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Spicy Lentil Pakoras (Vegan, Vegetarian and Wheat, Nut, Dairy and Soya Free)
These bite sized snacks are not only healthy and delicious but are also wheat, dairy and soya free making them an ideal choice for vegans, vegetarians and those on a restricted diet due to allergy or intolerance to soya, milk, eggs or wheat.
Pakoras are an Indian food that is great as a buffet finger food, lunch or snack. They can be made from a variety of ingredients and served on their own or with other food Indian foods. Pakoras are especially nice flattened and served in warmed, open pitta bread with salad.
- 1 cup red lentils, Soaked
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander (Cilantro)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- A large pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup gram (chickpea) flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 onions, quartered
- oil for frying
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Place the garlic, onions and ginger in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the red lentils and 1 – 2 tbsp of the water they were soaked in and the coriander to the garlic and ginger and process to form a purée.
- Add the cayenne, cumin, turmeric, gram flour, salt, pepper and baking powder to the purée. Mix briefly to combine. The mixture needs to be a tick batter. If it seems to watery add some more flour a tsp at a time and if the mix is to dry add more of the lentil water as needed.
- Pour approximately 5cm of oil into a wide, deep pan. Heat the oil until a cube of bread browns in 45 seconds. Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Turn the pakora over to ensure both side cook fully.
- Drain the pakoras on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. The pakoras can be kept warm in a oven on low heat while to finish cooking them all or can served cold.
Ready to Cook
Other pluses such as split peas or tinned kidney beans can be used in place of the red lentils.
The flour used can be varied to suit individual tastes and other allergies. I have successfully used rice flour but you could experiment with nut flours or others.
Pakoras can also be made using vegetables, such as mashed peas or potato instead of pluses. Small vegetables such as peas and sweetcorn can also be left whole and larger ones chopped finely to make a more chunky pakora.
© 2012 Claire