Friday, 15 June 2012

Gluten Free: My Dad's Pakora


Father's Day is just around the corner (don't panic! If you post a card, first class, today it should get there on time) and in honour of my dad, I'm sharing his awesome pakora recipe. There are few things you should know about my dad...
  1. He's a bit of a sci-fi fan and my name comes from wobbly-cardboard-scenery-classic, Blake's Seven (I used to lie and tell people it was Gaelic).
  2. His book recommendations are always spot-on, he is yet to suggest a bad read. He's even more of bookworm than I am and there's always a pile of new titles awaiting me when I visit.
  3. His curries are legendary across the Greater Glasgow area and after much nagging from me, he presented me with a collection of his best recipes, 'cos he's just that lovely.
  4. He has an incredible tolerance for chilli heat, I always reduce his recommended number of chillies by - at least - half. It's harder to enjoy the amazing flavours of his curries when you're blinded by sweat and you have the hiccups.
For those of you who don't know, pakora is a kind of like a bhaji, but the batter has more in it than just onion. Generally, they are made with gram flour so they're naturally gluten free but, often there's some wheat flour thrown in for lightness, so always ask. Pakora is a bit of an obsession for us Glaswegians, we even have pakora bars - when I moved, it was a bit of a shock to learn that they're not as worshipped popular in the south of England.

I have been reliably informed that sports are happening this week (and, indeed, for much of the summer) and should you wish to watch them on television, these pakora make perfect TV watching snacks.

Dad's Vegetable Pakora

You'll need
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 250g gram flour (also called chickpea flour, garbanzo flour and besan)
  • water, as required
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • enough oil to deep fry
Make it!
  • Heat the oil to 230°C. If you don't have a deep fat fryer, one-third fill a saucepan with oil and heat carefully, if you have a jam thermometer you can use that to keep and eye on the temperature of the oil.
  • Place onions and potatoes in a bowl and add salt, chilli powder, garam masala, tumeric, chopped chillies, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Combine well and add the gram flour and mix thoroughly.
  • Add cold water to the mixture, a little at a time, stirring well until a thick batter is formed. It shouldn't be possible for the mixture to hold it's shape, but should drop easily from a spoon. Add the chopped coriander and combine.
  • Use a dessert spoon to place spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil. Make a single piece initially to check that the oil temperature and batter consistency is ok. Each pakora will take about 2-3 minutes to cook and will be golden brown when ready.
  • Drain on kitchen towel before serving.
P.S. Be careful to avoid cross contamination through the frying oil; if gluten-y foods are cooked in the same oil, there's a chance that traces can find their way into your food.

You can make a really easy dipping sauce for these by throwing the following in a blender and whizzing for 5 minutes: 1 green bell pepper, 1 small onion (peeled and roughly chopped), 2 tomatoes, 1 tbsp mint sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 2 green chillies (roughly chopped) and the juice of 2 lemons.

If you have some left over, the sauce freezes well for up to three months.

8 comments:

  1. These look tasty. What books has your dad recommended recently?

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  2. Birthdays for the Dead, by Stuart MacBride (It's a bit dark but full of suspense), and Lee Child's Jack Reacher series of novels are the latest ones he's sent my way. I'm hoping for a new batch quite soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ooo more posts on books please! Your dad sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is pretty awesome (although, I'm probably biased).

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  4. I'm named after Blake's 7 too, and so's my sister...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad there's more of us! I also know someone who named their daughter after a Star Trek character.

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  5. Made these last night, they're really good!

    ReplyDelete

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