Its summer! And of course, it is hot and bright. While I enjoyed summer with all its brightness, it started getting warmer day by day. Then came the day when clouds just zoomed in out of nowhere, and we had heavy rain in the afternoon.
It was so refreshing!! The subtle smell of the earth, when it is raining, is just mesmerizing. The plants and trees of my garden, which were barely living with the sprinkled drops of water from the garden hose, seemed to have a new life, replenished and fresh.
I threw all the windows open to feel the fresh breeze and the rain shower. It was lovely, but I was missing something. I had a craving for hot and spicy pakoras!!! I remembered, when I was a kid, my mother used to make onion pakoras on rainy days. Hot pakoras with tomato ketchup used to be the perfect snack for a rainy afternoon.
This feeling increased my inclination to get into my kitchen. Crispy and spicy pakora platter is what I planned to make! Pakoras are fritters made with batter made up of powdered chickpea gram flour and almost any vegetable. Even with tofu, mushroom, and corn!
Thin, round slices of onion, potato, and plantain can be dipped in the thick gram flour batter and then deep-fried to prepare the pakoras. Tofu cubes and diced mushrooms also can be deep-fried after being dipped in a similar batter. These pakoras can be appetizing starters for a meal.
My favorite is the mixed one! I cut shreds of cabbage, mixed it with sliced onion, potato, and pumpkin. Pumpkin gives a slightly sweet taste intermittently when you are having the overall salty and spicy fritters! There is one more ingredient that is generally not added, but I love it. It’s ginger-mango! It is a seasoning like ginger but has a blended taste of ginger and raw mango.
However, we can use grated ginger and grated raw mango if it’s not available. It brings in a lovely aroma in the fritters. Finely cut green chilies and coriander leaves made it complete.
When I put the morsels into the hot oil, the whole surrounding had a lovely aroma, a little tangy, a little spicy. My yen for the pakoras compounded.
We can serve the pakoras with a variety of chutneys. Most of the time, sweet and sour tamarind chutney or mint coriander leaves chutney is served with the pakoras. I love it with tomato ketchup and mint-flavored mayonnaise.
And my pakora platter was ready!
The hot masala tea was the best beverage to have with the pakoras.
As I savored the small and crispy pakoras and sipped the tea in intervals, my breezy, rainy afternoon seemed complete and relaxing. It was just the thing I wanted!