Pumpkin pakora with Crushed Coriander Seeds
-Recipe from Yamuna mataji
Any type of winter squash –butternut, acorn, turban or Indian wax gourd
(petha) –as well as yams or sweet potatoes may be substituted for
pumpkin. This is a good batter to make in a food processor, for along
with crushing while coriander seeds, the processor makes the batter
light and smooth. If you make the batter by hand, add freshly crushed
Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 10 minutes
Resting time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 as a snack or 8 at a meal
1 ½ cups (135 g) sifted chick pea flour (sifted before measuring)
1 ½ -2 teaspoons (7-10 ml) salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) melted ghee or vegetable oil
½ teaspoons (2 ml) turmeric
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafetida powder (hing)
1 table spoon (15 ml) crushed coriander seeds
2 table spoons (30 ml) yogurt
½ cup (120 ml) cold water, or enough to make a battle of medium consistency
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) baking powder (optional)
25-35 pieces of trimmed, peeled ripe pumpkin cut into
2-inch (5 cm) squares ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
ghee or vegetable oil for deep-frying
This amount applies only to yellow Cobra brand. Reduce any other asafetida by three-fourths.
Place the flour, salt, melted ghee or vegetable oil, turmeric,
asafetida, crushed coriander seeds and yogurt in a bowl and mix well.
Add ½ cup (120 ml) of water slowly, beating with an electric beater or
wire whisk until the batter is smooth and easily coats a wooden spoon.
Alternately, place the batter ingredients in a food processor fitted
with the metal blade, or a blender, and process until the coriander
seeds are crushed and the texture is smooth, then transfer to a bowl.
Cover the batter and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Again beat with an electric beater, wire whisk or your hand for
2-3 minutes to further lighten the batter. (check the batter
consistency: if it is too thin, moist foods will spatter as they fry;
if it is too thick, they will not cook properly. Add water or flour as
necessary). Stir in the baking powder at this time if you prefer a
cake-like crust. Set the pumpkin pieces to be fried next to the stove.
They should be patted dry and at room temperature.
Heat 2 ½ -3 inches (6.5-7.5 cm) of fresh ghee or vegetable oil in
a karai, wok or deep-frying vessel until the temperature reaches 355 F
(180 C). Dip 5-6 pieces of pumpkin in the batter and, one at a time,
carefully slip them into the hot oil. The temperature will fall but
should then be maintained at between 345-355 F (173-180 C) through out
the frying. Fry until the pakoras are golden brown, turning to brown
evenly, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on
paper towels. Serve immediately, or keep warm, uncovered, in a
preheated 250 F (120 C) oven, until all of the pakoras are fried, for
up to ½ hour.