Pakoras are fatty, ups your bad cholesterol and downs your good cholesterol. They are lusciously deep-fried fellows, hard to resist their imperfect looking lure, and despite conscious efforts, you won't just stop at one.
I have given every reason not to love them.
But, you know when they appear on the platter, they know they are winning. They never come alone in fact, they always visit monsoon hefty, with numerous memories, endless tales, steamy cups of chai, loads of joy, tonnes of laughter all related to my childhood. I guess that's why despite the several reasons not to love them, I always find another reason to want to love them.
There are still other ways to splurge on them making them healthy by baking, but trust me when I say this, they are to be enjoyed only when screamingly deep-fried and hence I make them as occasional treats. Here is our recipe for Pakoras/Pakodas/Onion Bhajji.
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
1 cup chickpea flour or gram flour or besan flour
1green chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
1 tsp of ginger, minced
1 tsp of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp of black or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of baking soda or asafoetida (recommended but optional)
1 tsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of fresh coriander, finely chopped
water as needed or about 1/4th cup
Oil for deep frying- I prefer Coconut or Canola oil for deep frying
1 onion, cut lengthwise or in squares thinly but uniformly
In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients except oil and onion. Mix all the contents to make a smooth, lump-free batter and adjust the water to make a thick pancake consistency batter.
In a skillet or in any deep-frying pan, add oil and bring to a high temperature first, once the oil has reached a reasonably high temperature, reduce the heat to a medium-high.
Add the chopped onions into the batter and mix well coating the onion with the mixture.
Put a tablespoon of the batter to make one pakora and spread about 4 or 5 pakoras across the pan each time and fry them.
Line a colander/Sieve with a kitchen towel, place the fried pakoras on them to absorb the excess oil.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with masala chai or with any favourite chutney or ketchup.
1)This recipe can be made into plain pakoras without adding any vegetables.
2) The reason to add onions into the batter just before frying is that they tend to lose their moisture content once they come into contact with the salt. This makes the batter lose its consistency.
3)Always test the oil for optimacy by just putting a little batter mixture into the oil, the batter must instantly sizzle up on to the top and not sink down into the oil.
4)I always fry the pakoras only to a moderate brown colour-the deeper the colour, the more is the oil content. Not ready to depart from the healthy tag.
5)To keep the pakoras from going cold, put them into a pre-heated oven until the last one is fried and serve them warm.
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