|Pakoras with Tomato Chutney|
This recipe for pakoras (Indian lentil cakes) with tomato chutney knocked us out! Its blend of complex flavors is simultaneously strong and subtle - fresh tomatoes, garlic cilantro, cumin, fennel, and ginger pique the palate with alternating bursts of heat, sweet and savory; underneath it all, sweet onion and earthy chick pea flour hold a steady, substantial base. Originally I opted to try this dish because I figured pakoras would be a unique treat for my upcoming international class, but after one crunchy, chewy bite I realized they could slip easily into the comfort food category as well. Now I'm not sure which class will be lucky enough to sample this dish - maybe both!
The pakoras recipe called for yellow split peas. but because the recipe actually contained the word "lentil" in its title, I used the red lentils I had in my pantry. They worked beautifully and I suspect green or brow lentils would work well too. The recipe also called for 1-2 tablespoons of water to shape the mixture into patties; to the contrary, I found I needed to add more chick pea flour - about one extra tablespoon - to give it a "sticky" consistency. See what works for you - it's something you'll have to play with as you put the dish together. Lastly, the chutney preparation called for blanching a tomato, something I'd never done before. But after viewing this 49-second video it was a snap - who knew peeling a tomato could be so easy?
A hands-down winner, I'm thrilled to have found it and offer it to you! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as Mark and me!
Pakoras (lentil cakes)
1 C yellow split peas-washed and soaked overnight
2 cloves garlic
1 small chili
1 t cumin seeds
1 t fennel seeds
1/2 t salt
1 T finely chopped onion
1 - 2 T chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
1 - 2 T besan (chick pea) flour
Place garlic, chili, cumin and fennel seeds in a blender with peas and process till peas are coarsely ground.
Mix in salt, onion and coriander. Add besan and 1 - 2 tbsp water to make a sticky mixture.
Shape teaspoonfuls of mixture into small patties and fry till golden brown on both sides.
Serve with tomato chutney.
1 large tomato - blanched and quartered
1 clove garlic
1cm piece ginger
1 - 2 small chilies
1 C coriander or mint
1/2 t salt
Blend all ingredients except the salt. Store in fridge. Add salt just before serving.
Recipe from Sharon D’Arcy
Found on ivu.org (International Vegetarian Union)