India is located in the continent of Asia. It has Tajikistan to the north, China and Nepal to the northeast, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east, Sri Lanka to the south, the Arabian Sea to the west, and Afghanistan to the northwest.
The capital is New Delhi.
The official languages are Hundi and English.
The climate is mostly a monsoon climate with hot wet weather from about mid-June to the end of September, cool dry weather from early October to February, and hot dry weather from about March to mid-June.
The staple foods are rice, roti, paneer, potato, ghee, fish, wheat, barley, chicken and so much more (https://toneop.com/blog/Nutritional-Value-Of-Staple-Indian-Foods).
PAKORA (Indian Vegetable Fritters) (https://www.recipetineats.com/pakora-indian-vegetable-fritters/):
– 2 1/4 C chickpea flour (Note 1)
– 1 tsp turmeric powder
– 1 tsp cumin powder
– 1 tsp coriander powder
– 1 tsp fenugreek powder (Note 2)
– 1/2 tsp chili powder (pure chili powder, Note 3)
– 2 tsp salt (cooking/kosher salt)
– 3/4 C + 2 1/2 TBSP water
– 1 1/2 C onions, grated using standard box grater (~1 1/2 onions)
– 2 C potato (~1 large), peeled and grated using standard box grater (Note 4)
– 2 1/2 C cauliflower (~1/4 large head), finely chopped into rice size pieces (or grate)
– 2 large red chilies (cayenne peppers), finely chopped (adjust spiciness to taste, or leave them out)
– 1 TBSP fresh ginger, finely grated
– 2 TBSP coriander/cilantro leaves, finely chopped
– 3 ~ 4 C vegetable or canola oil (4cm / 1.5″ depth in pot)
Here is how my Pakora turned out. I did substitute sweet potatoes for the regular ones. Still tasted really good!!
Coriander Mint Sauce for Pakoras (Option 1):
– 2 C mint leaves
– 1 C coriander/cilantro leaves
– 1/4 C eschalot, sliced
– 3 TBSP lime juice
– 1 tsp caster sugar
– 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
– 1/2 tsp cooking/kosher salt
– 2 ice cubes (loosens + keeps sauce green)
This sauce added some depth to the flavor of the pakora.
Minted Yogurt Sauce (Option 2):
– 1 C plain yoghurt
– 1/2 C mint leaves, packed
– 1/4 tsp salt
I liked this sauce the best!
- Make batter: Place chickpea flour in a bowl with the spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, chilli). Slow whisk in the water.
- Mix in Vegetables: Add potato, cauliflower, onion, ginger, chilli and coriander. Mix well with a wooden spoon. It should be a thick batter, almost paste-like.
- Preheat oven to 80°C/175°F – to keep cooked pakoras warm. Set a rack over a tray.
- Heat oil: Heat 4cm / 1.5″ oil in a large heavy based pot to 180°C/350°F (Note 6).
- Form patties: Drop 2 tbsp of batter roughly formed into a patty shape into the oil. I use my hands (as is typical in India!) but you can also use 2 tablespoons (be careful of splash-age). Don’t crowd the pot, it will lower the temperature too much.
- Fry pakoras: Fry 2 – 3 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towels. Keep cooked pakoras hot in the oven on a rack set over a tray.
- Serve: Serve pakoras with Coriander Mint Sauce or Minted Yogurt Sauce!
Coriander Mint Sauce OR Mint Yogurt Sauce:
- Place ingredients in a small food processor or Nutribullet or use a stick blender. Blitz until smooth.
Storage – Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for 3 months in an airtight container. Reheat in a 180°C/350°F oven on a rack set over a tray for 12 to 15 minutes until hot and crispy.
GUJARATI INDIAN POTATOES (https://everydangdish.com/gujarati-indian-potatoes/):
– 1.5 TBSP Oil – your preference
– 2 Garlic cloves minced
– 1~2 lbs. small, sliced potatoes
– 1~2 tsp red dry chili or cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp Mustard seeds
– Salt to taste
– 1 tsp Turmeric
– 1 TBSP dry ground coriander
– Chopped Cilantro (for garnish)
- Slice 1-2 pounds of potatoes into thin slices, clean potatoes in a bowl of water and drain. Mince 2 garlic cloves and set aside.
- In a deep skillet or fry pan over medium heat pan add 1.5 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and wait for them to pop.
- Add the potatoes and let them cook on low-medium heat, slightly covered.
- Uncover and cook on medium-high heat to crisp once potatoes are cooked.
- Once almost cooked add garlic, 1-2 teaspoons red chili powder, 1 tablespoon dry ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric and salt to taste.
- Stir and let it cook until potatoes reached desired doneness.
- Add chopped cilantro once dish is cooked for garnish.
Again I substituted sweet potatoes into this recipe. VERY flavorful!!
GAJAR KA HALWA (Indian Carrot Pudding) (https://www.honeywhatscooking.com/gajar-ka-halwa-indian-carrot-pudding/):
For Gajar ka Halwa
– 2 TBSP ghee divided (1 TBSP and 1 TBSP)
– 4 C organic carrots peeled & grated
– 1-1/2 C organic whole milk
– ½ tsp cardamom powder
– 5 TBSP sugar
– ½ C cashews unsalted chopped
- 1 TBSP pistachios chopped
- Peel the carrots. Grate the carrots using the smaller side of the shredder. You can do it by hand or use a food processor.
- Heat a wok on medium heat, once hot, add 1 tablespoon of ghee.
- Add the carrots and saute for about 8 minutes until the color of the carrots changes.
- Keep stirring to avoid burning. This is a labor of love.
- Add milk to the carrots. Cook the carrots and milk down for 6-7 minutes until all the milk is absorbed by the carrots.
- Keep stirring to avoid sticking and burning.
- Once all the milk is absorbed, this is what you should have.
- Add the sugar.
- Immediately after, add 1 more tablespoon of ghee.
- Keep stirring. until all the water is absorbed which is left behind by the sugar. This process will take about 5-6 minutes.
- Once done, add cardamom powder. Stir.
- Add chopped cashews. You can also add almonds, pistachios, and raisins, however I just stick with cashews.
- Mix well.
- Dry roast the Gajar ka Halwa for a couple more minutes so the color of the carrots deepens slightly.
- Enjoy with a cup of my Kadak Masala Chai.
This was so easy to make, but took tie. Well worth it!!! Very unique and good tasting!!