Punjabi Pakore (spinach and onion bhajis)

To celebrate the launch of our new vegetarian and vegan Indian cookery course, we’ve a delicious recipe from Ben and Jasmine of the Maha Masala Spice Company to share with you. Pakore (bhajis) are a great accompaniment to traditional Indian curries, but can also be enjoyed on their own served with green chutney and salad.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

6 large heaped tbsp. besan flour (chickpea flour)

Mustard/groundnut oil for frying

1 medium onion (thinly sliced)

A small bunch of Spinach (roughly chopped)

¼ tsp coriander seeds lightly crushed

1 tsp fennel seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp chilli powder

Salt to taste

Fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Juice of a Lime

Method

In a large bowl, mix all spices and salt into the chickpea flour. Add the juice of a whole lime to the dry ingredients.

Divide the mixture into two bowls. Add sliced onion into one and spinach into the other to make two different types of bhaji.

Add water into the mixture in both bowls one spoonful at a time. You are looking for a cake batter consistency.

Stir really well with a fork to get some air into the batter and then set aside.

Carefully heat the oil in a deep, wide wok (there needs to be about 4 inches of oil at the centre point of the wok). You will know it is ready to fry in when the oil stops shimmering and goes still.

Turn the hob off completely.

Now use a soup spoon to gently drop a heaped spoonful of each bhaji mixture into the oil leaving the bhaji  to cook in the residual heat of the pan for about a minute, turning them over in the wok with a slotted spoon once or twice.

After dropping all the bhajis into the wok, turn the hob on again this time on low heat.

Using a slotted spoon, gently turn the Pakore. Cook till they have a deep golden hue.

Take the bhajis out of the wok and put them on kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.

Serve with green chutney and a cup of hot chai!