Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Delicious Pakoras- Vegetables or prawn fritters

How to Fry Delicious Pakodas.
We call it Bora, some people call it Boris.
It is all the same.

It is most common in Maharastra, where you see it in the ubiquitous Vada-Pav, and Bhaji-Pao.

The Bhaji or Vada or pakoras can of several varieties,
Say- Kandha(onion) Bhaji, Aloo(potato) Bhaji, Bengan(Egg Plant) Bhaji, Green- Chilli Bhaji, cauliflower, even ladies Finger which makes great Bora.

Here On, I will refer it as Bodas. For the Non-Hindi Speakers, These are what might call “Fritter” made by deep frying Vegetables or even prawns by dipping in a batter of Gram(pulses) Flour.

Somehow, I love those Bodas and I always try them in the oddest of stalls, my friends wouldn’t even stand near me. But I love the Fries, knowing fully well that they must be using substandard oil which they use for months together. They never replace the whole oil and just replenish, which is quite unhealthy. But still, I can’t resist a nice aloo boda or a bengan Bora.

Enough of your talk Tony, just tell them, How to Fry it?OK, The taste depends on the batter you are going to prepare.
So take utmost care while preparing it.
Even the thickness or consistency matters a lot.
Why I decided to post this recipe is because of something I have noticed everywhere in India. The Besan that is used for the batter is the usual Besan most widely available Chana(Chick Peas) besan. So, for those who haven’t tried The Mattar( White peas) besan Boras don’t really know how a Mattar besan Bora tastes like.
Believe me it tastes much better.
It is available In Kolkata, but it is not commonly available elsewhere.
Well you have to adjust with Chana Besan if it is not available. But see if you can find it.

Pour the Besan into a Bowl.
Ok, though I hate measurements, make it two cups.
Into it add half a Teaspoon of Jeera powder,
half a teaspoon Dhania Powder,
about half of that measurement(1/4) of Haldi(turmeric),
Half teaspoon Red Chilli Powder,
¼ teaspoon of cooking Soda and
Two table spoon Finely Chopped Coriander and Salt to taste.

Mix well, start pouring water from a cup slowly and keep stirring so that the batter is even and consistent. Add water till the batter is thick enough to stick to the vegetable( egg a round slice of Potato) but not thin enough that it runs away from the Potato Slice. Thickness has to be perfect. So add water very slowly. You will learn after some practice.

Batter is done.

Potatoes, Onions, Brinjals and ladies-finger make Fine
For the Non-vegetarians, Prawns and Shrimps make the best

Use large Potatoes, large onions, and for the Brinjal, use the longer variety and dark colored variety. Cut them into round slices. Just cut top-down into slices. Thick as 5 rupee coin, brinjal can be thicker.
For the Ladies Finger( bhindi) , use whole but make a cut sideways but the cut should not be so deep the vegetable fall into halves.
Onions , cut the rounds, top down, not sideways. It will fall off. Make thick slices. Its difficult to cut onions into slices and keep intact but you can try till you learn it. Trick is to let the top hold it together.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan. There should be enough oil, about half a centimeter deep. When the oil is hot dip the vegetable spice into the batter, let the batter stick to the veg and drop slowly into the pan. It is difficult. Use a Spatula, A long handles spoon with rectangular flat face. You can keep the vegetable slice and let it slid into the Pan, but best way is to use your hand and let it dip slowly.

Use a Slotted spatula or spoon to pick up and turn the fries. Better still use a pair of Tongs, it is very handy to turn the fries, even while picking them up.
Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by Photobucket.com
This Picture is not original, but downloaded via google images. the credit for the pic goes here.

The fry must be done on a very low heat. If the heat is not low, it will cook and even burn the batter but not the vegetable inside. Cook on low flame till one side is done. This you may check my using the tong by picking up and see the colour. And of course by hit and trial. The colour changes to deep yellow, even darker. You will Know. Trust me. Once its done, turn them. Keep in mind: The second side don’t take as long as the first. Using the tong or slotted Spatula to remove the fries, hold for sometime over the pan so that oil drips away. Remove and lay them on a basket lines with a towel of tissue paper if you want to remove excess oil. Using a slotted Spoon( the one like a Sieve, I will post the pic soon.) to remove any remaining bits of fried batter from the pan before adding the next batch. Eat as snacks, eat as side dish, and do leave a comment before and after you have tried it.
Cauliflowers shouldn't be cut to slices ;-)
Dip the bit size florets and just fry, you will need more oil for cauliflower.
Say about an 2 centimeters deep ;-)

PS: For the Kandha Bhajiya or Palak Bhajiya variant, use chopped( into long slices) onions an mix with the same batter mix. Use your fingers to pick up bite size pieces and drop into the oil. For this the depth of the oil in the frying pan need to be more ;-) .
For palak, wash the palak well, cut or chop them, and mix with the batter. Fry away.

Non-Veg: If it is prawn, dip each prawn into the batter.
For smaller shrimps, mix like you did the palak/onions.
But When you pick up the mix in your fingers to dip
into the oil make sure that the mix spreads out into a
flat slice-like fry instead of the chunk-like onions Boda.

Bon Apetit.

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Blogger Parna said...

wow! sounds absolutely yummy :) i made gosht saag today. maybe i will put the recipe in the food blog i started.

btw, why not open the comment box in a separate window? and maybe some food pics ? :)

11/22/2005 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This template doesn't allow. I have already done that in the setting. Maybe I have tweak with the template code..

Pucs. I want to put up real pics. Will do so slowly.. I haven't been cooking for sometime now. Spending too much time in office.. LOL, i have to make up for the blogging by working extra ;-)

11/22/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever the name - bhaji, pakoda, fritters - I LURRRVE them! :)

11/22/2005 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Sury said...

Yummy. You are right, Anthony. No matter the quality of the oil used, the sight of pakoras anywhere is hard to resist. And this is the season too. So thanks for the heads up!

11/23/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Parna said...

hey you might want to check out this site rannabanna.blogspot.com :)

11/24/2005 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Meena said...

Hi Anthony!

Do check out http://hookedonheat.blogspot.com/2005/11/launching-from-my-rasoi-call-to-all.html

- Meena

11/25/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Scoot said...

am allergic to besan..what is a good substitute?

2/03/2006 01:45:00 AM  
Blogger Anju said...

Hey i m definetly going to try ur recipe.. sounds yummy

5/29/2006 01:09:00 PM  

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