Diwali is all about indulgences. Vegan and gluten free chickpea pakoras are simple and delicious for a party snack, or even a barbecue or night on the couch with a Bollywood film. Yes, they’re deep fried (that’s the indulgence!) but all ingredients are otherwise clean, green, and healthy.
Lee Seabrook-Suckling from the AMC team went along to a Diwali Auckland cooking class, and learned how to make pakoras from scratch. They’re surprisingly easy and take around 20 minutes all up.
- 140g chickpea flour
- 100-200ml warm water
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp caraway seeds (ajwain)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- salt to taste
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 large potato, shredded
- 2 hot chillies, sliced
- 100g spinach, chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped
- 2 curry leaves, chopped
- 1 cup oil, for deep frying
- chaat masala, for sprinkling
- Sift chickpea flour into a mixing bowl. Add enough warm water to form batter to a thick paste-like consistency. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Add more water if the batter is too stodgy after resting.
- Add all other ingredients (except oil) and mix well.
- Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan or deep fryer. One heaped tablespoon at a time, drop the batter into hot oil to cover them completely. Be very careful the oil doesn’t spit on your hands as it will burn.
- Deep fry for about five minutes until the batter is very crispy and golden, turning with a slotted spoon. Remove and let cool for at least five more minutes.
- If you want them extra crispy, double fry the pakoras once dry. Reheat oil and deep-fry again on moderately high heat until brown.
- Sprinkle with chaat masala, and serve with mint, coconut, or mango chutney.
Check out the Diwali festival in Auckland and attend one of the free cooking classes yourself.
- Asia Media Centre