Vegetable Pakoras


This post is sponsored by The Little Potato Company.

Pakoras are one of my top 3 favourite take-out foods, alongside pizza and french fries. Until now I felt intimidated by the insanely delightful vegetable pakoras from my local Indian restaurant. I assumed I’d be disappointed if I even attempted to recreate them at home.

Out of sheer laziness I’ve sampled a small variety of frozen ready-made pakoras lately. I even had my eye on a 1kg. bag of them at Costco. So far, every variety I’ve tried has been a total letdown. In fact, they were so disappointing that they gave me the courage to try making my own.

Guess what? It turns out that making pakoras is SO easy. It’s nearly foolproof!

These delightful vegan vegetable pakoras are fried to crispy golden-brown perfection and served with a light and creamy cilantro sauce. The pakoras (or pakodas: delicious spiced Indian chickpea fritters), are filled with tender slices of Little Potatoes, onions, spinach, and cilantro. Toasted whole coriander seeds and red chili pepper flakes add bright  pops of flavour and just the right amount of heat. They’re essentially foolproof and take about 35 minutes to make.

All you’ll need is:

  1. dried chickpeas (which you’ll grind into a flour. If it’s available, you can just buy chickpea flour instead.)
  2. a few vegetables: The Little Potato Company’s Terrific Trio Creamer potatoes, spinach and onion
  3. bold flavours from whole coriander seeds and fresh cilantro
  4. a subtle kick of heat from red chili pepper flakes

My first attempt pleasantly surprised me. My pakoras looked and tasted very similar to my favourite local restaurant’s version.

I sliced some Terrific Trio Little Potatoes and a small white onion. Off to the side I fried the coriander seeds and chili pepper flakes. Chopped up a handful of baby spinach and cilantro. Then I made a batter of chickpea flour and water seasoned with turmeric, cumin, lemon juice, and salt. I decided to add some all-purpose flour to give the batter to give it more structure and body (you can omit the flour if you need the pakoras to be gluten-free, they’ll end up a touch more delicately textured once they’re cooked.) I folded the potatoes, onions, spinach, cilantro, and spices into the batter. Then I fried spoonfuls of the pakora batter in hot oil, cooking 2-3 pakoras at a time (I was using a small thick-bottomed sauce pan and about an inch of oil.)

The pakoras ended up looking and tasting a lot like the ones from our usual take-out place. I only needed to make a few minor adjustments to get them just right.

These vegetable chickpea fritters are full protein, fibre and vegetables, so even though they seem like more of a side/appetizer/snack, they make for a satisfying meal too. Enjoy!

This post is sponsored by The Little Potato Company. We love them for their commitment to simple, healthy whole foods like their delicious Creamer potatoes. Thanks for supporting the brands that support I Love Vegan! Learn more about why we love Little Potatoes at www.littlepotatoes.com

 

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Ingredients :

  • 170g (¼ of a 1.5lb bag) The Little Potato Company’s Terrific Trio Creamer potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 1 handful of spinach, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup (80ml) cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (130g) chickpea (gram or besan) flour (finely ground dried chickpeas)
  • ¾ cup (175ml) water
  • ⅓ cup (40g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (5ml) ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5ml) ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp (5m) salt
  • ½ tbsp (7.5ml) vegan butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp (10ml) red chili pepper flakes
  • Neutral tasting vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) water
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 ½ tbsp (22.5ml) olive oil
  • 1 big pinch salt

Instructions :

  1. Heat butter or oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the coriander seeds and red chili pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly until the spices are toasted and fragrant. Do not overcook.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine chickpea flour, water, flour, lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, and salt, to make a smooth batter.
  3. Gently fold the sliced potatoes, onion, spinach, cilantro, and toasted spices from step 1 into the chickpea batter.
  4. In a deep, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 1” (2 ½ cm) of frying oil over medium-high heat. Allow plenty of time for the oil to get hot (between 325°F to 350°F (160°C to 175°C).
  5. Use a large tablespoon to drop loose spoonfuls of the pakora batter into the frying oil. Don’t compress the batter too much when you scoop it. Cook the first side until deeply golden and crispy, flip and cook the other side. Drain cooked pakoras on cooling rack or paper/kitchen towel.
  6. Serve with creamy cilantro sauce, chutney, or your favourite dipping sauce.
  7. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse on high until well-blended with plenty of green flecks left intact. (This is a thin dipping sauce, decrease water for a thicker sauce.)
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