Tag Archives: Can’t Eat Just One

Pakora (Deep Fried Vegetable Balls)

Pakora’s are a delicious fried little munchie that seems to be another Ramadan staple but of course it can be enjoyed all year round.  Oh! and this is soooo delicious with Laban Up.

The Pakora’s that I either bought or ate somewhere else were always hard and heavy feeling.  I played around with the ingredients and have come up with this lighter and crunchier version that is filled with more vegetables.  I hope you try it and like it!  It is very easy to make and I will provide you with 4 variations on what to put inside.

Pakora (Deep Fried Vegetable Balls)

Ingredients for batter:

3/4 cup chickpea (besam) flour (this can be found in an Indian grocery store)

1/4 cup corn meal or rice powder (I prefer using the corn meal though)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon red chili powder (or 1 heaping teaspoon Mexican-style chili powder)

1 teaspoon tumeric powder

1 egg

1/2 cup water

In a medium size bowl, mix all these ingredients together.

Ingredients for vegetable variations:

Variation #1:  

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped cilentro

1-2 finely chopped green chilies (it is up to you on the heat…deseed if you want)

Variation #2:

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoon finely chopped cilentro

8 oz uncooked potato, shredded

1 green chili finely chopped (optional)

Variation #3

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilentro

1 small raw carrot, shredded

1 small raw zucchini, shredded

1 small raw potato, shredded

Variation #4

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cups of small okra (okra zero) or 1 cup sliced okra

Cooking Directions:

Once you have chosen which vegetable variation you will use just add it to the batter.  Mix it very well.  It should be thick like in the 2nd picture below.

You can fry it now or you can place this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (not necessary) but I like for the flavors to blend together and also I like to prepare it in advance so I can fry it 45 minutes before Iftar (breaking our fast during Ramadan).

If you let the mixture settle in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, you will notice that it has become a little runny…no worries…this is how turns out if you let it sit for a while.  You will need to add a little bit more of the chickpea flour and the cornmeal.  You can add an additional 3 tablespoons of chickepea flour and 1 tablespoon of corn meal at a time. It will be 1/4 cup total addition.

Go ahead and heat up enough oil (I like to use corn oil or canola oil) in a wok or  deep-sided frying pan.  Turn the heat down to medium-high.

Drop by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil.

Gently fry the pakoras until they get a nice golden brown color.  Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.

This recipe will make around 24 pakoras.

I like to serve this with 1 cup of yogurt and 1 packet of salad dressing mix (basil & thyme).  It is sooooo yummmy!   

Enjoy!

edited (07-27-2012): to add the variation #4 and to fix up the wording of the recipe.

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Liqeemat

Liqeemat little balls of batter deep fried in oil and are a staple during Ramadan. This recipe makes a huge batch which is good for two days or as one batch to have for your house and more to share with your neighbors.

During Ramadan, this along with Harees, Madhrooba, and Oatmeal Soup is made in abundance and shared with family and neighbors.

Liqeemat

1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
pinch of flour

4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon cardamon powder
1 generous pinch of saffron
4 tablespoons sugar
2 to 2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons rose water
date syrup (locally called “dibs”)

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and the pinch of flour. Mix well with a small whisk and leave in a warm place to rise.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cardamon powder, saffron, and sugar. After about 30 minutes, add the yeast mixture, 2 cups of water, and the rose water. Using a large-head spoon mix the batter until there are no more lumps. If you need to add an additional 1/2 cup of water you can but do it a little at a time. Your batter will need to be very thick, almost elasticky (it will definitely be thicker than pancake batter).

Now you need to set this batter aside in a warm draft-free place (inside the oven or microwave is ideal) and let rise for at least 2 hours or until it has doubled.

Now for the fun part…

You will need a medium-large wok because you will fill it up half way with oil. Heat up the oil and then reduce the heat to low.

For me, because I hate the feeling of the batter, I use two dinner spoons to make the dumplings. Dip the spoons into a bowl of water (the water keeps the batter from sticking to the spoon and the batter will then easily slide into the oil).

Next, with one spoon scoop up some batter. With the other spoon, you will scrape off the batter into the oil. With this first dumpling, you will be checking the heat of the oil. If the oil is too hot, it will brown very quickly and the inside will not be cooked, so you will need to decrease your fire and then start adding more dumplings.

Put about 11 dumplings into the oil. You will need to constantly turn the dumplings with a big round spatula so that they will all be evenly browned.

Once the dumplings are evenly browned, remove from the oil and let drain on a large baking dish covered with paper towels.

Once all of your dumplings are cooked you can place about 18-24 pieces on a medium-sized bowl plate and drizzle with the date syrup.

There you have it…an absolute favorite for Ramadan.