Indian food is my nemesis. Don’t get me wrong, I love all vegan Indian food—I’m just lousy at replicating it. More than once I’ve tried to replicate various dishes at home, but it always ends in disaster. I follow instructions exactly, use high-quality spices (and even the prepared ones that have everything mixed together for you with instructions) and BAM! instant straight-to-the-garbage-disposal-type failure. However, I’ve had vegetable pakoras on my mind lately after having some amazing ones at an Indian restaurant a few weeks ago and, given that pakoras are deep-fried, I decided to take a stab at recreating them at home. (Although I may be lousy at replicating Indian dishes, I do know a thing or two about deep-frying.)Because the recipe below is far from an authentic Indian pakora recipe (I used bread flour, unsweetened almond milk and sriracha), I am calling these fritters instead. The sriracha and curry powder combo tastes heavenly together here and the fritters themselves are crispy, soft, savory, subtly spicy and completely addictive.
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
half of a medium-sized red onion, chopped
1/2 cup bread flour
3 TB chickpea flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G
1 TB raw tahini
2 tsps curry powder
oil for frying
Equal parts Vegenaise and sriracha, mixed for the dipping sauce
Place half of the chickpeas into a bowl and roughly mash them with a fork. Add in the rest of chickpeas, parsley, chopped onion and the flours.
In a measuring cup, add the milk, Ener-G, tahini and curry powder. Whisk until well combined, then add to the chickpea mixture. Mix everything up, cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
When you are ready to fry, place plenty of oil into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. After about 8-10 minutes, it should be ready. Throw a pinch of the batter into the oil—if it sizzles immediately, you are ready to fry.
Stir up your chickpea batter with a strong fork. Scrape out a bit of the batter, keeping a messy shape to it. Slowly slide it into the oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a heat-resistant slotted spoon or tongs and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle it with some salt immediately after taking it out of the oil.
To achieve crispy fritters, only fry one or two at a time—if you add to many, it reduces the temperature of the oil, leaving you with soggy and oily fritters.
Serve immediately with the sriracha-vegenaise sauce.