Monday, September 10, 2012

Rain Gods, bring it on! We're sufficiently armed!

This post is way too late, the rains have gone, the cold winds have stopped and it's now beautiful spring time here in Aussie! But I still want to post this classic, quintessential Indian Monsoon snack.


The easiest, most sought after snack when dark clouds loom over the skies. And as the first faint pitter-patter of the raindrops begins, there's frantic running to fetch the washing hanging on the clothesline out in the backyard (or terrace). Someone puts a saucepan full of water on the stove and starts crushing fresh ginger and elaichi to make steaming cups of chai. Meanwhile, onions are finely chopped and tossed into a bowl with besan, salt, chilli powder and turmeric. Indoors is suddenly decked with half dried washing, almost like buntings! And when the chai and pakoras are ready, everyone finds a cozy little spot to sit, legs tucked under their bottoms. The rain outside and the warmth inside...aaah! The familiar sights and smells of 'home'!

Easy and satisfying Crispy Onion Pakoras

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
  1. Toss into a large bowl chopped onions, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt.
  2. Use your hands to mix everything well. Leave aside for about 5 minutes.
  3. The onions will start to release some water when combined with salt. Now add besan and again, mix well using your hands. Using your hands, instead of a spoon, will help you judge how much water you need to add in. The secret to crispy pakoras is a nice, stiff dough, not batter. Too much water and the pakoras will turn out soggy and limp. So simply sprinkle some water and continue to mix until the mixture holds itself together. Basically, you don't want any dry besan in the bowl and neither do you want a runny batter.
  4. Heat oil in a wok and when hot, drop in small portions of the onion-besan mixture and fry until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Serve hot with tomato ketchup and green chilli chutney.
We had a sudden bout of rain here in Sydney the other day. So it was the perfect setting :) Diet-shmiet! Everything flew out of the window when it was time for pakoras!


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