Jhinga Pakoras

Eaten as a snack in India, Jhinga Pakoras (ging-ah pah-kor-ahs) are spicy prawn or shrimp fritters made with a chick-pea flour called besan. Besan (bay-sun) is available at all Indian and Pakistani food stores. Serve the pakoras with a tomato chutney.

4 oz. chick-pea flour

1 teaspoon hot chilli powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon turmeric

8 to 10 fl. oz. water

12 oz. prawns or shrimps, shelled sufficient oil for deep-frying

Sift the flour, ½ teaspoon of chilli powder, 2 teaspoon of salt and the turmeric into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in 8 fluid ounces of the water. Beat with a wooden spoon or a wire whisk, slowly incorporating the flour into the water. Beat well until the batter is smooth and has the consistency of thick cream. If the batter is too thick, add more water. Taste the batter and add more chilli powder and salt if you like. Cover the bowl and leave the batter to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Just before frying, mix in the prawns or shrimps.

In a deep-frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat until it registers 360°F on a fat thermometer or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil browns in 50 seconds.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry them for 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown. With a slotted spoon remove the pakoras from the pan and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Keep them warm while you fry the remaining batter in the same way. Serve hot.

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