Who doesn’t like pakoras? Nothing can be as delicious as a hot plate of your favourite vegetables or meat fritters especially during the rains to be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea. Pakoras or pakodas, known in India by different names like bhajiya or bhaji or pakodi are basically fritters dipped in a variety of batter ranging from mildly spiced to extremely hot. Though pakoras can be made with any vegetable, paneer (cottage cheese), chicken, eggs, and even bread, the most common are onion, chilli and potato. The mirchi (chilli) we use for pakoras are not the hot ones, but bigger, longer ones that are much low on heat called pakora mirchi. This recipe calls for the batter to be made with only the Kunbi Xasti masala which is not spicy hot, and draws the natural heat from the chilli itself. Some condiments are added to capture a particular flavour, but they are optional.
What you need:
- Chillies: 6-8 big (Picador chillies or Pakoda mirch)
- The Women of Fatorda Kunbi Xasti masala: 2 tsps
- Besan (chickpea flour): 1 cup
- Cumin powder: 1/2 tsp (Optional)
- Hing (Asafoetida): a pinch (Optional)
- Coconut milk: 1/2 cup
- Pepper: if needed
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying
Step 1 – Prepare the chillies by washing them throughly and patting them dry. Make long slits on the sides with a sharp knife. You can scoop the seeds out if you prefer extremely mild heat or leave them on.
Step 2 – Prepare the batter by mixing in a bowl, the besan, salt, cumin, hing, and pepper if you need tsp. With the cup of coconut milk. Whisk to make a batter of thick, but flowing consistency.
Step 3 – Heat enough oil for deep frying in a skillet or fryingpan to medium hot.
Step 4 – Dip the chillies in the batter one by one, make sure they are well coated, and place them in the oil with enough room between them.
Step 5 – Flip them over a couple of times, and fry until the batter becomes golden brown and looks cooked.
Step 6 – Remove them from pan and drain excess oil using kitchen paper. Serve with mint, coriander or just tomato ketchup.
Note – The important thing here is to choose the right chillies. You can make pakoras with any chilli including Jalapeno but it is really your preference of heat that will matter. Then again, removing the seeds also decides how hot your pakoras eventually be. You can do a lot of variation on the batter, by adding other condiments like fennel powder, dry mango powder, carrom seed powder etc. Also try adding dried herbs for a western twist. Just make sure the batter does not overpower the chillies in flavour. Do let us know how your variation turned out. Your imagination is the only limit. Do let us know of your efforts at [email protected] or else you can upload your recipe here.