Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Pink Salmon and Purple Pakoras

Pink Salmon and Purple Pakoras with chutney
Purple Pakoras
Faith and begora, it’s a purple pakora.  I have no idea why I think that’s so funny.  Maybe because way back in the first days of search engines, even before the WWW existed, almost any term entered into a search engine seemed to bring up a document on the Ayurvedic Invasion into Ireland.  It was a curious document, but I never did have time to investigate it.

In the meantime, here we have a fast, healthy and easy recipe for red cabbage pakoras.  You don’t have to confine yourself to red cabbage, although it’s among the healthiest foods there are; you can also use red pepper, red onions, carrots, whatever you like as long as it can be cut into strips, and will cook fairly quickly.  For this dish, I also made little chunks of salmon, but you could keep the meal vegetarian and use paneer.

1 heaping tablespoon of a prepared spicy masala powder
2 cups channa flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cold water (more or less)
1 tablespoon oil

I’d make a masala from scratch, except my idea here is to keep this simple and fast.  If your masala has enough salt, fine, otherwise add more to taste.  Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl, then slowly add the water and stir.  You want a fairly thick batter.  Make the batter spicy and salty, as it covers the vegetables, fish or paneer in a thin layer, and you want it tasty. 
Red cabbage, finely sliced
(or red pepper, red onion, carrot, potato, doesn't matter, as long as it's finely sliced)

 Mix the sliced vegetables into the batter.  Put your non-stick griddle on medium heat.  Once it’s hot enough, brush a skiff of oil over it, and spoon appetizer sized amounts of batter and vegetable onto the griddle.  Flip when the batter has set, and the vegetables are soft, about seven minutes.  Watch the heat and adjust as needed.  Cook about another seven minutes.  You will be at the griddle for about twenty minutes, starting new pakoras and removing them as they’re done.  Be sure to brush a new skiff of oil over the griddle for every batch, as the hot oil seems to seal the batter very nicely.

If you  are doing protein with this meal, use 1 x ½ inch bits of salmon or paneer.  Cooking times are about the same.

Serve with a cilantro mint chutney.  Wouldn’t these be just fantastic on Saint Patrick’s Day?  Can’t you just hear it?  Faith and begorra, it’s a purple pakora…

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