Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Onion & Spinach Pakoras








These crisp and golden brown Onion & Spinach Pakoras are a delicious savoury start to any Indian-themed dinner party. 
They look fabulous and taste even better. A very popular Indian appetizer, especially in the North, Pakoras are often bought from street vendors who serve them steaming hot wrapped in a newpaper cone. Crisp and golden brown on the outside with a soft fragrant interior of finely chopped spinach, onions, fresh grated ginger, green chillies and an intoxicating combination of aromatic spices, the pakoras are blended together in a fine chickpea flour batter and flash fried at the last minute for an easy and outrageously delicious appetizer fit for a Maharajah.




Onion & Spinach Pakoras
Makes 12-16 pakoras


1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup chickpea flour
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
1-inch ginger, finely grated
1 green chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp ground fennel seed
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander 
1 tsp cumin 
a pinch of asafoetida
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup ice cold water, and more if necessary
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

Remove the stems from the spinach. Wash, dry and finely chop. Add all the onion, ginger, green chili and all of the spices to the flour and mix well. Add 1/2 cup of ice cold water to make a fluffy smooth batter. Sprinkle the baking powder over this paste and mix lightly. Set aside for 15- 20 minutes. Heat oil for deep frying, until a drop of pakora mixture instantly floats to the top. Don’t let the oil smoke.


Drop teaspoon-sized amounts of pakora mix into the oil until the surface is covered. Using a teaspoon gives a dumpling shape to the pakora, whereas dropping the dough from your fingers gives a more delicate, interesting shape. Stir and turn the pakora until they are lightly golden brown on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.