When Richard was in India on holiday, he discovered these wonderful little titbits, which you can have as a starter or snack, or as part of a main meal. They are simple to prepare and may be made in advance. These are also great for vegetarians who eat eggs. Known as dhaltjies by our Cape Malay population, they are eaten as an appetizer during Iftars, or at weddings, birthdays, and at other celebrations.
Makes approximately 45 mini pakoras
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 25 ml fresh ginger root, finely grated
- 25 ml sun flower oil
- 10 ml garam masala
- 10 ml curry powder
- 10 ml black onion seeds
- 5 ml turmeric
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
- (place in acidulated water; drain well before using)
- Mint or mango chutney or mango pickle
- 1 large potato, peeled and grated
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1 red or green chilli, seeds removed, and finely chopped 10 ml sea salt flakes
- 5 ml freshly-ground black pepper
- 60 ml chickpea our (ground dhal)
- 45 ml finely chopped coriander
- Cooking oil for shallow fat frying
- Sauté the onion and ginger root in 25 ml sun flower oil until onions are translucent.
- Add in the garam masala, curry powder, black onion seeds and turmeric; sauté for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large, clean, dry bowl, until frothy.
- Add all the ingredients (except the cooking oil and chutney) into the egg whites, and mix gently together.
- Mixture will be fairly thick, with a good, dropping consistency.
- If the mixture is too thin, add a little more chickpea flour. If it is too thick, add a little water.
- Heat sufficient oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat to shallow-fat fry the pakoras.
- Drop spoonfuls in the hot oil. Turn over after 30 seconds; cook a further 30 seconds; drain well. Continue until all the batter has been used up.
- Keep warm or cool, then refrigerate or freeze.
- Serve the little pakoras with mint or mango chutney, sweet chilli sauce, or mango pickle.
- Although this recipe makes many pakoras, it is worth making a whole batch, then freezing what you do not use. Freeze in plastic freezer bags to save space in the freezer. You can always reheat these little treats quickly in the oven, when required.
- You can vary the vegetables, e.g. use grated courgette and mint, corn and chopped red pepper, or small florets of broccoli/cauliflower.
- Make larger pakoras for starters, or as part of a main vegetarian meal.