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Jewish Indian chef Raj Abassi teaches us how to make pakoras for Chanukah! Pakoras are fried snacks, from India, typically made with different vegetables like eggplant, potato and spinach. It’s not a potato latke, but it’s all about the oil.
Raj’s Pakora Recipe
4-5 medium onions roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes peeled, cut into thin strips cut one inch long
10 Tbs garam/chickpea flour (besan)
2 Tbs rice flour 1 tsp red chili powder (optional according to your taste)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp cumin powder (jeera)
½ tsp carom seed (ajwain)
½ tsp chat masala (will also need a few pinches for sprinkling at the end)
1 Tbs chopped fresh coriander
1Tbs chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs oil Salt to taste 5-6 cups of oil (for the deep fry)
Peel and cut the onions and potatoes. Mix everything in a bowl (not the frying oil). Add sufficient water to make a thick mixture. Add little by little. Begin to heat the oil in a wok (kadai) or other deep pan suitable for deep frying. Dampen your hands and divide mixture into 2 inch balls. Deep fry balls in batches so that there is only a single layer in the wok at a time. Remove when half done. (This is an art, and takes some experience to know what a half-done pakora looks like. Try 2-3 minutes.) Drain and cool onto a plate covered with absorbent paper towels. Turn down the heat. Flatten balls one by one between your hands also covered with absorbent paper towels. Reheat the oil and deep fry the flattened pakoras till crisp and golden. (5-6 pakoras at a time). Drain again on absorbent paper. Transfer pakoras to serving platter. Sprinkle with chat masala on top. Serve hot with mango, mint/yogurt or tamarind chutney.
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