Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Pakoda / pakora / pakodi

Pakoda, a perfect companion for a cup of hot tea. When it is cold or raining outside a cup of hot tea and a crispy snack like pakoda will be a heavenly treat. It is a snack item prepared with gram flour or besan. It is a very famous bakery item in south India. But home made pakodas are  much tastier and healthier when prepared in the right way. Pakoda and bajis are made with the same variety of flour, yet they taste very different. Pakodas are hard and crispier while bajis have a much smoother texture.

I would always think of avoiding  deep fried items but my cravings usually take an upper hand. So as usual I ended up preparing pakoda on a lazy evening. We both watched IPL with a cup of hot tea and garam, garam pakodis. Hope you too will prepare and enjoy this snack.

Ingredients :

Gram flour (besan)- 1 1/2 cups
Rice flour- 1/4 cup
Onion- 1 no (big variety)
Curry leaves- 10 leaflets
Green chillies- 4 nos
Chilli powder- 1/2 tspn (depending on your taste buds increase or decrease)
Fennel seeds- 1 tspn
Ginger- a small piece (minced well)
Asafoetida- a pinch
Salt to taste and oil for deep frying

Method :

Mix together besan, rice flour. chilli powder, minced ginger, enough salt and asafoetida. In a pan heat 3 tbspns of oil. When the oil becomes hot, add it slowly to the besan mixture and stir it well with a metal spatula. Now add the cut onions, green chillies, fennel seeds and minced curry leaves to the besan mixture. Mix together all the ingredients. Onion has some water content in it. When you squeeze the onions with your hand the moisture in onion pieces will help in binding the flour together. Then sprinkle water little by little and mix the flour to form a thick, paste like batter. Be careful when adding water. Do it slowly and carefully. Take care not to make the batter watery. Then the preparation will turn into a baji. Now heat oil in a pan for deep frying. When the oil becomes hot enough add the batter slowly in batches. Fry till the pakodas turn golden, brown colour. Serve with a cup of hot chai.

Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : The texture of the batter is very important. It must be thick and paste like. Addig hot oil to the besan flour helps in making the pakodas crispier and they also imbibe less oil during the frying process. Try adding spinach leaves or any other greens for a healthier version. Happy cooking!!!

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