These pakoras make a very tasty snack or starter to an Indian meal. I love sweet potato and feel it is put to very good use in this recipe. Not only are they very easy to make, they are suitable for vegetarians too and are delicious washed down with a beer or two. I’ve included a quick recipe for a cucumber raita which can be used alongside these pakoras and a few poppadoms.
*Note* Unless you are feeding a big crowd you may wish to half the recipe, or eat the left overs the next day
Makes approx 20 good size pakoras.
You will need;300g chickpea (Besan) flour – can be found in larger supermarkets. 1 tsp ground turmeric 2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp Kalonji (onion) seeds – Not essential but should be available from most chinese supermarkets 2 medium brown onion, quartered and sliced thinly 1 small uncooked sweet potato (250g) , grated coarsely 1 fresh long green chilli, chopped finely 125ml water Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Sift the flour, turmeric, cumin, chilli powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the seeds, onion, sweet potato and chilli. Gradually stir in enough water to make a thick batter.
Heat the oil in a wok or deep wide saucepan. Deep-fry rounded tablespoons of the batter mixture in batches, until browned. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm until all the pakoras are ready. Serve hot with a garnish of coriander, alongside the cucumber raita.
Mint and Cucumber RaitaYou will need; Half a cucumber 3 tbsp shredded fresh mint 400ml plain yoghurt Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tsp cumin powder Good pinch of chilli powder
Peel the cucumber, then coarsely grate and squeeze all of the excess moisture from it. Mix together the cucumber, mint and yoghurt. Stir in the seasoning and cumin powder. Sprinkle over the red chilli powder to serve.