In so many years of togetherness, I have learnt that it’s me who is the undisputed kitchen and grocery minister of the house. A post which I have to accept with abandon, and to keep up I have to earn the 'good votes' on a daily basis. Not easy to keep up - I warn you.To survive the position, I get off from work early and set the kitchen fire, of course I have to make it up by working late into the nights (ah well somedays I blog at this hour with a side of red), so I can’t really be complaining, and to top it – I like cooking, so this mumbo jumbo just comes from a lack of direction and plan.
You know, its fun when I have an inspiration and ingredients, and absolute agony when I have the office laptop on the kitchen counter, where an undone presentation is open, and I have a demanding toddler sitting beside it while I’m wiping off the onion tears! Even though I cover the basics by asking the ' what do ya for dinner' question routinely ,but its almost always answered by blank stares like I've asked a life philosophy and on days when I get an answer, it’s the ‘fries/pakoras on the side’ please. So much for inspiration, but that’s how it is.
You now where it’s all going. Don’t you?
When you cook keeping the moods and days of the week in mind, it not only increases the happiness quotient of the house, it benefits the wallet, shaves off the restaurant trans-fat & in general creates a festive mood . Fresh and simple ingredients force your skin to say thank you too. This simple selection of summer fries or the more popularly known term pakoras, is usually a stable for long and elaborate bong lunches, add a side of salad and dip and you have introduced it to the evening bar gang. Tastes best when the vegetables are picked fresh from the market and the oil is fresh, pungent and mustardy. Very sophisticated , yet so rustic.
The Friday Fries/Pakoras (Assorted Vegetables Fried in Chickpea Batter)
1 cup Chickpea flour (besan/garbanzo bean flour)
1 medium Cauliflower (cut into florets) 3/4 cup water
1 Potato (thickly cut lengthwise)
1 Bell Pepper (de-seeded and cut lengthwise)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp choice of seasoning (Garlic, Onion, roasted cumin, Parsley, garam masala) or other spices of choice)
Chat masala to taste
Mustard oil to deep fry (or any other vegetable oil of choice)
In a bowl mix all ingredients (except vegetables and mix well till its turns into a smooth and thick batter).
Dip the vegetable florets in the batter and deep fry.
You can also choose to grill/bake. All you need to do is brush a little oil on batter dipped vegetables and the baking pan.
Bake for 25 minutes at 175 C.
If frying , deep fry till the vegetables are cooked well.
Serve hot and sprinkle some chat masala before serving.