I make vegatable pakora often, because they always go down well at parties. Everyone loves fried food, don't they? And I swap around the vegetables I use, depending on what I have in at the time.
This I call the 'easy' version, because the spices used most people tend to have in their store cupboard (if they like cooking). Sometimes I go really wild and add some fenugreek or even fennel seeds, as well as extra chilli.
These are best eaten fresh and hot. They soften up as they cool down, although are still good, and so make a suitable packed lunch item or for picnics.
I didn't used to add cornflour into my pakora batter, but this was a tip I got from from Rhea Parsons of The 'V' Word, who says it helps crisp up the batter.
In fact, as I haven't included a cucumber dip/raita here to go with this pakora (and it is a great accompaniment), you could try Rhea's recipe for Cucumber Raita, which looks very delicious. Otherwise, a a sweet and spicy chutney like mango or lime pickle will go well, too.
Mixed Vegetable Pakora
Makes about 10-12 pieces
Approx 2½ cups /400g cooked, mixed vegetables (this batch used cauliflower, broccoli & potato)
1 cup / 125g gram (chick pea) flour
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
½ red chilli
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander (cilantro)
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp salt
¾ cups / 340ml cold water
Approx 400ml sunflower oil for frying
1. Have your mixed vegetables almost cooked but make sure they have not gone soft. Set aside and allow them to cool before beginning to make your pakora batter.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the gram flour, cornflour, spices and salt. Then gradually add the water, until you have a thick pouring batter. Mix the vegetables into the batter in batches.
3. In a pan suitable for deep-frying, heat the oil on medium-high until it's hot enough that a teaspoon of batter sizzles when dropped in. Spoon dollops of batter (approximately golf ball-sized amounts) into the oil, about four at a time depending on your pan size (don't overcrowd it).
4. Allow the pakora to cook a few minutes on each side, turning around with tongs or a slatted spoon. Remove when crispy and brown both sides, and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up the grease.
5. When the pakora are cooked, serve with mango chutney or a vegan raita dip, made with soya yogurt, mint, cucumber and a touch of chilli.