Pakodas/Pakoras are our favorite choice for a hot cup of spicy chai.Be it the weepy melodramatic Indian saas-bahu soap or the fanatic India-Pakistan cricket match or chaatka-maatka mass Indian movie, the pakoras form an integral part of the living room. These crunchy bite sized wonder are sure to make anyone addictive.Since it is one of the easiest snack that could be made in a short time, I remember enjoying them in most of my aunts and grandparent’s place. The dish which I ate, ate and ate during my childhood, was totally avoided by me during my teens. The major reason I had was “dieting”. Then once I outgrew that phase, I got back to my original self. I had the late realization that completely starving oneself from them and indulging one fine day on high-calorie foods like french fries, ice creams and fried chicken is no good. Eating everything in single servings and burning out the extra calories every other day is the key to a healthy life. So, now I have slowly began to include fried snacks into our monthly menus. We enjoy these crispy cashew-onion pakodas once in a while for the evening chai. They are made by deep frying veggies like onions, eggplant, potato, spinach, cauliflower or pappad or chicken and rolling them over a thick batter of seasoned gram flour. Infact, in the UK, they were sold in most Indian takeaways as a replacement to chips.
Today’s version is made with raw cashewnuts and onions.
1/2 tbs cashewnuts (raw)
1 cup onions – chopped
1/2 cup gram flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup all purpose flower
1-2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tbs cummin powder
2 tsp chilli powder
6-8 curry leaves – finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Oil to fry
Mix all the dry ingredients together with a whisk. Slowly add the water and mix them to form a thick batter. Fold in the onions,cashews and curry leaves.
Heat the oil to 350F. Add little batter to check the heat. If they emerge out of the oil immediately, it means that the oil has reached the perfect temperature. Using a tablespoon, scoop out each ball into the oil. Fry them in batches. Let it cook for 5-8 minutes on each side. Don’t burn them. Place the pakoras in kitchen towels to absorb excess oil.
Serve hot with ketchup/mint chutney.