Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vegetable Pakoras

In honor of going to see Slumdog Millionaire tonight (fantastic movie, by the way - go see it!) I decided to make some Indian food! Since I have some curries lined up for later in the week, I picked a different sort of Indian recipe (albeit still utilizing a lot of curry powder). These are little fritters that are pan-fried in only a little bit of oil. It's fascinating because with all the vegetable components and the very small amount of batter, it all comes together really well and sticks together in nice little solid fritters. Usually these sort of recipes from Cooking Light never work out well and I end up with little piles of food instead of cohesive patties, so it was a nice surprise.

And how did it taste? Absolutely wonderful. These were very, very yummy. Although it's an appetizer recipe, we had it as a main dish with some instant Indian lentils from Trader Joe's. This recipe is definitely a make-again.

Tips: I used pre-cut sweet potato spears and pre-cut cauliflower to make my life easier, and hot Madras curry powder from Penzeys to make it be awesome. I also think this might be yummy with some whole-wheat flour.

pakoras

Vegetable Pakoras
Cooking Light, 12/08

These Indian fritters get their intensity from Madras curry powder. A hit of chutney cools the palate.

3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (1/4-inch) diced peeled sweet potato
1 cup (1/4-inch) pieces cauliflower
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
6 tablespoons mango chutney

1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, curry powder, cumin, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Combine 1/3 cup water and egg, stirring with a whisk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until smooth. Cover; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Place sweet potato in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and cool to room temperature. Add sweet potato, cauliflower, onion, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeño to flour mixture; stir until well combined (batter will be very thick).

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to pan, swirling to coat. Drop 2 tablespoons batter into pan, and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Repeat procedure to make 6 pakoras. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan; drain on paper towels. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and batter. Serve with chutney.

Yield: 6 servings

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