Recipe by Route 79

Description Edit

Stuck for cooking ideas on a Friday or Saturday evening? Got bits of vegetable in your fridge that aren't quite enough for a proper cookout? e.g. bits of green or red pepper - or some Mushrooms. Or maybe you've got some frozen in your freezer that you haven't done anything with for weeks?

Why not try pakoras? This is a great afternoon snack sort of thing - that I remember for many years as a child we would eat as a full meal on occasions. And we still do this today in the Route79 household. It's basically deep-fried anything in a gram-flour batter - but is especially delicious when using sliced potatoes, onions, muchrooms, peppers - or even chunks of frozen (but thawed) fillet.

It is traditionally a Punjabi snack - and is almost always served in addition to things like samosas, kebabs etc. when you are entertaining visitors (or being entertained round someones house) - or attending a wedding. Be aware - if you you are ever visiting a Punjabi household - you will be obliged to eat your fill and drink lots of tea - or else your hosts will be offended. Never *ever* just "pop around" and expect to get away without spending at least an hour - and having a plate full of samosas or pakoras put in front of you.

Pakoras are delicious served with mint or imli (tamarind) sauce - or both.

Ingredients Edit

Some vegetables - e.g. 4 or 5 potatoes - or some chopped bitesize peppers) or whole or halved Mushrooms.

  • 1 or large onions chopped into long thin strips
  • A packet of skinless, boneless frozen fillets (e.g. cod) - thawed about halfway
  • A pot half-full of sunflower oil.

For the batter:

Here is a picture of all the other spices. Look how wonderful and tempting they all are when they are gathered together like this on your worktop!

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Directions Edit

First prepare the flour mix. Sift the besan flour into a large bowl.

Also slice the potatoes from the long-end of the Potato - into 0.5 centimetre slices. chunks if you are using them should be bite-sized - e.g. size of small Mushroom say. Mushrooms should be whole or halved.

Now add the spices to the gram flour bowl:

  • 4 heaped teaspoons of garam masala
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of salt
  • 3 heaped teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of red chillie powder
  • all the pulped ginger, chillie and garlic
  • 3 teaspoons of haldi (turmeric)

Basically - you have to use more spices than you normally do for a curry because these will only be in the batter - and you will probably not use all of the batter anyway - as there might be some leftover that you have to throw away.

Then add about a tall glass of water to the flour/spice mixture - stirring all the time with a large spoon (or your hand) until you get a thick-soup style consistency - with no flour lumps in it. Add a few dashes of lemon juice to it at this point too.


Put all spices (except seeds) into flour and mix it all up


Stir in a tall glass of water mixing toroughly until batter is thick-soup consistency

Then - if you have some - throw in some chopped coriander leaf too. We have a bag of frozen chopped coriander in our freezer - and we just throw in a large chunk straight from the freezer - as it thaws pretty much instantly. Then stir in all the vegetables and/or chunks. It doesn't matter if the chunks are still half-frozen - as this is probably better - because it's easier to cut and handle - and it cooks in no time at all anyway.


Add some chopped coriander if you have some


Then add the potato slices or bit-sized fish chunks or whatever you like. Make sure everything is well coated

OK - once all the stuff is mixed - put the bowl to one side and heat up the karahi of oil until the oil is very hot. You will know when it's done by dropping a little of the batter mix into the oil and if it solidifies instantly and floats on the top of the oil with lots of bubbles - then you know it's hot enough for deep frying. At this point lower the flame a little - and then add the potatoes etc using your hand - scooping up some of the batter around it - and drop gently into the hot oil. Do the frying in 4 or 5 batches - making sure you turn up the heat to keep everything bubbling and floating on the surface for around 4 or 5 minutes at a time - and using a metal utensil like the one in the picture to turn over the frying objects.


Heat a large karahi (pot) with vegetable oil in it - just above halfway full - until hot


Add the coted veg/fish - in batches and fry until golden brown

After a few mins of frying (when the batter coating has gone golden brown) scoop out the fried onjects and drain well on absorbent kitchen paper before putting into a foil-lined dish - which you can keep in a low-temperature oven to stay warm whilst you cook the rest. When it's all done - turn off the heat to the oil - and keep covered - as you can reuse this oil - but you must strain it first using a funnel and strainer - but only when it is fully cooled! If you have used - then you might not wish to use the oil - as it will have a fishy smell that you may not like when you are using the oil again in any other cooking!


Serve in a foil/tissue lined dish - keep warm in oven. When all of it is fried - eat

Recipe by Route 79 Edit

Route 79

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