- Prepare all the vegetables. (When preparing the onion, peel and carefully trim only the ends, as leaving the root intact holds the wedges together.)
- In a dish, stir together all of the ingredients for the dip together and place in the fridge.
- Mix together the gram flour, all the spices, chilli and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl, and then mix in the water. The batter should be the consistency of thick cream.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan to 180°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, then test the oil with a small blob of batter. (If the oil is hot enough, the batter should start frying straight away and float to the top.)
- Add the vegetables to the batter and mix them around so they’re all coated. Pick them out with a spoon and carefully drop into the hot oil – a few at a time. Cook the pakoras for 3–4 minutes.
- When golden brown, remove the pakoras with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain. Repeat until all of the pakoras are cooked. Serve with the dip.
- Due to the fact that the pakoras are fried, they are meant as an occasional treat.
- To make sure that the pakoras are not too fatty, the oil needs to be hot enough – in this case, 180ºC. This way, the cooking time will be less and the vegetables won’t be in the oil for very long. Using a cook’s thermometer is a good way of making sure the oil is at the right temperature.
- It’s possible to use a recipe for baked pakoras to reduce the amount of fat, but you need bigger pieces of vegetable chunks and a thicker batter. This way, the pakoras will hold together better.
- Make sure you use the right type of oil – and avoid ghee or dripping. Use rapeseed oil, as it’s better for the cooking process and is an unsaturated fat. Olive oil isn’t suited to frying.
- You could use most vegetables in this batter – try broccoli, aubergine, carrot sticks, spring onions, asparagus, baby corn or mushrooms.