Spicy Red Onion Pakoras & Chilli Jam.

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Pakora [pəˈkɔːrə]

“An Indian dish consisting of pieces of vegetable or meat, dipped in a spiced batter and deep-fried: served with a piquant sauce”.

Classic Indian finger food that no one can resist, these easy onion pakoras are so simple to make. Try a variety of vegetables using the same batter recipe and cooking methods. Aubergine and Courgette are my favourites after onions.

This recipe will make around 48 pakoras.

Ingredients.

For the Pakoras;

500g Of Chickpea Flour or Gram Flour
1 dessert spoon of chilli flakes
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 large handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 large red onions, sliced in half and then into half moons
475ml of lukewarm water
Sunflower oil for deep frying

Method.

Fill a large pan half way up with the oil. Heat the oil to 190C.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, red chilli flakes, salt, baking powder, coriander, and sliced onions.

Slowly add in the water, while mixing with a wooden spoon or your hands. Vigorously mix for a couple of seconds. The batter should be thick, almost like double cream and there should be air bubbles throughout.

Once the oil is heated, carefully place in heaping tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot oil.

Try not to overcrowd the oil because it will result in greasy pakoras.

Fry until the pakoras are a golden brown colour.

Drain on a cooling rack placed over some kitchen towel.

Repeat with the remainder of the batter and onion mixture.

For the Chilli Jam;

1 pound (450g) of fat red chillies, (not the small Birdseye variety!)
3/4 pound (340g) of caster sugar
1 large piece of ginger (about the size of 2 fingers) roughly chopped
8 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 bottle of supermarket Oyster sauce
3 tablespoons of Red wine vinegar
1 heaped teaspoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons of good olive oil

Method.

Peel the ginger and garlic, top and tail the chillies and roughly chop. Put everything into a food processor and blitz. This includes all the seeds. You want to end up with a very finely chopped result but not total mush.

Heat a large wok or saucepan (I use a wok for this) over a medium heat. Add in the oil and tip in the garlic, ginger and chilli mixture. Add in the sugar (I would start with half at first and add more as required). You want a sloppy consistency but it must not be too runny.

Simmer over a low heat for at least 30 minutes or until it is reduced. Now add the vinegar, salt and the oyster sauce. Reduce again until you have a jammy consistency and transfer into sterilised jars. This will last in the fridge for around six months so do label with dates.

This will last unrefrigerated for many weeks and is a great gift idea for keen cooks.

The finished jam is ideal to accompany my Pakoras or to cook prawns and chicken using the jam as a base. Try adding coconut milk and lots of freshly chopped coriander for Asian inspired dishes and it works amazingly well with mussels.

Happy Eating!
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