Bakoda, pakoda, Pakora~ Call it by any name you like, but this was our go to snack amma would make for us when it rained. I am sure all of you do this, associating a dish to an event, to a season or even a person. I associate pakoda to rains and hostel days when we would buy pakodas from a street vendor and run all the way to the hostel to sip “cutting chai” and munch on spicy pakodas.
We were visiting our friends and I told them I would bring an appetizer. While our friends love all things Indian, we were not sure if the other family invited was used to Indian food. I therefore decided on pakodas since it tastes a tad bit like onion rings. I was thrilled when our friend’s 3 year old went back to have more. The adults loved it too.
Red Onion – 1 large, very thinly sliced
Salt – 1/2 tsp, to sprinkle on onions
Curry leaves – 10-12 leaves ( optional)
Spinach – 1 cup, packed
Garbanzo flour – 1 cup
Rice flour – ¾ cup
Cayenne – 1/8th tsp or more to taste
Asafetida – less than 1/8th tsp
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Cashew nuts – ¼ cup
Oil – 1 T for mixing the batter + more for deep frying
Water – ½ cup approx
Salt to taste
- Slice onions very thinly and sprinkle salt over it and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Gently squeeze the water out of the onions and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add curry leaves and spinach to the onions.
- In a separate bowl, mix garbanzo flour, rice flour, cayenne, asafetida, baking powder and cashew nuts.
- After you mix it thoroughly, add oil and rub between the palms of your hands.
- Now transfer this mixture to the onions and you will notice that you have sufficient moisture.
- Add some salt and mix well with your hands. Expect your hands to get very sticky. You are looking for a consistency where it can be gently dropped into the oil. Adjust by adding flour or water to get the right consistency. It should hold together when you try to make a ball
- You should have started heating the oil once the mixing begins.
- Drop a few pakodas in oil and cook until they golden brown.
- Taste the pakoda for seasonings and adjust to your taste.
These pakodas were crisp until the next day. You don’t have to serve with a dipping sauce or chutney.