Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Recipe - Aloo Puri and Veggie Pakoras

Aloo puri are fried puffed potato bread. Think little buttery fried bread rounds. I was surprised how good they were (when I didn't burn them). I was quite pleased with how they turned out. They weren't nearly as puffy as the ones in this picture, they were more like little bread-like pancakes.

The veggie pakoras didn't turn out so well. Part of it was because I didn't cook the potato long enough, so some of the slices were still raw. But the batter didn't stay on in the cooking process, and even when it did, it wasn't very flavorful. I'm including it here, because maybe someone has some tips on what went wrong and how to fix it?

I don't normally fry food (ever), so this was my first foray into it. The aloo puri is vegetarian and the pakoras are vegan.

Aloo puri (fried potato bread)
8oz russet potatoes, peeled and cut into equal-sized pieces
2t salt
2 1/4 c flour
2T melted butter
1/4c warm water
vegetable oil for frying

Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain, then return the potato the pan over low heat for 2-3 minutes, to allow it to dry out slightly. Mash and allow to cool.

Sift flour and t salt intoa bowl. Add mashed potato and stir. Add the butter and water little by little, mixing until you have a firm dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until soft and elastic. Let stand for 30 minutes, covered (better results if not left for longer than 30 minutes).

Roll the dough into small balls and flatten into a circle using your hands. When the oil is heated until very hot, add one or two puri at a time, turning once, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Zard choba pakora (potato and cauliflower pakoras)
2t ground coriander seeds
t ground turmeric
1/2t ground cumin
1/2t dried red chili flakes
1 1/2 c flour
2t sale
4 large potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets
30 fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
vegetable oil for frying

Mix coriander, turmeric, cumin and chili flakes in a bowl. Combine flour and 7 fl oz water to form a smooth batter. Season with 2t salt and black pepper and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Scrub the potatoes, put in a pan, and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and allow the potatoes to cool. Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for 3 minutes until softened slightly, but still slightly crunchy. Drain and allow to cool.

Mix the spices wit the batter and cilantro. When the potatoes have cooled, peel off the skin and cut into 1/4" slices. Heat the oil in a large pan. Dip the potato/cauliflower slices in the batter, coating well on all sides, then fry them in small batches. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

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