Crispy Cauliflower Pakora & Raita {Chef CollaBREWation #4}

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.

Cauliflower

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.

DSC_0550

I’m drooling again just looking at these pics.

fried, glorious cauliflower pakora

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
  1. Add oil to deep pan, such as a Dutch oven, and heat to 350 degrees. Have a  thermometer like this one on hand.
  2. Sift dry ingredients into medium mixing bowl then add ginger, garlic, cilantro, and scallion.
  3. Add water to mixing bowl and combine well (Note: the batter should be a heavy paste).
  4. Liberally season the batter; it should be salty.
  5. Cut cauliflower into medium/small sized florets, trimming off fibery outsides of stem.
  6. Blanch the florets in boiling water for a minute or two and shock in ice bath.
  7. 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.

Cauliflower Pakora Cooling Cucumber Raita

  • 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.

Pakora all plated and glorious

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.

Enjoy!

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