Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Flavours of India - BLUE POTATO PAKORAS

I get rather excited when I find an "exotic" recipe that can be made almost entirely with ingredients from Saskatchewan. Pakoras fit the bill. I used chickpea flour from Diefenbaker Seed Processors of Elbow, the cumin was given to me by a local farmer and the potatoes were grown by my nephew Even on the family farm at Craik. This recipe was adapted from TimeLife Foods of the World: The Cooking of India.

1/2 cup chickpea flour (also called besan)
1/4 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp cold water
1/4 cup grated onion
1 cup grated raw blue potato
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 hot chili (fresh or dried) finely chopped
1 tsp salt
canola oil for frying

Whisk the chickpea flour, baking soda and water to make a batter. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the canola oil.

Pour the canola oil into a saucepan to a depth of two inches. Heat on medium heat until a baking thermometer reaches 350F. The surface of the oil will shimmer and a drop of batter will sizzle and brown.

Scoop a level spoonful (a heaping tbsp) of batter and drop it into the hot oil. When the pakora is nicely brown, flip and cook the other side. This should take 5-6 minutes. (If the pakoras brown too quickly, there is a danger the batter at the centre will be uncooked. Adjust the heat if necessary.) Fry several pakoras at once but don’t crowd them in the pot. Remove cooked pakoras to a paper towel.

Serve warm, perhaps with Mango Mustard Chutney from Chatty’s Indian Spice of Saskatoon.


Jason said...

Often restaurants will jack their pakoras up with coriander seeds, fenugreek leaves, and ajwain seeds as well.

A homemade tamarind or coconut chutney would be much better with this type of pakora than a commercial "jam" chutney.

They will also taste a lot better and be more healthy if fried in peanut oil. If you were rich, you could use ghee...

amy said...

Thanks, Jason. I tend to stay away from peanut oil because I have a couple friends with nut allergies. But I will definately try your suggestions for different herbs and chutney. What the heck, I'll probably try the peanut oil too...

Jason said...

Drop me an email if you want chutney info or recipes, or any indian recipes or info in general.

Jason said...

One last comment: get a box of chaat masala from an indian grocery store. Lightly dust the pakoras with it before serving.