250. cabbage bhajias (pakoras)
A tribute to Dada
It exactly one year since Dada, my father in law passed on. We miss him in every step of our lives but he has taught us quite a few lessons which helps us to walk through life. Dada’s humble beginning as a farmers’s son made him what he was, a humble, kind hearted and benevolent person. He always liked to help others be it through social clubs, the temples or friends. He was a simple man with simple needs and little jestures pleased him the most. He loved feeding the destitutes through food for life programs and the bramacharis of the ISKCON movement. A satiated look on the faces of the bramacharis or the less fortunate made him happy. As much as he loved feeding others, he loved food himself. Though he never learnt how to make a cup of tea or heat up some milk, he knew what would be missing from a cooked dish and loved a good balance of taste… a bit of salt, a wee bit more of chillis and generous amounts of sugar. For him that was a perfect balanced taste to any dish. Dinners and lunches for friends and relatives was a big affair for us at home. He would get involved in planning the menu with my mother in law and me. He knew what would go well with what dish. He helped with the market shopping and don’t forget the tasting. Dada loved bhajias (pakoras) at lot. It could be plain potato ones or with eggplant, cabbage, banana, pratically anything, as long as they were bhajias. He would have a bad cough but would demand bhajias from my mother in law. So today I made some cabbage bhajias in his remembrance. I had watched my mother in law make them a zillion times but never bothered to actually make them myself. Nobody can make bhajias like her but what I made today didn’t turn out too bad as I remembered to include all the tips that she had given me to make soft bhajias.
CABBAGE BHAJIAS (PAKORAS)
Makes about 24 pieces
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 cup finely chopped fresh fenugreek (methi)
½ cup semolina (sooji)
½ cup chickpea flour (chana flour, besan)
¼ cup water
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste or 2 chillis finely chopped
½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain, ajmo)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi))
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsps hot oil
¼ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
oil for deep frying
- Chop fresh cabbage finely or shred it using a mandolin.
- Add all the ingredients except for hot oil and soda bicrbonate to the cabbage and mix well.
- Let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a wok, frying pan or karai over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot (drop a bit of the batter into the oil. If it comes up immediately, the oil is ready). Add 2 tbsps of the hot oil and soda bicarbonate into the batter. Mix well using a spoon.
- Pick about a tbsp of the batter with your four fingers and using your thumb slide it into the hot oil gently. Repeat till you have 6 to 8 bhajias or pakoras in the oil.
- Lower the heat and fry the bhajias, turning them around frequently till they are golden brown in colour.
- Remove them into a colander using a slotted spoon or jara.
- Increase the heat to medium and repeat steps 6 to 8 with the remaining batter.
- Serve hot bhajias with your favourite chutney , chilli sauce or tomato ketchup.
- My mother in law would add a bit of finely chopped green capsicum (bell pepper) to the batter.
- Use fresh coriander instead of fenugreek .
- Use sliced onions instead of cabbage to make onion pakoras.
- Add finely chopped palak or spinach instead of fenugreek.
- Adjust the taste of chillis according to your preference.
|Arvi paan bhajia|
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