If you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant, chances are that you’ve had onion pakoras made with chickpea batter. Perhaps you’ve even made these or had them at a dinner party. These delightful fritters are perfect as an appetizer or snack. Pakoras are kinda ugly to begin with, aren’t they? They’re funny shaped, have a monotonous color and it’s hard to arrange them nicely for an eye-catching presentation. BUT they taste so good!
After my last trip to the farmer’s market, I had a few vegetables remaining that really needed to get used soon. So instead of using only onions, I thought it would be fun to experiment with other vegetables.
As you know, it’s been a few months since I’ve given up gluten and many other foods due to allergies. With that I’ve been experimenting with many different flours. Since lots of people don’t feel very good after eating chickpeas, I thought of trying a different flour as well. In this recipe, I made pakoras with buckwheat flour and used onions, radishes and broccoli. If you’ve never had buckwheat before, it has a more rustic flavor and is dark. It reminds me a lot of ragi or finger millet which is often used in South Indian cooking.
Now these pakoras actually looked uglier than regular ones! The dark color of the buckwheat batter is hard to photograph well. But I’ll tell you what, these little fritters were so good that just two of us ate up an entire batch. Yikes! We did pay for this with a long hike the next day.
And oh yeah, if you were wondering, the broccoli pakoras were hands down the best. So, enjoy these “ugly” pakoras for a special treat and Happy Friday the 13th!
Buckwheat Pakoras - Serves 8 as an appetizer
- ½ cup chickpea or buckwheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 1 onion (white, red or yellow), sliced
- 1 bunch radish, quartered
- 1 bunch broccoli, diced
- High heat oil
Mix all the batter ingredients together to make a thick batter with consistency thicker than that of pancake batter.
Add a ½ inch layer of oil to a small saucepan. I use a small round bottomed pan to reduce the quantity of oil required. Heat over medium heat till the oil just starts smoking and a bit of batter sizzles.
While waiting on the oil, prepare a plate with a couple of layers of kitchen paper. Have a slotted spoon ready to remove the fritters.
Using a large spoon, gently place spoonfuls of the batter in the hot oil in a single layer. Do not overcrowd. The batter should sizzle immediately. Fry till the buckwheat on the fritters have turned dark. If you are using chickpea flour, fry till golden brown.
Place the fritters on the plate you prepared earlier to soak up the excess oil. Repeat the frying process till the batter is over.
Allow the fritters to cool down for a couple of minutes. Serve immediately while still warm and crisp.