I decided to make up several of the starters from the Kitchen Nomad recipes at the same time for a multi-cultural tapas/mezze style meal last week. I told you about the Greek dish Dolmades (Stuffed Vine Leaves) yesterday, but I also made some Spiced Courgette & Aubergine Pakoras from Pakistan.
You can see the recipe on the Kitchen Nomad website. It required four products from the Kitchen Nomad Pakistan box - Chickpea Flour, Cumin Seeds, Chilli Powder and Chaat Masala.
The recipe suggested using okra and aubergine, or courgettes and aubergines, which is what I used.
The chickpea flour has a nice yellow colour and is quite lumpy, almost like the texture of icing sugar.
The instructions tell you to add the spices then water to make a thick paste. (I also added some turmeric to give it a lovely deep yellow colour.) The problem is, like the age old question "how long's a piece of string?", I wasn't sure how thick a thick paste should be.
I dipped the sliced vegetables in the batter and placed them in hot oil. They sizzled, puffed up and gave off a lovely fragrance as they cooked.
Then disaster struck. When I turned them over, the batter fell off. There was no way it was sticking to the courgette or aubergine. I had a sudden brainwave - I think I'd read somewhere that dipping fish/chicken/etc in flour before battering them helps the batter to stick, so I gave this a go. I tipped some of the chickpea flour on to the chopping board and placed both sides of the courgette and aubergine slices in the flour before putting them in the paste.
That did the trick and the next ones came out perfectly. They need to be placed on kitchen paper to absorb some of the grease before you serve them.
These are lovely - even the kids loved eating them and Pierre and Juliette aren't overly keen on courgettes or aubergines. They do soak up a lot of grease but at least you're eating vegetables !
Disclosure : I received a discounted Kitchen Nomad subscription in order to keep you up to date with their latest boxes.
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