Traditionally served as snacks in India, pakora are chickpea flour fritters made with a wide variety of vegetables. Chickpea flour is very affordable, a good source of protein, and can be found in many grocery stores (look for Bob’s Red Mill), and especially in markets that stock ingredients for Indian cooking. Chickpea (or garbanzo bean) flour is naturally gluten-free as well, so if you or someone you know is avoiding gluten, these make a lovely snack. If you can’t find it, you can use wheat flour or rice flour instead. They will taste different but still be quite good. Pakora can be made with a wide variety of vegetables, just chop them into small bits, throw it into the spiced batter, and bake them on a baking sheet for 7-8 minutes on each side. Freshly chopped cilantro is a nice addition as well. They come out crunchy, savory, and delicious every time. Here these are served with red lentils and rice cooked together into a creamy porridge, a few slices of avocado, and a drizzle of store bought tamarind chutney. You can find tamarind chutney in the Indian section of some grocers, buy online, or better yet make your own. You can’t beat belly warming dishes like this in the fall and winter. The combination of easy to find spices is both comforting and flavorful, and turmeric gives a significant boost to immunity and fights inflammation in the body.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, lightly oil baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of high heat oil. (Or use parchment paper and no oil.)
In a medium mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour with salt and spices and stir well. Add water slowly, only adding as much as you need to form a thick pancake batter, and whisk together until no lumps remain.
Add thinly sliced onion and chopped broccoli to the batter and stir to incorporate.
Spoon large dollops onto the baking sheet, spaced about 1-2' apart.
Bake for 7-8 minutes on each side, flipping when bottoms of fritters have turned brown and crisped up.
Serve with condiment of choice, alone, or over rice.
Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com