August 26, 2012

Pakora & Chutney

August 26, 2012
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Deep-frying is my least favourite method of cooking. I appreciate vegetables, paneer, patties, bread or sweets cooked in ghee, but prefer honouring them in quantity only on special occasions. The quality suffers from substituting ghee with oil. In fact, I got heartburn just by heating up oil the other day! The fumes repel me. A stale smell lingers in the kitchen for days. It is associated with a bistro culture and the values fast food represents. But, for a quick, effortless snack deep-frying is the way to go! Within a couple of minutes it provides volumes of finger-food everyone loves.

Batter coated vegetables, pakoras, are one of the popular bites in India. What a great combination when served piping hot with tasty chutney! However, the best way of eating them, in my opinion, is to dip them in chaat masala!
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Recently my husband surprised me by transferring a file of recipes to my hard disk he used to cook as a young man. He travelled many years with his bhakti-yoga master in Europe and India. Once they visited an Indian family in Antwerp (Belgium) and were served a wonderful meal including tomato chutney which my husband inquired a recipe for. I wondered a couple of decades later, if he had been too intoxicated by the taste of it while scribbling down his chicken scratch, because the recipe didn’t make sense to me! I took inspiration from what I could understand and came up with chutney – on the third trial – that was good, although not as good as the original one, according to my flavour pampered husband! Hah, as "a revenge", I tarnished his dhoti (white garment) on the right picture above! Oops.

Even if the recipe requires still adjusting, you won’t be disappointed with it. It may not make your socks roll around in excitement, but it works fine with pakoras. It is rich, mild and soft. Yet, it has enough edge to compliment any basic fritter.
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I used pumpkin (and not some other vegetable) just because we had it at home. It cooks fast. It has a subtle taste that could be enhanced by stronger spicing but I opted to pair it with kalonji for a light and fresh impression.

Thank you.

24 comments :

  1. This looks absolutely fantastic! Love this idea!

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  2. As Lakshmi's "flavour pampered" husband, I can confirm that the chutney was very tasty, indeed. Besides, I would like to thank all of you, the readers of her blog, for inspiring her to write. If not for you, I would still be wondering what happened to my dhoti! :D

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  3. What a delightful treat! Very tasty.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. Absolutely scrumptious! Sorry about your husband's dhoti :)

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  5. Beautiful!!!
    I am too a fan of frying... hot crispy bites coming out of hot oil is pure Indulgence!!!
    I love the sweet revenge you took... I think I have few Kurtas of my hubby,s ready for my share .. LOL
    Have a gorgeous Sunday and lovely week ahead..

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  6. pakoras with pumpkin is totally new to me... my so called indian food conditioning can never imagine pumpkin pakoras... but i bet they must have been delicious.

    i have already taken some shots of my food pics on hubby's linen black trousers.... just coz i wanted a black background ;-)

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  7. I can't agree with you more on the deep frying. I too prefer it with chaat masala more and surprisingly I am talking on a similar line in my next post :)
    LOL LOL on the revenge you took with his dhoti !

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  8. Purna Prabhu!- If not for us you would probably eat kitri everyday;-)))
    Laksmi- what is the brown powder in the metal bowl on the side of pakoras??

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  9. Thanks.

    Dassana - if you can imagine zucchini pakora, you are close to pumpkin with an exception that pumpkin has much nicer texture than zucchini.

    Kankana - great! I'm glad to hear I'm not alone with my chaat masala addiction! Hing, roasted jeera, amchoor and kala namak - where-ever they are, I'm sold!

    Cintamani - It is chaat masala.

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  10. I am hopelessly addicted to fried foods, but sometimes I delude myself by wrapping them in lettuce or tossing them in a salad. If I ever get a deep fryer, it will be the end of me. It's bound to happen one day.

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  11. Great photography as ever.I especially like the roast tomatoes.

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  12. Phi - I know the feeling! When I was younger, I loved anything fried. Nowadays I fall in coma, figuratively speaking, if I indulge. Things fried in ghee are not as bad though. At least I'd like to believe so :-) Lettuce is a good way to cheat!

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  13. Such beautiful styling and photography - you have a great eye - just found your blog and I am quite intrigued. It all seems exotic to me, and I like it. Its always nice to stumble upon something that peaks your interest in a new way.

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  14. Beautiful pictures and very interesting food! Mahtavaa!

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  15. Thanks, Four Fresh Peas!

    Jokihakakokkaa - kiitti! Sullahan on ihan mahtava blogi itselläsi! Kuusenkerkkätoffeen ohje on fantastinen.

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  16. I wish I were a member in your home--an eating haven!

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  17. So nice pic and it is so inviting.... I find ur blog so interesting.. I am following you now

    Great-secret-of-life.blogspot.com

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  18. Killer chutney, I'm sure it tastes as good as it looks!

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  19. This blog is gorgeous and I love your photos. I can't wait to cook pumpikin with tomato chutney :)

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  20. Hi Lakshmi, I made the chutney yesterday and it is just lovely. The aroma wafting from the kitchen as I ground the cumin, fennel and fenugreek was heavenly. I halved the recipe as that's how much tomatoes I had on hand and omitted the sugar and butter as I used ripe organic tomatoes and macadamia oil which has a lovely buttery taste. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Great to hear! Thanks for sharing, Dawn.

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  21. FoodGeekGrazeMay 31, 2015

    what a delightful and generous share... thank you to both of you!

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  22. Never heard of pumpkin in pakora.. love the idea. and need to try it soon..

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