Chick Pea Flour Fritters (Pakoras) Recipes
175 g (6 oz) natural yogurt
75 g (3 oz) chick pea flour ( besan)
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chilli poder
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 long aubergine, weighing about 500 g (1lb), or about 12 large spinach leaves
600 ml (1 pint) vegetable oil for deep-frying
Put the yogurt in a medium bowl and sift in the chick pea flour, whisking it in well. (The flour tends to form quite hard lumps; these need to be pressed through a sieve with the back of a spoon.) Add the salt, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric and black pepper and mix in well. Place the bowl in a cool place for at least 1 hour (during this time the flour will absorb the moisture from the yoghurt and the mixture will become quite stiff).
Trim the aubergine, but don’t peel. Cut the aubergine into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based frying pan until a small drop of the batter immediately starts to sizzle and float to the surface when dropped into the pan. Coat the pieces of aubergine with the batter; it does not matter if the aubergine is not totally coated. Deep-fry the fritter in batches in the hot oil until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a perforated spoon and drain on paper towels.
If you are using spinach leaves, remove the hard central rib from any of the larger leaves, then cut the leaves into 5 cm (2 inch) squares. Coat with the tatter and fry in the same way as the augergine slices. Serve hot, as soon as possible after cooking. Makes about 12.
Note: chick pea flour is far more absorbent than ordinary wheat flour, which means that very small amounts can be mixed with quite a considerable amount of liquid to form a very thick batter. Both savoury and sweet fillings can be used – try mushrooms, or apples and bananas. Pakoras will keep for up to 1 hour in a warm oven.