Crunchy Vegetable Pakoras with Raisin-Tamarind Chutney
Also known as bhajias, these crunchy vegetable fritters make tasty appetizers or accompaniments to grilled meats.
Raisin-Tamarind Chutney (Makes 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 block (8 ounces) tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup California raisins
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup jaggery (palm sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
- 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped
- 6 cups water
- 1 yellow onion, cut in paper-thin slivers
- 1 Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, cut in matchstick-size pieces (julienne)
- 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch batons
- 4 cups (1 quart) vegetable oil; for frying
- 1 cup besan (channa dhal or dried chickpea flour)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 cups Raisin-Tamarind Chutney (See recipe)
Measure tamarind, raisins, sugars and spices into non-reactive pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Then, cool to room temperature.
Turn into food processor and process until smooth. Strain into clean saucepan; heat and simmer until thick and smooth. Cool and store in refrigerator.
Have vegetables ready and heat oil to 365°F in heavy-bottomed pan. Meanwhile, sift besan into a large mixing bowl. Add salt and spices, mixing thoroughly. Gradually whisk in enough warm water to make a smooth batter just thick enough to coat and stick vegetables together. Toss vegetables with batter. Then, using two spoons, gather a tablespoon-sized clump of vegetables and slip it into the hot oil. When nicely browned on one side, carefully turn and cook second side until crispy. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Raisin-Tamarind Chutney.
Note: Nutrition facts do not include oil for frying.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories 250 (11% from fat); Total Fat 1g (sat 0g, mono 0g, poly 1g, trans 0g ); Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 6g; Carbohydrate 58g; (Dietary Fiber 7g; Sugars 5g; ); Iron 2mg; Sodium 348mg; Calcium 49mg; Potassium 420mg
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