In today’s edition of comforting snacks that just have to be made when it’s cloudy and cool, I made Onion and Spinach Pakodas w/Mint-Ginger chutney! Along with some store bought dhokla (gram flour steamed dumplings) it completed our epic snack plate! All the comfort of home we can muster.
Made from besan, or gram flour, these fried fritters are endless with the options of veggies and herbs you can mix with them. There are also various kinds of fritters from all over India, that use different combination of flours as well. This version I made today is classic. Besan, onions, spinach, spices, deep fried.
2 cups onions, very thinly sliced, separated into strands
1 cup chopped spinach
1 1/2 cup besan (gram flour)
1 tbsp rice flour (optional, adds additional crispiness)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ajwain/ carom seeds (optional)
1 tsp red chilli powder
A handful of cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp coarse salt
2 tbsps canola oil
3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp salt
3 green chillies
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp agave syrup or brown sugar
Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to settle and meld together. This stays up to 5 days in the fridge.
In a large mixing bowl, add sliced onions, chopped spinach, cilantro, ginger, and salt. Massage/ squeeze them together using your hands. This is to release the moisture in the onions. Squeeze them, but don’t make them mushy. Let sit for 5 minutes which helps the onions + salt release moisture.
Next, add besan, rice flour, cumin seeds, coriander powder, carom seeds and red chilli powder. Mix well to incorporate all the dry ingredients with the veggies.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil until very hot and add into the dough.
Mix well. Add two tablespoons of water. Mix again. The dough should be crumbly but you should be able to form them into shape in your hands. So use one tbsp of water at a time. You should end up with a tight slightly moist dough. If the batter is too loose, the pakodas will be too greasy, and absorb oil like a sponge when fried.
Heat a frying pan with enough oil for deep frying. Preheat over high heat for 5 minutes. Using your hands or a spoon drop a small portion of dough into the oil. Don’t overcrowd the oil. Drop just a few. Drop to medium heat. Fry until they’re crisp & golden. Keep turning them every couple of mins. Drain over paper towels. Enjoy immediately.