Saturday, January 18

Prawn & Spring Onion Pakora, Cheats Mint Raita

Who doesn't love those fried Indian spiced snacks from the curry house? This is kind of a 'throw it together' recipe and as long as you get the batter to the correct consistency, you can pretty much add what ever ingredients you have. Some shredded vegetables or onion, cooked lamb, chicken or flaked fish would all work well. The cheats raita sounds a bit pikey but the end result is surprisingly authentic……trust me.

Obviously these go great with an ice cold lager, but then don't most things?

Gram flour (chickpea) - 100g
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Mild curry powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cooked prawns - 100g
Fresh coriander - 1 small bunch, roughly chopped, stems and all
Spring onions - 1 small bunch, finely sliced
Vegetable oil for shallow frying

For the Raita:
1/2 cucumber
200 ml greek yoghurt
2 tsp of mint sauce from a jar
A pinch of sugar and salt

Grate the cucumber and squeeze the resultant mass of all excess juice. Add the squeezed cucumber to a bowl and mix with the yoghurt and mint sauce. Add salt and sugar to taste. Depending on how acidic the mint sauce, you may also need a little squeeze of lemon to lift the flavour. 

The batter needs a little bit of care when mixing as you need the right consistency. I won't give a measure of liquid as it depends on how wet the ingredients are that you add (fresh prawns are drier than frozen etc). Put all the ingredients in a bowl except the oil and mix well. Add milk or water a tbsp at a time until the mixture binds together in a wet mass that holds it's shape. You don't want a thick bread dough like consistency, nor should the batter pool and drain away from the ingredients. Something in the middle is required, like cake batter. This all sounds very complicated but if in doubt fry off a single pakora. If the thing falls apart more flour is required, if the end result is too doughy, add a little more liquid.

Heat about 1cm of oil in a pan over a medium/low heat (about 150c is perfect). Spoon 1 tbsp of the prawn mix into the oil and flatten the pakora to about 1/2 inch thick. Add as many to the pan as you can without overcrowding. When the pakora are golden brown on one side, flip and colour the other sides. Drain and serve hot.

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