Three years ago, I made the decision to eat plant-based as part of a new year’s resolution. Going vegan was easier than I thought, and probably made much easier as I was already vegetarian and had already dumped meat from my diet.
Since I grow lots of organic fruit and vegetables and know exactly the effort, human energy and resources it takes to grow produce, this year, I have made made it my personal mission to help others to connect with their food, and encourage people towards plant-based eating to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their health and well-being.
So I’m kicking off the plant-based menu on Eco Warrior Princess this year with Vegetable Pakoras, a popular spicy, deep-fried vegetable dish that makes the perfect snack. I made this dish the other day as I had some cauliflower, capsicum and homegrown Chinese cabbage to use up although the recipe can work just as well with other vegetables like potatoes, zucchini, eggplants, sweet potatoes, spinach and corn.
The key is to cook the pakoras slowly to ensure that that the batter and veggies are cooked consistently. After sharing about the vegan dish on Instagram Stories, I had several people asking about the recipe, and it just made sense to post the recipe on here to make it easier to share with everyone.
Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 30-45 mins
Makes around 30-40 medium sized pakoras
1 large potato
1 small cauliflower
1/2 Chinese cabbage or normal cabbage
1 medium red capsicum
1 brown onion
1.5 cups chickpea flour
1/2 cup of frozen peas (thawed)
1/3 cup of plain flour
1.5 cups of water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp salt
2 tsps garam masala
2 tsps ground coriander
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1-2 tsp chilli powder (depending on how hot you like it)
1 tsp paprika (optional)
oil for frying
Season with salt if you prefer. Serve with tomato relish or mango chutney.
1. Dice potato in very small pieces. I keep the skin on to avoid having to compost waste, but you can peel if you prefer.
2. Chop cauliflower, capsicum and onion in small, bite-sized pieces. Shred cabbage finely.
3. In a large bowl, sift flour and all other spices and dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre and add the water, lemon juice and stir to make a smooth, creamy batter that is neither thick and heavy, nor thin and runny. Add extra water and plain flour if required.
4. Add the vegetables to the batter, mixing evenly.
5. Heat oil in a deep fry pan or wok and place a tablespoon of vegetable batter mixture in the pan one at a time, you should be able to fit at 5-6 comfortably in a pan. Fry on medium heat until golden on both sides and drain on a tea towel to avoid waste (you can use paper towels if you prefer).
Serve hot with relish or chutney, and salad if you wish. Season with salt if you prefer.
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