Zucchini Pakora with Crushed Peanuts
LOUKI PAKORA

-Recipe from Yamuna mataji

        Any type of summer squash can be substituted for green zucchini: yellow crookneck, Pattypan, yellow zucchini or Indian bottle gourd (louki). Cut them into rounds inch (6 mm) thick straight across or on the diagonal. The batter should be thick enough to completely coat the slices and keep the peanut bits from sliding off. Stir the batter before dipping each batch of zucchini.

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 10 minutes
Resting time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
Serves: 6 as a snack or 8 at a meal

1 cups (135 g) sifted chickpea flour (sifted before measuring)
1 teaspoons (7 ml) melted ghee or vegetable oil
1 table spoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed cumin seeds
1-2 hot green chilies, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
Up to 9 table spoons (135 ml) cold water or enough
  to make a medium-consistency batter
teaspoon (1 ml) baking powder
3 table spoons (45 ml) finely chopped peanuts
2 medium-sized zucchini (about pound/230 g),
   Cut into 30-35 slices inch (6 mm) thick
ghee or vegetable oil for deep frying

1.    Combine the flour, melted ghee or oil, lemon juice, cumin seeds, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add 8 table spoons (120 ml) of water slowly, beating with an electric beater or wire whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Slowly add the remaining water until the batter consistency is similar to cream and easily coats a wooden blade, or a blender, process until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. Cover the batter and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
2.    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 flour or water as necessary). Stir in the baking powder and peanuts. Set the Zucchini, a bowl of water, tea towels and paper towels for draining near the stove.
3.    Heat 2 -3 inches (6.5-7.5 cm) of fresh ghee or vegetable oil in a karai, wok or deep-frying  pan until the temperature reaches 355 F (180 C). Dip 6-8 pieces of zucchini in the batter and carefully slip them into the hot oil. Avoid crowding the pan, which would make the temperature of the oil drop. Fry the zucchini pakoras 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. 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, up to hour.
  Note: After batter-dipping each batch of squash rounds, rinse your hands and dry them on a tea towel before you continue frying.