frying pakodas on a late-winter evening
If you have kids, you know what a ‘snowday’ is –more than just a storm —
it means no school! I think of this month as the start of spring, but here in
New England a blizzard in May is not unheard of. We are used to seeing
March come in like a lion and that’s what it did Sunday night.
About 18 inches fell between midnight and 6 am.
School was cancelled yesterday, and though I had to work,
I could go late and in casual dress — so a bit of a holiday for m and me.
I spent the early morning watching the birds — juncos, goldfinches and their irruptive cousins the pine siskins, along with a solitary song sparrow and a lone carolina wren.
Then thanks to ISG, I got the idea to make some pakodas last night.
A snowday late in winter inspires such cravings… I could afford to indulge in a little crispy goodness. Of all the veggies I have fried (admittedly not too many) my favorite is bell pepper. The flavors of bell pepper and besan seem to have a special affinity. I had a red bell pepper and that came out delicious.
Still I think my fav is the green.
Other than the peppers, I thought of Sailu’s yummy ulli pakodi, but after a lazy weekend with little shopping, discovered I didn’t have one fresh onion in the house! I’ve been trying to get the veggie drawer cleared out, so I made use of a few different things I had on hand — sans onions.
crunchy dried jackfruit chips
they taste delicious reconstituted too ~ especially in sambhar!
This is not exactly a recipe, as I didn’t really follow any one.
It’s more a little tale of my learning experience.
I am no expert in fritters! The pepper pakoda came out best.
Perhaps someone has a better way to fry greens (fry greens!??)!
Please do let me know! 🙂
1 c dried jackfruit chips, soaked in boiling water for 30 min, and drained well
2 c mixed spinach, baby greens and mushrooms, chopped
2 big green chilies, chopped fine
Red Bell Pepper Pakoda
1 red bell pepper, seeded, scored on the outside, and cut into small pieces.
Wash well and drain on paper towels.
For the jackfruit and greens, I mixed mostly rice flour and just a little besan.
I got the idea to go heavier on rice flour from Mandira’s crispy beguni recipe.
I mixed it according to Sailu’s recipe with green chiles but skipped curry leaves; and seasoned all to taste with salt. Added some melted ghee and a few drops of water. The first batch fell apart and I had a tasty, albeit messy plate of fried individual leaves. I sprinkled a little more flour and a few more drops water — this time mashed it all together with a fork until it would hold together (the reconstituted jackfruit will mash a bit like potato). This second batch was better, and the rice flour definitely made it crunchier!
For the red bell pepper, I mixed 1/4 c besan with 1/2 c rice flour, then following Mandira’s instructions, added poppy seeds, salt and seasoning. Then just enough water with this to make a medium batter. The scoring helped the batter adhere to the peppers.
I took a photo, then I decided to add some Rajwadi Garam Masala to the ketchup — a very happy discovery! I am shamelessly addicted to this particular store-bought masala. It releases a deep, mellow aroma when you cook it; in this instance it made a delightfully spicy and flavorful dip for the deep-fried goodies.
So there you have it ISG, thanks for the inspiration! And thanks Mandira and Sailu for sharing your tips and recipes. Come right over next time it snows 🙂
kitchen-sink and red bell pepper pakoda in EAPG ~
Michigan pattern by US Glass, circa 1902