Saturday, August 11, 2012

Spicy Corn Pakoras (and their Mango-Tamarind Chutney)

With all siblings headed home from around the country, the cooking has begun! My brother, a newspaper-reading fool from Seattle, has provided us several weeks worth of the cooking section from The New York Times. Armed with these, we have driven around town looking for several unusual ingredients - but worry not! substitutes are provided for those of us who normally don't have chickpea flower and tamarind juice in our cabinets. 

But fried chicken hearts actually look good...
While I normally would not gravitate toward such an unusual recipe, my brother is full of adventure. In order to save money while in grad school, he often bikes to a nearby world food market and buys some of the cheapest (and most interesting) cuts of meat including chicken hearts (something like $2.09 for 70), chicken feet, fried gizzard, hearts and whatever else he might find. But don't fear, this recipe does not include ANY strange cuts of meat. All you'll want to be aware of is the bits of hot pepper hidden away. 

From July 18th, 2012 New York Times

For the Pakoras
1/4 c chickpea flour (we bought dried chickpeas and blended them)
3/4 c flour
1 c fine cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 1/2 c corn (approx 6 ears), ground into a puree
4 tbls ghee (or vegetable oil)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fennel
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp chopped chile pepper
1/2 c chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbls grated ginger

For the Chutney
1/2 c tamarind juice ( or 1/3 cup OJ and 3 tbls lime juice) 
6 tbls brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c diced onion
1/2 tsp chopped chile pepper
2 tsp grated ginger
2 mangoes diced
2 tbls chopped cilantro

Mix together flour and cornmeal with salt, baking powder and turmeric. Add in pureed corn.

Mix ghee/oil over medium heat with cumin, fennel and mustard. When hot, add in chile, scallion, cilantro and ginger.
Fill up a skillet with 1 inch of vegetable oil. Heat in high until the oil looks wavy (you can also drop a little water into it and it should evaporate almost immediately). Shape the flour dough into pancake shapes.

 Carefully lower each pancake into the oil. Let each side brown, then flip to cook the other (about 2 minutes on each side). Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper  towels to absorb some oil.

Serve hot with lime wedges and mango-tamarind chutney.

For chutney:

Mix the sugar and salt into tamarind juice. Mix until dissolved. Add everything else except for the cilantro and mix. When ready to serve, add cilantro.

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