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Author Notes: Warm monsoon rains with their sultry aftermath were always a reason to cook up these crispy vegetable chickpea batter pakoras (crispy dumplings) when I was growing up in Pakistan. A true essence of summer rains and homely comfort when washed down with a cup of Cardamom milky tea or 'chai'. You can use any vegetable you like! Even cheese works! —Sumayya Usmani
- 100 grams chickpea flour / gram flour
- 50 grams rice flour (not ground rice)
- 1 teaspoon dry roasted cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder / cayenne
- Tap water to make the batter
- Enough vegetable oil to fry the pakoras
- 6 slices of aubergines, halved
- 5 okra, sliced into 4 pieces horizontally
- 1/2 a red onion, cut into thin rings
- To garnish: 1 tsp finely chopped mint leaves 1 green chilli, sliced thinly 1 tsp chaat masala (optional, can be found in most South Asian shop, a tangy spice blend)
- Whip up the batter ingredients into a thick batter by adding water slowly.
- Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan (use as much as you like, I prefer to shallow fry). Keep the oil on medium heat.
- Dip each slice of vegetable in the batter until coated evenly, dip into hot oil and fry either side until light brown.
- Drain on kitchen paper and serve garnished with chopped mint leaves and sliced green chilli and chaat masala (You can also substitute chaat masala with a sprinkling of red chilli powder and ground cumin)