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FOOD & DRINK.

Pakora. A simple innocuous word, six letters, three syllables, yet it possesses power of kryptonite qualities.

Many a fun-filled Friday has staggered seamlessly, skin-filled from pub to pakora to pleasure.

In this rickety collection of countries that we call the UK, while we may have decided to be better together, we do not batter together. Our beloved English neighbours know little of the perfect pakora, they bow down to the bhaji.

And while technically these contain the same ingredients, they are wholly different experiences.

The bhaji is, for me at any rate, too much about the gram flour batter and not enough about the filling.

We grew up eating pakoras. My mum, expert as she is in all cooking, combined and elevated the paltry potato, the ordinary onion, the flavourless frozen pea into the most delicious mid afternoon snack imaginable. Floury steamed potatoes, soft, sweet onions punctuated with the pop of pea all unified in a glorious gram flour batter. And while we Scots enjoy the post-pub pakora, it has many other applications. This is just one. I realise that this looks really challenging. It actually isn't. If you want, just use the pakora section.

Punjabi Khadi (Pakora Curry)

Ingredients: Serves 4 For the pakora:

75g gram flour

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into half cm cubes

1 small can of sweetcorn, drained.

1 chopped green chilli 1tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

1/2tsp cumin powder

1tsp red chili powder

1/2tsp baking powder oil for deep frying Salt

METHOD

First make the pakora. Mix all the dry ingredients. Gradually, now add between 200-250ml of water to create a batter thick enough to bind the chopped potatoes and onions together.

Heat oil for frying. When piping hot, drop small balls of the mixture in the oil. Fry in batches of six or seven at a time. Don't crowd the pan.

When golden brown, textured like sun, drain the pakora. In a separate bowl, beat the sour cream, yoghurt and mix in the gram flour.

Blend thoroughly ? you want it to be lump-free. Add the turmeric powder, salt and about one litre of water. Whisk well.

Now fry the whole red chillies, fenugreek seeds, cumin and mustard seeds. As they start to spit and sputter, add the ginger and garlic. Let the aromatics fry for no more than half a minute before introducing the ground spices, turmeric, coriander, chilli powder and salt.

Immediately add the gram flour/sour cream/ yoghurt mixture. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Turn down to a simmer, stirring now and then. After quarter of an hour add the pakoras, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, green chilli (slit down the middle). Simmer for a further 10mins. Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed basmati rice.

For the kadhi:

100ml sour cream

100ml strained Greek yoghurt

21/2tbsp gram flour

2 dried whole red chilli

1/2tsp cumin seeds

1/4tsp black mustard seeds

1/4tsp fenugreek seed

1/2tsp turmeric powder

1tsp cumin powder

1tsp coriander powder

2tsp salt 1/2tsp red chilli powder

2tsp minced ginger

2tsp minced garlic

1/4tsp garam masala

1 green chilli 1/4tsp fenugreek leaves

2tbsp coriander leaves

2tbsp flavourless oil
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Nov 28, 2015
Words:535
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