Friday 27 January 2017

Courgette Pakora

If you are like me and adore Indian food, you might understand the one issue that I have with it.

When entering an Indian restaurant I'm usually hungry on the verge of cannibalism. I scan the starters and mentally choose everything on there, before settling for one with a mound of popadoms and a pickle tray. I then proceed to eat it too fast that the next thing I know, I'm picking over the main course.

The point I'm trying to make is that I love Indian starters: samosa, pakora, bhaji, aloo chaat, Seekh kebab. You name them, I devour them. So much so that I would actually prefer to just have a table full of them and nothing else.

So this week I turned my hand to transforming a few courgettes into pakora, that little bundle of Indian spiced batter and vegetable that crisps to perfection and pops perfectly into a hungry gob. They could not be easier to make and the best thing about it is you can make a table full of them with ease using a variety of vegetables. Everything from onion, courgette, aubergine and carrot works. Just remember to get out as much water as you can before frying to ensure crispiness.

Courgette Pakora

Makes lots

3 courgettes, grated
100g chick pea flour
Half tsp baking powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
Salt and pepper
Fresh coriander, chopped
Vegetable oil

1 - Put the grated courgette into a tea towel and squeeze thoroughly to get as much water out as possible.
2 - In a bowl, tip in the flour, spices and seasoning. Whisk in enough water to form a paste the consistency of double cream and coats the back of a spoon; not too thick, not too thin. Stir in the courgette and fresh coriander.
3 - Heat up a deep frying pan with vegetable oil. Test a pakora out by dropping in a small teaspoon if the batter. If it immediately begins to fry and turns golden in a minute, the oil is hot enough. Taste for seasoning.
4 - Fry heaped teaspoons in batches, draining on kitchen paper. Serve with fresh coriander and an accompaniment of yoghurt, pickles and/or chutney.


Unknown said...

I'm exactly the same, love indian food, love those types of starters in a thali. Your recipe is quick and easy and it's got me pretty hungry. Nice one.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Yum...yum...yum David. My problem with eating out is the bread course.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I am with you there! That is exactly what happens to me ever time. I love the starters and these look great!

Anonymous said...

These sound marvellous but could we have something a little more specific than 'emough water to make a batter that's not too thin and not too thick' please ......

David Hall said...

Sorry anonymous! Okay, how about batter the same consistency of double cream? Or if you are using a wooden spoon to beat, thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Hope that helps! If you are new here I try to get people to experiment. You may prefer a heavier or lighter batter. Enjoy!


Jan said...

I know exactly what you mean, David, I always prefer the starters. I'm just the same in Chinese restaurants too.

Your pakora look scrummilicious.

Chef Jeena said...

I would happily eat an entire plate of these David!

Anonymous said...


We Indians do not add baking podwer or salt when we make bhajis or pakodas. If you add rice flour or semolina you can have a crispy pakoda. Potatos, brinjal, Zuchini, cauliflower and bread can also be used. Ginger garlic paste and green chili change the flvour of the batter. There is a spice called Ajwain which can be added. This aids in digestions.

Anonymous said...

Usually the bayyer is made with besan or gram flour and not with rice flour. Rice flour is added to make the pakoras crispy. Garam masala is not added. The basic ingredients are ginger garlic paste, gram flour, chilli powder, turmeric powder, Ajwain, Rice flour,salt and the vegetable.

PaulV said...

Tried this recipe with both a thinner and a thicker batter. Both worked brilliantly well, though of course the thicker batter produced a much thicker disc, so it's important to fry until oil starts to bubble up through little holes in the pakora, otherwise the centre can be a bit raw. This is a great way of using up a courgette glut, so thank you! Further to Anonymous's suggestion of bread, at a food festival recently, an Indian Fast Food stall included Bread Pakora, which I thought sounded a bit odd, but my daughter-in-law said when she was doing voluntary work in India, this was a common street food, and was delicious. I tried it, and she was right! Essentially just a slice of bread soaked in pakora batter and deep fried. Well worth replicating at home!

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