Yamuna Devi Recipe # 19 : Zucchini Pakora with Crushed Peanuts (Louki Pakora)

Yet more recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

pakoras and chutneys:

Any type of summer squash can be substituted for green zucchini: yellow crookneck, Pattypan, yellow zucchini or Indian bottle gourd (louki). Cut them into rounds ¼ inch (6 mm) thick straight across or on the diagonal. The batter should be thick enough to completely coat the slices and keep the peanut bits from sliding off. Stir the batter before dipping each batch of zucchini. (Note from Kurma: In Australia, yellow zucchini, dark and light green zucchini work well, as well as other long gourds available at Asian markets).

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 10 minutes,
Resting time: 10-15 minutes,
Cooking time: about 30 minutes,
Serves: 6 as a snack or 8 at a meal.

1½ cups (135g) sifted chickpea flour (sifted before measuring),
1½ teaspoons melted ghee or vegetable oil,
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice,
1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds,
1-2 hot green chilies, seeded and minced,
1 teaspoon salt,
Up to 9 tablespoons cold water or enough to make a medium-consistency batter,
¼ teaspoon baking powder,
3 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts,
2 medium-sized zucchini (about ½ pound/230 g), Cut into ¼ inch (6 mm) thick slices
ghee or vegetable oil for deep frying.

Combine the flour, melted ghee or oil, lemon juice, cumin seeds, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add 8 tablespoons water slowly, beating with an electric beater or wire whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Slowly add the remaining water until the batter consistency is similar to cream and easily coats a wooden blade, or a blender, process until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. Cover the batter and set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Again beat with an electric beater, wire whisk or your hand for 2-3 minutes to further lighten the batter. (check the batter consistency: if it is too thin, moist foods will spatter as they fry; if it is too thick, they will not cook properly. Add flour or water as necessary). Stir in the baking powder and peanuts. Set the Zucchini, a bowl of water, tea towels and paper towels for draining near the stove.

Heat 2½-3 inches (6.5-7.5 cm) of fresh ghee or vegetable oil in a karai, wok or deep-frying pan until the temperature reaches 355 F (180 C). Dip 6-8 pieces of zucchini in the batter and carefully slip them into the hot oil. Avoid crowding the pan, which would make the temperature of the oil drop.

Fry the zucchini pakoras 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately, or keep warm, uncovered, in a preheated 250 F (120 C) oven until all of the pakoras are fried, up to ½ hour.

Note: After batter-dipping each batch of squash rounds, rinse your hands and dry them on a tea towel before you continue frying.

*Note that since Yamuna wrote her recipes using US measurements, the weights are in US with metric in brackets.

More importantly, her tablespoons are US (15ml) whereas Australian/metric tablespoons are 20ml. So if you follow these recipes using metric measures, your tablespoons should be scant.

Similarly, the US cup is 240ml as distinct from the Australian/metric 250ml cup. The same scant measuring should thus apply to Australian/metric cup users.

The teaspoon is a universal 5ml.

Posted by Kurma on 17/10/10; 3:16:30 AM

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