Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ooh, so good Pakoras (Indian Lentil Cakes) with Tomato Chutney

Pakoras with Tomato Chutney
Stunningly delicious!
I'm going to be teaching more classes about cleansing at Whole Foods, and I'm excited because not only will I be leading a cleanse overview class, I'll be teaching some cooking classes as well. One will focus on cleanse-friendly comfort foods; another will have more of an international flair. I've started sifting through all my recipes and experimenting in the kitchen so I'll be posting new recipes as they earn the Mark & Ivy Two Yums Up designation. I've already posted a great recipe for Curry Tofu Salad and there will be more to come but first things first...

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

Drain peas.

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.

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)

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