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East Indian Vegetable Fritters

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Description

I’ve been making this exact recipe for deep fried Vegetable Fritters for years. I call this favourite East Indian snack pakora but it is also called pakoda, bhajji or bhajia. The recipes and process vary among different parts of India but the main thing to know is that they are easy to make and delicious. Chickpea flour is the main ingredient so these fritters are naturally gluten free.

Chickpea Flour vs Besan vs Gram Flour

Hummus, that delicious chickpea dip, has taken North America by storm over the last several years. Perhaps not so common in the North American kitchen is chickpea flour. Made from dried chickpeas it is a staple ingredient in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent. Like many ingredients this flour goes by more than one name. If you are searching through recipes or shopping for flour it is the same as gram flour or besan. Chickpeas themselves can also be called garbanzo beans and I see that Bob’s Red Mill sells theirs as garbanzo bean flour.

Everyday Meals

Do you ever find your usual rotation of home cooked meals a little drab? My best tip is to look for inspiration in the foods of other cultures. East Indian cuisine relies on a generous amount of spices.  If you don’t have these spices in your cupboard buy them next time you’re at the grocery store.

You only need a small collection of recipes from different cuisines around the world to add variety to your dinner table with no extra effort. Over the years my collection has expanded but some of my long time East Indian favourites are Tandoori Chicken, Paneer with fragrant gravy, Tomato Ginger and Green Chile Raita and Fruited Rice Pilaf with pine nuts.

Organize for Success – Vegetable Fritters

I don’t have a deep fryer but I have a great system for this process using a wok. It’s the same system I use to make homemade fish and chips, calamari, crispy bean thread noodles and these vegetable fritters. If you want some ideas to improve your process read my post on fish and chips. 

Do you deep fry at home? If not I hope you’ll give it a try. Be sure to let me know how it went in the comments below.

Ingredients

1¼ cups chickpea flour
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt
½ tsp poppy seeds
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp baking powder
¾ cup water
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 cups vegetables cut into bite size pieces (any combination of broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, green onion, squash, eggplant, mushrooms)
salt
SERVING – chutney

Directions

1
Oil for deep frying
2
Heat oil in deep fryer or wok to 350°F. Line a plate with paper towel and set aside.
3
In a medium bowl add chickpea flour, spices, cornstarch and baking powder. Stir with a whisk until evenly mixed.
4
Add water and oil whisking until smooth.
5
Fold in chopped vegetables.
6
When oil is at 350°F begin cooking. Using a large spoon slowly add big blobs of fritter mixture to the oil. Work in batches cooking only as many fritters as you can manage, starting with 3 or 4 at a time.
7
Cook fritters for 4-5 minutes then gently roll over using a slotted spoon. Cook another 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove fritters to paper towel lined plate.
8
Repeat until all fritters are cooked. Sprinkle with salt while still warm.
9
Serve with chutney.