Pakora with Mint Sauce
The home garden provided all I needed for this pakora with mint sauce dish. Pumpkins saved from last summer’s harvest still line the shelves and gave us a good supply over winter.
My cabbage patch offered up these beautiful heads of cabbage. This time I had purple top turnips growing and some of these went into this dish of pakora with mint sauce. These turnips have the tang of a radish and if you are using them, I would leave out the ginger.
I have posted a recipe on Pakora in the past. If you compare these you will notice the other was caramelized in onion pro-biotic juice and the batter made with rice flour. This recipe is half rice flour and half chickpea flour, also known as besan flour. Just changing details like these and even using different vegetables can offer a different taste to the same dish. Kale, for example, turns crispy when cooked at high heat and adds to the crunch.
Another difference with this pakora with mint sauce recipe is the mint sauce. Mint is another item I have in abundance in my garden. So I just picked the leaves fresh from my garden for this one.
When you fry it is important to ensure the kind of oil you use is one that has a high smoke point. Check out this brilliant article on what is the best oil for frying.
We love fried food at our house and here are some tips on the best use of oil for frying:
1. use coconut oil or olive oil to fry. They have a high smoke point.
2. do not re-use the oil too many times. The times you use could vary depending on the quantity of oil and how much you are frying. If the batch you are frying is a lot, you could use the oil only once.
3. using a small, deep sauce pan for frying forces you to use oil in small amounts. I use one that is 6 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches deep. I can fit only 4 pakoras at a time.
You may have to fry small batches at a time but it is cost effective and healthy because you are not discarding large amounts of oil. One reason I have stayed away from buying deep fryers is because they use a large quantity of oil. Worse, you will be tempted to re-use it more times than you should because you don’t have the heart to waste the oil.
Lastly, when you put in a lot of items to fry you reduce the heat of the oil. This means whatever you are frying will absorb a lot of oil. You want the heat to be at maximum temperature as this will quickly cook the inside and the out at minimum oil absorption.
3 cups shredded pumpkin
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups shredded purple top turnip or radish
3 stalks curry leaves, finely minced
onion leaves or onions
1 heap tsp minced ginger
1 heap tbsp chilli powder (if you don’t like it too hot reduce to 1 tsp)
1 tsp garam masala
salt and tumeric
1 1/2 cups besan flour
1 1/2 cup rice flour
1 cup water (pour more or less to adjust the consistency of the batter. Should be thick enough to form into round balls. If batter is too thin it won’t bind to form a tight ball and will break up when you put the balls into the oil)
Mix all the minced and shredded vegetables in a bowl. Sprinkle the spices and salt over them, followed by the ginger and chilli powder. Mix well. Then add the flour. Pour the water gradually as you could need slightly more or less than one cup. Feel the consistency. It should not be watery. It should have just enough to bind the vegetables into a tight ball. Fry in high heat and remove once it is slightly brown. Serve with mint sauce
1/2 cup kefir (may use yoghurt as an alternative)
2/3 cup fresh mint
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon juice
pepper and salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before you store it in the fridge.