Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cauliflower Pakora


Following my wedding on my last trip, I decided to take my firang wife to a city that offers a little more of the India that is promised in travel books than what Pune can offer. And after an impromptu flight to Jaipur, we settled in a generic hotel, the name of which escapes me at the moment. It was a quaint little place and by quaint I mean management had absolutely no interest in managing the it. It was the kind that makes your local lodge look like a 5 star hotel. The restaurant part of the hotel consisted of 7 tables haphazardly huddled into a room attached to a kitchen. The food however was spectacular. They had some pretty good pakoras, the likes of which I have never had before. Their cauliflower pakoras were especially memorable. My most memorable moment in said restaurant, however, was when I asked for some sugar to go with my coffee. I discovered some ants in my sugar and summoned the waiter immediately. As I referred him the ants in my sugar he gave me a look that suggested disappointment more than disgust. He picked up the bowl, blew on it as hard as he could and placed it back on the table. Sure enough the ants were gone. That was the moment I realized that the fault was my own, for in the motherland ants in your food is not an issue, just a minor detail. And after living in the US for over a decade I had forgotten the most important lesson growing up in India has taught me—If life hands you lemons, you f-ing deal with it without making an issue and move on with life.

Ingredients

  • Florets from 1 Cauliflower
  • 1 cup besan (chick pea flour)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • Salt to taste.
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Mix besan, cumin, chilli. turmeric, soda and salt in a bowl
  • Add water slowly and stir the mixture as you do.
  • Add water till water turns to a runny paste.
  • Heat the oil in a wok. Turn flame to medium heat once oil is hot.
  • Dip a cauliflower floret in the besan mixture till it is completely coated and fry the potato.
  • Be careful not to over crowd the wok. You can put 5-6 pakoras in at a time.
  • Serve with tamarind & date or mint chutney