You can take the girl out of Punjab but you cant take the “Punjaban” out of the girl.. Especially when it comes to Punjabi cooking as Punjabi food I know!!! – All Thanks to my wonderful mother of course who is probably the reason I love to cook today!
One of my earlier memories of being in a kitchen with my mum was when I was about 8 years old, I was following her around as she cooked “Aloo Sholay” one of my all time favorite dishes (notebook and pen in hand) listing ingredients, and watching what she did, I remember even at that age being in awe of her ease and confidence when it came to cooking.
Some other popular Punjabi dishes are Sarson da Saag (Spinach), Parathas (stuffed chapati like bread), and Pakoras, in the south of India these are also known as Bajjis. Punjabi pakoras (and cuisine in general) uses more spices, ginger, onion and masala than our southern counterparts.
Pakoras are so simple and quick to make that if ever you pop over to a Punjabi household for a coffee/tea…pakoras are likely to accompany the beverage!
So the next time you’re looking to impress at a casual get together whip these out and….don’t assume the kiddos wont enjoy these, my little boy (almost 2 years old now!) loves Pakoras, so give them a piece and let them make up their own minds!
3 Medium potatoes (quartered & very finely sliced)
1 fresh chili (finely sliced)
1 green Pepper (deseeded, chopped or sliced)
1 tomato (deseeded & finely chopped)
1 heaped tsp Salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 large handfuls of Gram flour
1 tbsp natural yogurt
1lr sunflower/vegetable oil
Heat all of the oil in medium sized saucepan on a medium to high heat
Add everything excluding the flour to a large bowl and mix with your hands.
|Add any thinly sliced vegetable you like|
Gradually start adding the gram flour to the vegetables, keep mixing the flour in until you have used up all of the flour
This should leave you with a slightly sticky mixture, if you find that you cannot pick up small clumps of batter as it is too liquidy add a little more flour.
The consistency needs to be slightly sticky but not runny, if unsure test by taking a tablespoon and pouring the mixture into the heated oil.. if the mixture does not clump together in the oil it is too runny, If it falls as a clump to the base of the pan you have the right consistency!
Once you have the right consistency using a tablespoon as above (when testing) spoon about 4/5 spoon fulls into the oil.. leave for 2 minutes then using a steel ladle (ideally with holes in it to allow excess oil to drain away) gently poke at the pakora to ensure they don’t stick to the base of the pan,
|1st Batch just gone in….|
allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes and turn them over carefully using the ladle, cook until golden brown, take out of the pan and allow to drain in a steel colander (TIP: Place a plate with a couple of serviettes placed on top underneath the colander this will help catch excess oil)
Serve with some chutney (recipe will follow next time I make it) or with Ketchup, Great to munch on whilst drinking Punjabi Chai 🙂