry until nicely brown and crisp.

Remove to paper towels. Serve hot as appetizers or as a snack with tea or coffee.

Fritters can be lightly fried and cooled completely before refrigerating or freezing. Thaw and refry before serving.

Good with chat masala sprinkled on top.

Variations: This batter can be used with thin slices of potatoes, onions, eggplant, squash and paneer. Mushrooms and green beans are good too.

(Better if fried twice – come out very crisp. For party, prepare in advance, fry for second time right before serving.)

NOTE: Garbanzo flour is available at Indian grocery stores; at regular grocery stores you can often find it, too, from Bob's Red Mill (one of their vast line of products!).

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