To start off our most recent collaBREWation meal (you remember, that obscenely delicious and fiery lamb curry), we started out with a heaping platter of these crispy cauliflower fritters, aka pakora.
We served up these wonderfully spiced, fried pakora with tangy raita – an easy as cake Indian condiment. I was surprised at how much I LOVED this yogurty goodness. The cooling cucumber, subtle spices and onion, plus tangy yogurt work wonders together.
I piled a mound on top of each bite of spicy pakora and happiness ensued.
I’m drooling again just looking at these pics.
Make your friends and family happy too by making up a big batch of cauliflower pakora and raita.
Trust me on this one, my lovelies.
Crispy Cauliflower Pakora
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 cup chickpea flour like Bob’s Red Mill version (look in the natural food section of the grocery store or buy online
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 2-3 pinches baking soda
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1 inch ginger, sliced thin
- 2 scallions, sliced
- Approx 1 1/2 cups water
- salt to taste
- 1 gallon peanut or canola oil
- Add oil to deep pan, such as a Dutch oven, and heat to 350 degrees. Have a thermometer like this one on hand.
- Sift dry ingredients into medium mixing bowl then add ginger, garlic, cilantro, and scallion.
- Add water to mixing bowl and combine well (Note: the batter should be a heavy paste).
- Liberally season the batter; it should be salty.
- Cut cauliflower into medium/small sized florets, trimming off fibery outsides of stem.
- Blanch the florets in boiling water for a minute or two and shock in ice bath.
- Coat florets with batter and fry until golden brown – remove from oil and place on cooling racks over rimmed cookie trays to catch an remaining oil.
- 1/2 small English cucumber, diced small
- 1/2 small red onion, diced small
- 15-20 stalks cilantro, finely chopped (chiffonade)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 20 mint leaves, finely chopped (chiffonade)
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 – 3 cups plain yogurt
Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight and stir well before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
We paired this dish with our very own home-brewed ‘saider,’ a saison-cider hybrid. The high carbonation from bottle conditioning with extra sugar counteracted the fried goodness with it’s scrubbing bubbles. The fruitiness of the cider (40% by volume) and spice from the saison yeast echoed the flavors in the pakora. The dryness also helped to counteract the richness of the appetizer. I would definitely recommend pairing a saison with this starter. Try Northcoast’s Le Merle or Pretty Things’ Jack D’Or – two of my all time favorite saisons.