Mixed Vegetable Pakoras – Sabzi ka Bhajia

Mixed Vegetable Pakoras – Sabzi ka Bhajia

Pakoras also known as Bhajias are one of the most favourite snacks in most Indian households, especially on a damp, cold rainy day or on a lazy Sunday afternoon. This was the norm in our home, where my mum and aunts would lovingly and willingly fulfill our request and produce these tasty delights with minimal effort, or so it seemed! My cousins and I were intrigued by the pakora making process, so once in a while we would try and duplicate this process, a way of entertainment for us. This takes me down memory lane to Kisumu, my birth place. My cousin and I, both in our teens, had set up our kitchen on the outside verandah with the help of our servant. My brothers and male cousins, meanwhile, were around the corner playing cricket. The coal anghiti was lit and the oil was heating up nicely in the kadai. Our first batch of pakoras went in very carefully, guarding our finger tips from the hot oil. The aroma filled the verandah and was very inviting. The pakoras were ready and this was our moment of pride and joy! Our parents were going to be the first ones to be served and impressed, we hoped. My brothers had other plans. They got extremely angry when they weren’t able to get at our prize pakoras. Not realizing the consequences of their vengeance, they dropped tiny stones into the oil which tipped over and burnt my knee, a scar I still have to remind me of that eventful day! Needless to say our efforts were well appreciated by the parents and older cousins.

Mixed Vegetable Pakoras – Sabzi ka Bhajia
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Ingredients
  1. 1 onion, large, finely chopped
  2. 3 potatoes, finely cubed
  3. 11/2 cups spinach, finely chopped
  4. 2 1/2cups gram flour, (besan)
  5. 11/2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  6. 1 tbsp. oil
  7. 1 tbsp. dry mango powder (amchoor)
  8. 1tsp. cumin seeds
  9. 1 tbsp. coriander seeds, slightly crushed
  10. 11/2 tbsp. salt or to taste
  11. 2 green chillies, finely minced
  12. 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder or to taste
  13. 1 cup water
  14. 5 cups oil for deep frying
Instructions
  1. In a deep wok or karahi, heat the 5 cups of oil for deep frying over medium high heat.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flours, oil, spices and water a little bit at a time to make a thick batter, the same consistency as tempura or fish batter. It should be thick enough to coat a spoon.
  3. Add all the vegetables and onions and mix well making sure they are all well coated with the batter.
  4. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil. An ice-cream scoop works well for this purpose.
  6. When the pakoras rise to the surface flip over and cook until they are golden brown- approximately 10 minutes. You can fry multiple pakoras in the wok or karahi depending on its size.
  7. Repeat until all the mixture is finished. You may get frustrated because the batter never seems to finish. This is due to the vegetables releasing some liquid as well. At this point if you wish, soak up any left over batter with slices of bread and fry in shallow oil.
  8. Serve with any chutney you desire.
Notes
  1. ♣ Above recipe will make approximately 30 – 35 Pakoras depending on the size.
  2. ♣ Please use caution when making pakoras. Initially use either a small ladle or scoop to drop the batter very gently, into the oil. Once you feel comfortable with the process feel free to scoop the batter with the tips of your fingers. This is an art in itself.
  3. ♣ Use the same batter for deep frying mushrooms, plantains, eggplant slices, sliced potatoes or sliced onions for amazing spicy onion rings.
  4. ♣ Deep fry large red skin peanuts, dipped in this batter. They are great for snacking.
  5. ♣ Pakoras are sometimes served with pooris- deep fried bread.
  6. ♣ Try a pakora sandwich. Take 2 slices of soft white bread, spread with a spoonful of coriander chutney on one piece and ketchup on the other. Sandwich the pakoras between the bread, press together and enjoy. My favourite!!
  7. Since pakoras are time consuming to make, you can always make extras and freeze them. Reheat them in the oven after defrosting them briefly.
Khaana Sutra http://khaanasutra.com/

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