Tindora Pakora Appetizer
Pakora are Indian snacks made with vegetables and sometimes chicken or other meats. These are deep fried in a batter most commonly made with Besan (chick-pea flour), and, usually, with added spices. Vegetable Pakora are the most common type and the vegetables can either be a single vegetable in chunks, or one can use a variety of different veggies that are shredded and mixed before being dunked in the batter. Here, I am using lovely Indian vegetable known as Tindora, or Ivy-Gourd, which are first split lengthways and then stuffed with a Chili Pickle before being battered and deep-fried.
For the stuffing for these Tindora Pakora, I am using Patak’s Chili Pickle, which widely available worldwide. If you are unable to source it, or prefer something else, you can certainly substitute any commercial Indian-style pickle that suits your taste, or even one of your own creations.
If you do use the Patak’s Chili Pickle, you will likely need to chop the larger pieces of chili somewhat in order to make stuffing easier.
First, add enough Water to the Chick-Pea Flour to make a batter, and then stir in the salt and dry spices. The batter should be moderately thick and not beaten too smoothly. A few lumps of flour here and there are fine. Ideally, you should chill this before use as this makes coating the Tindora and deep-frying them much simpler.
Next, slit each Tindora in half lengthways, stopping just before the stem end, and, using a spoon, stuff the inside with a teaspoon or so of Pickle.
Now (and apologies for forgetting to photograph the next step), dip each Tindora into the batter and deep-fry them, working in batches a few at a time. The oil should be moderately hot, and you want to fry until the Tindora are tender but the batter is not overly dark. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Pakora are usually served with a dipping sauce, sometimes piquant, sometimes mild. I have stuffed my Pakora with a spicy filling so I made a ‘cool’ dip with Yoghurt and chives. The finished dish is served on sliced cucumber and garnished with chive and ‘threads’ of dried chilli.
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Tindora Pakora Appetizer
- 6 – 8 Medium Tindora
- 1/2 Cup Chick-pea flour Besan
- 1 tsp. Crushed red Chilli
- 1 tsp. Ground Turmeric
- 1 tsp. Crushed Cumin seed
- 1/2 tsp. Nigella Kalonji
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/3 Cup Patak’s Chilli Pickle or Indian Pickle of your Choice.
- Add enough Water to the Chick-Pea Flour to make a batter, and stir in the salt and dry spices.
- Slit each Tindora in half lengthways, stopping just before the stem end, and stuff the inside with a teaspoon or so of Pickle.
- Heat Deep-frying Oil over a medium hot flame, then coat each Tindora with batter and deep-fry them until just tender and nicely golden.
- Serve with a dip of choice.