Monday, 12 December 2011

Meat Free Monday: Carrot Pakoras

This was a bottom-of-the-veg-box special, that turned out to be absolutely divine. Light, crisp, crunchy outsides, tender, spicy middles and a tangy, tamarind dipping sauce. Even though they were piled high in the bowl, we finished the whole lot before they had a chance to get cold.

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
1 egg
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.

Niamh Shields at Eat Like A Girl and Love the Garden Blog are running a Christmas Carrot Competition, to win either a copy of Niamh's book or a £200 restaurant voucher. I'm going to enter these pakoras. Entries close 21st December, so you still have a bit of time to consider your carrots!


Suelle said...

I love the idea of a Christmas carrot competition! :)

Your pakoras look a worthy entrant - very tasty.

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Loving the look of these pakoras... especially with the tamarind dipping sauce!

Rachel said...

I do something similar with potatoes, green beans, spiced fried onions and other veg (usually leftover) but now I'll have to consider the carrot! And your dipping sauce. I usually serve mine with apple chutney and yogurt on the side, but this sounds good, even with the motor oil reference. Or perhaps because of it. ;)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Suelle - it's a great prize too! Carrots aren't my favourite, but this is a good use.

Leafy - thanks!

Rachel - Paul isn't such a fan of fruity chutney, but I think this is a good approach.

Hotly Spiced said...

They look fabulous and I agree, they would be great as a little snack to have with drinks before a meal or served as an entree. Great use of leftover vegetables!

hungryandfrozen said...

Not sure which sounds more amazing, the pakoras or the sauce. WIsh I was more confident with deep frying!

Unknown said...

Yum, yum these sound wonderful!

Shu Han said...

was going to enter carrot soup, but gosh i'll never have a chance now with those pakoras!!

Anne said...

Oooh I love pakoras, they seem to vary so much but are all so good! Love the sound of your carrot version!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I can imagine that it would be easy to eat an entire bowl of these. ;-)


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