by Karen Small
This is fantastic recipe from the Hidden Gardens in Glasgow. I have made it lots of times now, with different veggies every time and it’s always a hit. Here, I have adapted with my ‘Autumn/ Winter’ veg mix. My top tip is to cook one pakora first to check the seasoning and then cook a batch for any children you might be catering for if they prefer a milder taste, adding more of all the spices to the mix for the adults. Root veggies will work when finely chopped or grated. This makes about 20 large pakora – I usually cook the whole amount of mixture to have some cold the next day – but it also keeps really well in the fridge overnight. Packed full of fresh, seasonal veggies (I have even snuck in turnip) I would just love to know where this falls on the healthy/unhealthy scale – any ideas?
3 cups Gram flour
2 teaspoons Zeera (whole cumin seeds)
1 ½ teaspoons Garam masala
1 teaspoon methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
2 green chillies (add more or use finely chopped green chillies if you like it spicy)
2 medium beetroot
½ turnip (grated or finely chopped)
3 medium carrots (grated or finely chopped)
1 head broccoli
1 large handful perpetual spinach (finely chopped)
½ Litre sunflower/vegetable oil
You can experiment with any combination of vegetables, herbs, and spices you like, just make sure that you chop root vegetables into very small cubes
Heat the oil gradually in a large deep pan (WARNING: be very careful with hot oil and keep children away from the stove)
Peel and finely chop (or grate) the root vegetables, chop all the other vegetables.
Mix all the dry ingredients together and gradually add water, mixing as you go along, until you have a wet consistency (not runny, but not stiff either).
Mix in the chopped/grated veg, and add more water or gram flour if necessary, the mixture should drop off a spoon in wet clumps.
Once the oil is nice and hot, drop one spoonful of mixture into the pan very carefully (hot oil can spit) and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes so that you can test it for seasoning before cooking the rest.
When frying the pakora you should turn the heat down low while you are dropping spoonfuls of mixture into the pan and then turn it up quite high to cook them. Turn the pakora frequently with a slotted spoon so that they brown on all sides without burning. They will take around 4 -5 minutes to cook and you will need to fry the mixture in 3 or 4 batches.
Once the pakora are cooked, drain off the excess oil in a colander and then place on paper towel on a plate.
Serve the pakora with chilli sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, yoghurt, mango chutney or anything that takes your fancy.