Fried fritters (pakoras) are the most popular of all snacks on the Indian sub-continent. Made with onions, vegetables (cauliflower, sliced eggplant, zucchini, potatoes), or paneer (cheese) and dipped in seasoned chick-pea flour batter (besan) they are served piping hot with tea (chai).
Onion Fritters (Pakora)
2 cups chick-pea flour
1 large onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced fine
1 green chili, chopped fine
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water
Salt to taste
1 cup corn oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
In a large bowl, mix the chick-pea flour, onion, chili, ginger, baking powder, salt, water, and cilantro leaves until a smooth and thick batter is formed (consistency of pancake batter). Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Reduce to medium heat. Mix the batter thoroughly. With your right hand scoop a small portion of the onion batter and carefully place 5 or 6 in the wok. Fry the onion pakoras for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. With a steel spatula turn over and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the pakoras and drain them on paper towel. Repeat this process until all the onion batter is fried. Serve with hot cilantro or sweet mint chutney.
Hot Cilantro Chutney (Dhaniya ki Chutney)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 fresh green chili
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt to taste
In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend to a fine paste. Serve in a small bowl with onion pakoras.
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