Cashew Nut Pakoras with Green Dipping Sauce

“These pakoras are crisp-edged, highly spiced and everything I want to eat with friends,” says cookery writer Anna Jones.

“I like to eat these with my lemon and cardamom dhal on or biryani. They are also great wrapped in a chapati with the green sauce and some crunchy shredded veg.”

Read more: Cashew Miso Cream with Young Vegetables

Cashew Nut Pakoras with Green Dipping Sauce

Makes: 12

Ingredients

For the pakoras:

  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 handful of fresh curry leaves
  • 1 green chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon (heaped) fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (heaped) cumin seeds
  • Groundnut or vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 80g chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, softened
  • Salt and black pepper

For the green sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves
  • 1/2 a bunch of mint, leaves picked, stalks discarded
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
  • Juice of 1 unwaxed lime
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

To serve:

  • Lime-dressed salad leaves (optional)

Method

Measure the cashew nuts into a small, heatproof bowl and cover with double the volume of hot water. Set aside.

Read more: Roast Pumpkin, Mozzarella and Chilli

Next, make the green dipping sauce. Toast the mustard and cumin seeds in a dry, deep frying pan until the cumin smells fragrant and the mustard seeds start to pop. Remove from the heat and tip into a blender with the rest of the green dipping sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth (adding up to two tablespoons of cold water to loosen if you need – it should be like thick yoghurt), then taste and add more salt, lime or honey to balance. Cover and set aside.

Mix the onion, chilli powder, curry leaves, chilli, ginger, garlic, fennel and cumin seeds in a large mixing bowl and give it a really good scrunch. Season generously with salt and black pepper and leave to one side. Drain the cashews well and add to the bowl.

Add 3cm-depth of oil to the frying pan and heat gently over low-medium heat. Add the bicarbonate of soda, chickpea flour and ghee to the mixing bowl along with 60ml of cold water and mix until it comes together in a chunky batter.

Test to see if the oil is ready by dropping a little of the mixture into the hot oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top it is ready. Add tablespoons of the mixture to the hot oil, a few at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes each side, using a slotted spoon to turn them over. Drain the cooked pakora on kitchen paper and continue until all the mixture has been used.

Read more: Deep Fried Potato and Beef Kibbeh

Season with a pinch of salt while warm and serve with the dipping sauce and some lime-dressed salad leaves if you like.

One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones, photography by Issy Croker, is published by Fourth Estate, available now.

Are you a fan of Indian food? Do you fry foods at home?

– With PA

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