|Courgette Pakoras with thick Greek Minted Yoghurt dip|
I always seem to have a glut of Courgettes/Zucchini at this time of the year. I planted up six, two yellow and four green and they are just so prolific that I've been scouting high & low for some new recipes. I'm turning a few into a courgette & blueberry cake later, it's a bit of an experiment but hey ho, if you don't try you'll never know.
Now I love Indian food and any kind of Pakora is my kind of Pakora. I've grated up around 6 courgettes for this recipe. Every last drop of water needs to be squeezed out of them otherwise a soggy greasy mess will ensue. If you try this yourself then please leave the courgettes to one side even when you think you can't possibly get any more water out. 5 minutes later you'll find you can.
Okay here we go.
5/6 medium sized courgettes/zucchini coarsely grated by hand* placed into a sieve and 1 tsp of salt sprinkled over then mixed in. Place over a bowl and leave for a least 1 hour. Rinse under the tap and keep squeezing until absolutely no more water comes out.
4 tbsp Gram (Chick Pea) Flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs separated, lightly whisk the whites just before you fold in
1 large red chilli finely chopped you can leave the seeds in if you like it hot
2 tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro (if you don't like coriander I'd recommend half parsley, half mint)
2 spring onions/scallions finely sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp Black Onion (Kalongi) seeds (Optional)
1½ tsp salt
2 heaped tsps pre-prepared curry powder (I used Sharwoods medium Madras) or you can make your own favourite blend.
black pepper to taste
around 1½" of sunflower/veg oil place in the bottom of a frying pan/skillet and heated to a medium-high heat
Sea salt flakes to sprinkle when cooked.
* Grate the courgettes by hand, a processor seems to make them too wet for me
Place in a sieve over a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for at least one hour.
Rinse, then squeeze out every last drop of water
Add the curry, chilli, spring onion, coriander, seasoning, gram flour & baking powder and the egg yolks, beat the egg whites until stiff but still light and fold in. You should have a thick dropping consistancy, if it's way to thick then just add a drop of fizzy water to help to loosen everything up.
Heat the oil and test with a little of the mixture. It should bubble up straight away. Don't have the oil too hot, just a steady medium heat.
Place dessert spoonfuls in the hot oil about 6 at a time. Fry for just a 2 or 3 minutes a side until golden brown and crispy. Drain onto kitchen towel
Sprinkle over a touch of sea salt.
These are best served hot, but they can be reheated in a hot oven for around 5 minutes. They also freeze well if you don't plan to use them straight away. Defrost and bake in a hot oven for around 8 minutes.
For the minted yoghurt
½ tub of Thick Greek Yoghurt (I used Total) 2%
2 tps concentrated Mint without the vinegar or 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 crushed clove of garlic
a little seasoning
Just mix everything together and it's ready to go.