Pakoras hmmm, well I moved outside my comfort zone a little by making these delicious Indian vegetable fritters. I've been wanting to try them for a while, using the Organic Besan (chickpea) flour that I had bought at the Organic and Natural Store just outside Mackay. If you are used to making fritters, you will enjoy making pakoras. When I first mixed up the batter it was a bit too runny so I added more flour and water together and added it to form a fritter batter consistency, as when it is added to the vegetables it will thin out slightly because of the liquid in the vegetables. Next time, I will aim for even thinner pakoras. Perhaps the climate has something to do with the consistency of the batter. On a hot and humid day with rain threatening, batters, bread doughs and pavlova mixes are going to be affected. The consistency could be slightly different in a cold Northern Hemisphere climate. However despite all of that, these were delicious. We needed a meat free day, and these were perfect for lunch. In fact Mr. HRK loved his first taste of them so much he took over the cooking which I was very happy for him to do. I could then concentrate on trying to take an acceptable photo of them.
We were driving to Cape Hillsborough near Mackay with friends, where we planned to have lunch at the Old Station Teahouse which is on the way. To be honest, I don't feel the need to always buy Organic products. However the Organic store has many products which can't be found elsewhere, and now has an impressive little coffee and tea shop attached to the store with a very nice selection of cakes and slices. So we spent more time there than planned and I also admired the African woven baskets which are hard to find elsewhere. After the visit, I wondered why I don't make more of an effort to visit there more regularly.
- 5 cups of shredded or thinly sliced vegetables ( I used onions, carrots, beans and capsicum) Broccoli could also be used
- 2 cups of chickpea (besan) flour
- 1 1/2 - 2cups of water
- 1 1/2 tsp cooking salt
- 1/2 cup thinly cut mint leaves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- A good pinch of ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- Vegetable oil for pan frying
- 1 1/2 tsp cooking salt
- Place the shredded vegetables in a large bowl.
- Toss the salt through the vegetables and leave for 5 minutes, no longer, to soften the vegetables. Any longer and too much liquid will remove from the vegetables.
- Stir in the chopped mint
- In a separate jug, combine the besan flour, fennel and cumin seeds, and the ground coriander.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the flour and mix well. If the consistency is too runny add more flour, or alternatively if it is too thick add more water.
- Heat up a thick based frying pan, add the vegetable oil.
- Cooking in batches, cook 1/4 cups of the mixture, flipping the pakoras over when bubbles start to appear on the surface. Flatten them out if necessary to form fritters. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
- Serve the Pakoras hot, garnished with coriander, and with mango chutney on the side. My homemade mango chutney was delicious with these.
I haven't been blogging as frequently lately, as my laptop has been running very slowly because of a malicious My Way programme which attached itself to Google on my machine. It was driving me crazy. We have finally fixed it and I am back on track, with the NBN installation being a bonus.
We are also preparing for a long road trip to Tasmania, so there has been a lot of organising to do, arranging house sitters, mower men, cleaning the house etc. More about all of that later.
Happy Australia Day long weekend everybody. Hope the weather is kind to you. Despite this being an Indian recipe to promote multiculturalism in Australia, we will be having an Aussie BBQ tonight.