Pakoras, sometimes called bhajis or bhajias, are batter-fried snacks usually eaten as a starter. The batter is made of spiced chickpea or gram flour that is gluten free. This flour is used to coat vegetables or fish to create a variety of fritters. This recipe is taken from the Easy Indian Cookbook.
Makes about 24
200g/2 cups gram flour or besan
3 onions, sliced
A handful of washed and chopped coriander leaves (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 green chilli, chopped or 1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
oil for deep-frying, (I use sunflower oil)
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the onions, coriander leaves, if using, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chilli powder and salt. Stir together, then make a well in the centre. Add 4 tablespoons water to the well, then mix with a fork until the mixture forms a thick stiff batter. If it appears runny, add extra flour.
Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a heavy-based saucepan over a high heat or in a deep-fat fryer to 190C/375F, or until a small drop of the batter sizzles fiercely in the oil.
Drop 1 tablespoon of the batter into the oil and fry for about 1 minute, or until it turns golden brown.
Remove the fritter from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Taste the fritter and adjust the seasoning of the batter, adding more chilli powder, if necessary.
Fry the remaining fritters, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, if necessary. Remove any pieces of fried batter from the oil and return the oil to the correct temperature before adding each new batch. These fritters can be fried in advance and reheated in an oven at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot.