These irresistible morsels make a great canapé, but they are also very good alongside or before a curry. Eat them with your fingers, as soon as they’re cool enough to pick up. Hot, spicy pakoras perk up any cold winters day and go perfectly with some cool minted yoghurt.
1 med-large cauliflower (trim the florets)
Sunflower oil, for frying
For the batter:
150g gram flour (chickpea flour)
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp fine sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
175ml cold water
Cut the cauliflower into small florets, discarding most of the stalk, and keep aside.
For the batter, put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk out any lumps. Slowly whisk in the cold water, which should give you a smooth batter with a similar consistency to double cream. Add a little more water if necessary.
Add the cauliflower to the batter and make sure it’s thoroughly coated.
Heat about 1-2cm depth of oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot enough to turn a cube of white bread light golden brown in 30-40 seconds, start cooking the pakoras, a few at a time so you don’t crowd the pan. Place spoonsful of batter with just a few florets per spoonful – into the hot oil. Cook for about two minutes, then turn over and cook for another minute or two, until a nice and crisp, golden brown.
Lift out pakoras onto some kitchen roll to soak up the excess oil. Serve hot with some minted yoghurt.