Gluten Free Pickled Vegetable Pakoras with Mint Chutney Recipe
I think it’s pretty safe to say that most cultures, even if they don’t typically fry a lot of their foods, have at least one type of fried appetizer or snack.
The American South has hushpuppies, Japan has tempura (which was actually introduced by the Portuguese but is now most commonly associated with Japanese food), Middle Eastern cultures have falafel, and most cultures around the world have some version of a croquette. In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, they make a delicious fried fritter called pakora (also known as pakoda, pakodi, or ponako).
Pakora is a popular appetizer or snack that consists of vegetables, potatoes, or occasionally fish or chicken that is battered with chickpea/garbanzo bean flour and deep fried. It’s often served with a sauce or chutney for dipping. Never tried (or maybe never heard of) pakora? Give this tasty Gluten Free Pickled Vegetable Pakoras with Mint Chutney recipe a try!
I used pickled vegetables from Tillen Farms as my base and added some seasonings and fresh herbs. For serving, I made a quick mint chutney that can be made several days ahead, making for a fast and simple appetizer.
- 1½ cups fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (½ a lime)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3 tablespoons toasted cashews
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups gluten free garbanzo bean flour
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¾ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 (12-ounce) jar Tillen Farms Pickled Asparagus (mild or spicy), drained and patted dry
- 1 (12-ounce) jar Tillen Farms Pickled Crunchy Carrots, drained and patted dry
- 1 cup warm water
- Vegetable oil for frying
Place the mint and cilantro in a food processor and pulse several times. Add the olive oil, ginger, lime juice, and honey and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cashews and process until almost smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, covered, for several days.
Combine the flour, chili flakes, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Stir in the cilantro leaves.
Chop the vegetables into about ¼-inch pieces and add to the flour mixture. Stir. Slowly add the water, stirring vigorously with a spoon until the batter is thick.
Fill a small skillet halfway with oil and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches about 360-375 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, stick the handle of a wooden spoon or wooden chopstick into the oil. Once the oil starts steadily bubbling, it is hot enough.
Working in batches, so as to not overcrowd the pan, drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt while hot.
Serve hot with the mint chutney.
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