I promise this is going to be my last Diwali-related post.
Diwali is all about indulgences, both of the gastronomic and the shopping, spending money and sharing variety. It’s that time of the year when it is considered auspicious to buy gold jewelry, electronics and if you don’t have the budget for those, just some token kitchen utensil/s will do. New clothes are a given. Of course I belong to the category of people who buy a small utensil to mark the Diwali purchase. I did have grand plans of exchanging that old gold jewelery given by my parents, and lying around in the locker, for some trendy and wearable ornaments, but never got around to doing that (for lack of time again). Now I understand why people begin preparing for Diwali days in advance.
For atleast 5-7 years now, I have stayed away from making deep-fried food in my house, owing to an ongoing and continued obsession with health and fitness (my baking of course has been an exception to that rule, but I will explain and justify that in another post at another time). But when I chanced on this recipe for Rava Pakoras, I had to try it. This was going to be my big Diwali indulgence.
I didn’t tell the husband this and wanted to surprise him (you see I am always trying to mind his borderline triglyceride levels, so the guy doesn’t get to eat with abandon like he used to in another age and time).
While assisting me in the kitchen, he was surprised when I asked him to pass me the Besan (gram flour), from the pantry. Although I couldn’t see his face, I am very sure, his eyes lit-up and he had this Cheshire cat grin on his face. He kept asking me what the Besan was for and I mumbled something incoherent.
It’s been two days since the festival and I still remember the taste of those yummy Rava Pakoras, so I will share the recipe with you. It is another one of those simple and easy to make fool-proof savory items that you can make anytime the craving for something deep-fried, savory & spicy strikes you. Winter and the Rainy season are good times to have these.
What you will need:
- 1 cup Rava or Semolina soaked for an hour in 1 cup of water. Make sure to soak it in an equal amount of water, I didn’t measure the water and might’ve added some excess amounts.
- 1/2 cup Besan (gram flour)
- 1 large Potato chopped into very small pieces
- 1 large Onion chopped fine
- 3 green chillies, chopped very fine (you an adjust this to suit your ability to handle the heat)
- 1 inch ginger grated fine
- 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic
- A handful of Coriander leaves washed and chopped
- Jeera (Cumin) powder – 1 teaspoons
- 1 tsp – Red chilli powder (again, adjust this according to your ability to handle heat)
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 cups of vegetable oil to deep-fry
How you make it:
Mix all the ingredients into a bowl with your hands, use a little water to prepare the batter. If the batter is too loose, add some gram flour to it to adjust the consistency. I had added excess water to the Semolina, so ended-up adding a lot of besan to make a thick batter. Ensure that the batter isn’t too loose or too tight.
In a small deep pan or Kadhai, add the oil and let it heat to a temperature that is hot but not fuming. You know the temperature is right when you drop a little batter and it sizzles inside.
With your fingers or a ladle drop in small amounts of batter into the oil (about 2-4 portions). Be very careful as you don’t want the hot oil to spatter on your hands and cause burns.
Use a slotted spoon to keep turning around the Pakoras till they turn golden brown and then take them out on a plate layered with absorbent paper. Let it cool and have someone taste one for the spices and salt. Adjust the salt and chilli levels if required.
Continue frying, till all the batter is used up. Serve with Tomato sauce or green Chutney. Oh yeah before I forget, mine had more gram flour, so were more of regular Pakoras than Rava. If you want Rava to be the dominant ingredient, follow the prescribed proportions.
Warning: Ensure that your guests do not hover around you when you are frying these. If they do, your Pakoras, like mine, will never make it to the dining table and you won’t have an attractive picture of them.