Nothing in this world can compare to a rainy day, a hot plate of Pakodas (Pakoras/Fritters) in front of you and a cup of Masala Chai (tea) warming your hands. As a lover of rains, especially one that relieves the city from the relentless heat that is so typical of early Fall, I take extra pleasure in making this delicious fried snack when it pours.
In India, Pakoda is border-line street food. We have small restaurants that specialize in this snack and each of these establishment, I am guessing, have their own way of making it. I have tasted soft ones, sharp ones, spicy ones and crunchy ones. My favorite kind will always be the ones with extra crispy onions framing softer (but crunchy) centers. Pakodas are also made at home. My mother makes them when we demand it (which, I realize now, was seldom!), my aunts make it and now, I do. Very rarely. When the Mister demands it and he always demands it when it rains. Clearly, rains and Pakodas have an intricate connection and the whole world thinks so!
So it rained today, we craved for Pakodas and hot tea. Though I have made it before, today’s version surpassed my previous ones. My happiness turned to elation because I did not follow any recipe today! I post the recipe here while I revel.
One cup Bengal Gram flour (Indian store)
1/4 cup all purpose flour or rice flour
1 Tbsp Semolina flour (optional)
One tsp salt
One onion chopped
One Thai chili chopped
A few curry leaves (optional)
A shake of Asafoetida powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper powder (replace with paprika powder if you don’t want too much heat)
One tsp cumin seeds
One pinch baking soda
One tsp melted butter/Ghee/Nei
Two cups vegetable/canola oil
Mix all the ingredients, apart from the oil, together. Gradually add water with a Tbsp. The mixture must come together slightly but not form a dough or batter. Heat the oil. When it is heated, freestyle drop bite size pieces of the batter. The beauty of Pakoda is in the shaplessness of each piece. The Pakoda pieces must turn light brown. When done, transfer to a kitchen tissue lined container. Let it drain. When ready to serve, squeeze half a lemon on it.
I made a ketchup dip with half cup ketchup, one Tbsp Chat Masala, salt, sugar and chili flakes. It tastes equally good with just normal ketchup. Now, go fall in love.
Ps: Thank you, Amma, for making me get up from my study table and get back to blogging for a little bit. It is a therapy I desperately needed.