We had them as a meat-free dinner, but they would be equally good as a starter, or as a good base for drinking. They are spiced but not too hot, so I reckon they would probably appeal to veggie-dodging children too. With ketchup, if they must.
Carrot Pakoras with Tamarind Dipping Sauce
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and sliced finely
3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2 potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
3 or 4 savoy cabbage leaves, finely sliced
1/2 cup cornflour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
oil for frying
1 tbs tamarind concentrate
1 tbs jaggery (palm sugar)
1/2 tsp garam masala, extra
Mix the flours, salt, cumin and garam masala into a bowl and add the vegetables (work fast with the potatoes because they oxidise fast and turn disgusting and grey). Add the egg and then just enough water to make a thick, paste-y batter. It should be more veg than batter, and should bind together quite easily. Add a little more flour if necessary.
Heat 1" of vegetable oil in a deep sauté pan to 180C. Fry spoonfuls of the batter in batches for 3 or 4 minutes on each side or until deep golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
For the dipping sauce, mix the tamarind concentrate, jaggery and extra garam masala in a small saucepan with about 3/4 cup of water, and cook over a low heat until it achieves the texture of motor oil. Taste and check for the balance of sweet and tangy. Serve warm.