Indian Lemon Cilantro Pakoras

Photo by Janet Malowany

Photo by Janet Malowany

Hold on to your socks, this one has flavor that will knock them off! I've made these many times for catering events and they never fail to disappear immediately. Pakoras are a traditional part of Indian meals and are usually served with a chutney. However, these are so tasty that I usually just serve them plain! Recipe from my first cookbook (and the one with the most Indian recipes), Radiant Health Inner Wealth. 

Dry Ingredients:
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1 tablespoon rice flour
⅛ teaspoon EACH: ground cayenne pepper and baking soda
1/4 teaspoon EACH: dried turmeric and ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoons EACH: cumin powder, cumin seeds, and salt 

Vegetable Mixture: 
½ cup finely chopped cauliflower (tiny pieces)
½ cup (packed) cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups chopped yellow or white onion*

For frying: non-virgin coconut oil 

1. Mix the dry ingredients together very well in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine the vegetable mixture (cauliflower, cilantro, lemon juice, and onion) together in a large bowl, stirring very well. Add the dry mixture to the vegetable mixture in the large bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. 

3. Place enough oil in a large, heavy skillet to form a 1/2-inch well. Set to medium-high heat. 

4. To test the oil for temperature, drop a small amount of batter into it. If it sizzles immediately and begins to brown soon after, it's ready. 

5. To form the pakoras, use a small cookie scoop. Each pakora should be about one tablespoon in size. Gently drop each pakora into the oil. Continue to put as many into the oil as will fill about half the skillet. If you add to many (more than half), the oil temp will drop and they'll get too greasy.

6. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until browned on the undersides. Flip over and cook another minute or two, until browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately. If you do have leftovers, they'll reheat nicely in a 400 degree oven. 

Serves 4; 30 minutes or under! GF/SF/Purple (according to the guidelines in my books)

*NOTE: It is best to chop the onions by hand for this recipe, as chopping them in a food processor can make them overly wet, causing the pakoras to fall apart.