Pakora is another popular street food from Nepal, served warm to hot and quite similar to Japanese tempura. Vegetable pakora is the most common type and it's enjoyed with a typical Nepali-style tomato pickle or golbheda ko achaar.
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 100 g cabbage, very thinly sliced
- 100 g potatoes, grated
- 50 g baby spinach leaves
- 2 long green chillies, chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp garam masala
- salt, to taste
- 200 g chickpea flour (besan) (see Note)
- 1 litre oil, for deep frying
- chopped coriander, to serve
- 2 (about 400 g) good-sized ripe tomatoes, halved
- 1 pinch ground cumin
- 1 pinch ground coriander
- chilli flakes and salt, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
For the tomato chutney, preheat oven to 160˚C. Place the tomatoes on a baking paper-lined tray and roast for 45 minutes-1 hour, or until very tender and a deep red colour. Remove the skins, place in a blender with the cumin, ground coriander, chilli and salt, and blend until smooth.
Preheat oil to 180˚C. Place the onion, cabbage, potato, spinach, green chilli, cumin, coriander, garam masala and salt in a large bowl and mix. Sprinkle the besan or chickpea flour and mix well. Gradually add about 150 ml water, and continue mixing until the vegetables stick to each other and you are able to shape them.
Gently place pieces of the pakora mixture (about 1 tbsp each) into the hot oil and fry in batches for 3-4 minutes, turning gently until golden. Remove the pakora with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Serve hot with coriander and tomato chutney.
• Chickpea flour (or besan) is available from selected supermarkets, health food stores and Indian food stores.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.