Pakoras are a completely different to British onion bhajis: light, golden yellow and crispy and best eaten piping hot and über-fresh
Pakoras are a completely different to British onion bhajis: light, golden yellow and crispy and best eaten piping hot and über-fresh.
Whoever started the trend of selling these cold and soggy like sandwiches has a lot to answer for! Not everything can be perfect, however. Pakoras are usually deep-fried. That’s a lot of oil. So it’s best to shallow-fry them instead, which means a flatter shape than normal but a far lower guilt rating! Makes 4.
2 medium onions
100g (3½oz) besan or gram chickpea) flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp cumin powder
8 tbsp oil
1. Peel and finely slice the onions. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add all the powdered ingredients and salt to taste.
2. Spoon in 20 tablespoons of warm water, one at a time, and stir the flour vigorously until you get a thick batter the consistency of a fruit yoghurt. Now go in with a whisk and beat the batter until large bubbles appear on the surface. Break any lumps by pressing them against the sides of the bowl.
3. Stir the onions into the batter, then pour the oil into a large frying pan set over a high heat. When it starts to sizzle, and using your hand or a wooden spoon, lift a small handful of the battered onions and drop them into the oil. Repeat until there isn’t any space left in the pan.
4. Fry each pakora for a few seconds on one side, before flipping over for a few seconds on the other. Remove the pakoras with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.
5. Serve immediately with 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup spiked with ½ teaspoon of chilli powder.
Miss Masala by Malika Basu is published by Collins, priced £14.99.