Thursday, 1 December 2011


It's December 1st. Along with the cold unpredictable weather comes long line ups, irrational shoppers, and a genuine chance that you'll want to just stay home and say "screw it all" and have a bottle of wine instead. Here's a great appetizer that goes really well with a bottle of wine, or hot tea and a cold night.

According to Wikipedia: The word pakora is derived from Sanskrit पक्ववट pakvavata-, a compound of pakva 'cooked' and vata 'a small lump' or its derivative vataka 'a round cake made of pulse fried in ghee'.
And you thought you wouldn't learn anything cool today.

Let's get to it, Pakoras are an easy vegan treat because you can make the foundation from just about anything. I typically use potato or carrots, sometimes spinach. You can use onion, eggplant, small pieces of bread, or even...meat. Not in my vegan recipe you won't, but you do what you want when I'm not looking.

I didn't take this picture. I will take one shortly and upload it.

Now so you are warned, this recipe calls for cooking with hot oil. So go find your deep fryer, or your pot with a TIGHT fitting lid, and your fire extinguisher.

Also, you may not get a chance to eat these, in my house they disappear faster than I can finish making them.

Oil - Lately I've been using sunflower oil in an attempt to get away from GMO Canola. Peanut oil works great, but beware of nut allergies. Nothing wrecks a party like 911.

1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ground Corriander
1 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp chili powder, or cayenne pepper
1 hot chili diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup Besan (chickpea flour. Buy it at the bulk barn, do NOT substitute normal flour)
1/2 cup water

1 potato, grated and squeeze out the excess water
1 onion coarsely chopped
You can also add spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, experiment.


For context as I write this, I am listening to this:, so you too can get into the "zone" with me.

 - In a mixing bowl combine all of the "spice" ingredients to make sure they are evenly mixed.
 - Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and dry mix everything together.
 - Add 1/2 cup of luke-warm water and mix with a fork to achieve a loose batter.
   Add more water if needed.
 - Add in the chili pepper and garlic
 - Set this batter aside for 15 minutes. Don't touch it, don't bug it, don't stir it. Leave it alone.

 - Grab your cutting board and coarsely chop an onion.
 - Grate a potato and squeeze out the excess water. We don't want more water!
 - If you are using spinach; coarsely, randomly chop the spinach. The crazier the better.

 - In your deep pot with a tight fitting lid, or your deep fryer, heat about 1.5" of oil to around 375º
 - As your oil comes up to temperature, toss your veg into the batter to coat.
 - Test the oil by dropping a small bit of batter into the oil. It should golden pretty quick and float to the top.
 - Using a fork or a spoon..or both, drop tablespoon size lumps of battered veg into the hot oil.
 - If they kind of look crazy alien shapes, perfect, you can use them to fool your friends. The crazier the better.
 - When the bottoms gets golden brown, flip to cook them evenly on both sides.
 - Remove from hot oil and place on a paper towel or a cooling rack over a catch tray of some kind.
 - Crack a couple open to make sure the batter is fully cooked.

Serve HOT with lemon wedges to squeeze over them! You can also offer them up with a side of chutney or tamarind sauce. Make sure you get one before you serve them to others as they go too fast!

Coming Soon!
Since the holidays are fast approaching, I know it can be a real pain figuring out what to bring to those family dinners. So this December I will be doing a 12 Sides Of Christmas featuring 12 delicious side dishes and desserts that you can bring to your family feast!

As always, visit the Holiday Shopping Guide and I love getting comments. Comment away!

1 comment:

  1. Stacey M has a suggestion for this recipe from a friend. Replace the water with club soda. I haven't tried this, yet, but I will! Apparently it will make them crispier. YUM!