Vegetable Pakoras with Tamarind Ginger Chutney. Originating in India, pakoras are vegetable fritters usually served as snack or appetiser at roadside eateries and restaurants.
5 cups thinly sliced/shredded vegetables (use a selection of onions, capsicum, carrot, broccoli, beans)
1½ tsp cooking salt
½ cup shredded mint leaves
1½ cups besan (chickpea) flour
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
Vegetable oil, to pan-fry
Baby coriander sprigs, to garnish
Tamarind Ginger Chutney
80g tamarind pulp
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
8 curry leaves
⅓ cup grated ginger
1 long red chilli, chopped
2-3 tbsp grated palm sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves
To make tamarind ginger chutney, place tamarind pulp in a small bowl. Add 1½ cups boiling water to cover and set aside for 20 minutes, mashing as it soens. Strain and press out any seeds. Discard pulp.
Heat a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Add oil, mustard and fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves, then cook for 1 minute or until seeds begin to pop. Add ginger and chilli. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until just starting to colour. Pour in tamarind liquid. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until thickens. Add sugar. Season with salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until a chutney consistency. (It will thicken as it cools.) Stir in coriander leaves. Let cool.
Place vegetables in a large bowl. Toss through salt and set aside for 5 minutes to soen slightly. Stir in mint. In a jug, combine flour, cumin and fennel seeds, and ground coriander. Stir in 1½ cups water and pour over vegetables.
Heat a barbecue flat plate over a medium heat and grease generously with oil. Cooking in batches, dollop ¼ cups of mixture onto flat plate and flatten slightly to form patties. Cook for 2-3 minutes then flip and cook for a further 2 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
Serve pakoras hot, garnished with coriander, and with tamarind ginger chutney on the side.