Pakoras

Usually served as a snack, Pakoras (pah-koh-rahs) are vegetables sometimes shrimps coated with a besan or chick-pea flour batter and deep-fried. Simple to make, tasty and crisp, Pakoras can be made from any raw vegetable including whole spinach leaves. Cauliflower has be.n used in this recipe. Serve with Mint Chutney.

6 oz. besan or chick-pea flour

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 to

8 fl. oz. water

1 medium-sized cauliflower, trimmed and broken into flowerets sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying

Sift the besan or chick-pea flour, salt, coriander and cayenne into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, gradually pour in enough of the water to make a smooth pouring batter. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes.

Add the cauliflower flowerets to the batter and turn and toss the flowerets until they are well coated with the batter.

Set aside.

Fill a large deep-frying pan one-third full of vegetable oil. Place the pan over moderate heat and heat the oil until it reaches 360CF on a deep-fat thermometer, or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil browns in 50 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, drop the coated flowerets into the hot oil, a few at a time, and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown. With tongs or the slotted spoon, remove the pieces from the pan and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Keep warm while you fry the remaining cauliflower flowerets in the same way. Serve hot.

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