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Another simple but delicious recipe from the Indian Government more than 45 years ago, these Pakoras are delightful served by alone or with with Mint Chutney With Tomato either as a snack or as an appetizer.
- 8 ounces gram flour (chickpea flour)
- 1 -2 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 green bell pepper, very finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1⁄2 cup chopped spinach leaves
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground telicherry black pepper, to taste
- ground cayenne pepper, to taste
- water, to make a moderately thick paste
- peanut oil or canola oil (rape seed) or soy oil or other vegetable oil, to deep-fry the pakoras
- Chop the green bell pepper very finely.
- Chop the onion finely.
- Chop the spinach leaves finely.
- Heat the vegetable oil for deep frying to about 350-375°F.
- Put the gram flour in a medium bowl and gradually mix with water until a moderately thick paste is formed.
- The amount of water required will depend upon, among other things, the moisture content of your gram flour and the weather.
- If you are in doubt as to the thickness of the paste, try to make it just a bit thicker rather than thinner since a few spoonfuls of water can be added later to adjust the texture.
- Mix in salt and black pepper to taste, cayenne pepper to taste, the dried mint leaves and the very finely chopped green bell pepper, and stir to blend well, forming as smooth a paste as possible.
- Now divide the paste into equal parts and put each part in a separate bowl.
- Mix the chopped onions into one bowl and the chopped spinach leaves into the other.
- Adjust the thickness of the paste in each bowl by adding small spoonful (s) of water, as necessary.
- Carefully side tablespoon quantities of the paste mixture into the hot fat, a few at a time, and deep-fry them until brown, then remove them with a slotted spoon or skimmer to drain thoroughly on paper towels or a rack.
- Serve with Mint Chutney With Tomato.
- The same gram flour-mint leaf-green pepper paste paste can be used to fry other vegetables, such as potato slices, eggplant florets, slices of Italian or Asian (thin) eggplant, small bunches of coriander leaves, or slices of yucca root (zucchini and jicama would appear to be the other possibilities).
- Dip them into the paste to coat, then fry as above.
- The gram flour-mint leaf-green pepper paste may be given different flavors by adding additional spices to the cayenne and black pepper, such as 1/2 teaspoons turmeric, 1 tsp of garam masala (masalas are Indian spice mixtures. See, for example, Recipe# 577, which is one version of the many garam masalas. For proper flavor, the cinnamon sticks called for in that recipe should be Ceylon cinnamon rather than Cassia cinnamon, which is the type most) and 2 teaspoons ground coriander.