Serves: Makes 4 to 6 servings
- Ginger and Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 small fresh green chile, halved, seeded, and finely chopped, or more to taste
- ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- ¼ cup peeled, coarsely shredded carrot
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Canola oil, for frying
Procedures:In India, these crisp, full-flavored fritters are known as pakora. They get their distinctive taste and texture from chickpea flour (besan), which can be purchased in health-food stores or wherever Indian products are sold. A small amount of baking soda gives the batter a little lift, and the generous addition of spices will make it either flavorful or hot and spicy, depending on which ones you select. There are two types of pakora: large pieces of vegetable are dipped into batter and dropped into hot oil, or finely cut vegetables are stirred into batter and then dropped from a spoon into hot oil. This recipe makes the latter type. If you decide to add chiles to the batter, serve the spicy fritters with a cooling raita of Ginger Mint Yogurt Sauce.
- Prepare the Ginger and Mint Yogurt Sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, garam masala, and salt until blended.
- With a wooden spoon, beat in water ¼ cup at a time until the batter is thick enough to drop off the tip of the spoon in clumps. You will need about ¾ cup of water total. Let the batter stand for 15 minutes.
- Add the chile, onion, peas, carrot, and cilantro to the batter and fold gently to distribute all of the ingredients evenly.
- Pour the canola oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches into a karahi, wok, or 6-quart Dutch oven, and heat over medium-high heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a rimmed sheet pan or a tray with a thick layer of paper towels.
- With a tablespoon, scoop up a 1½-inch clump of the batter. Holding the spoon near the surface of the hot oil, use the tip of a second spoon to push the batter into the oil. Alternatively, use a 1½-inch spring-loaded ice-cream scoop to scoop up and release the batter into the oil. Repeat until there are 3 or 4 fritters in the oil, and then fry, turning the fritters occasionally with the tip of a spoon so they cook evenly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to the towellined pan to drain. Repeat until all the batter has been used.
- Serve the fritters immediately while they are still piping hot, or drain and keep warm on a rimmed sheet pan in a 300°F oven until ready to serve.