I love Indian food. But aside from a curry here and there, I hardly make it at home. Why, I don’t know- so when I saw a recipe for homemade potato pakoras in Wholesome Kitchen, I decided it was time to give another Indian favorite a go.
I’ve only had pakoras once or twice, and it was years ago- firstly, I’m not a huge fan of potatoes in general. Health benefits (or lake thereof) aside, I don’t really like the taste. I find them bland, starchy, and unless they are perfectly roasted with just the right amount of garlic and rosemary, I’ll pass, thanks. Plus there’s the whole void-of-nutrients, high-glycemic issue there. Lucky for me, my distaste for the white roots makes this a non-issue for myself.
Sweet potatoes, however, I am in love with. So this was, of course the first in this recipe to change. Second was the cooking method. Pakoras are traditionally deep-fried in not-so-healthy oils, which I truly believe is unnecessary in achieving the crispy on the outside, soft on the inside effect desired. Sure, some oil is needed- but I chose healthy, heat-safe coconut oil and less of it. Altogether I overhauled this Indian favorite to create a healthier, tasty appetizer that I would be excited to share with friends or clients. Try it, and let me know what you think!
Sweet potato chickpea pakoras
Inspired by Wholesome Kitchen
Makes about 12 small patties
1 tbsp olive oil
½ red onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 cup canned or cooked chickpeas
1 medium sweet potato, diced small
½ cup fresh or frozen sweet peas
2 tbsp chickpea flour
½ tsp sea salt
small handful cilantro, chopped
2-6 tbsp coconut oil (as needed for frying)
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a sautee pan. Add red onion, green onion, garlic and ginger and cook until onion is soft. Add spices and toast for 20-30 seconds until fragrant.
2. Meanwhile, place chickpeas and sweet potatoes in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
3. Cook for 10-15 minutes until soft. In the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add peas to soften slightly.
4. Drain chickpea/potato mixture and place in a large bowl with sautéed seasonings. Mash until only slightly chunky.
5. Add sea salt, chickpea flour and cilantro and stir to combine (mixture should start to come together; if it does not add a bit more flour until it does).
6. Form mixture into small patties, about the size of a walnut. Flatten slightly with hand.
7. Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil to high heat in a large sautee pan.
8. When very hot ( a drop of water on pan should sizzle rapidly) but not smoking, add patties, one at a time and cook until golden. They should crisp up and be fairly easy to flip. If they are not, oil is not hot enough.
9. Place cooked patties on a paper-towel lined plate. Let cool slightly before serving with fresh yogurt dip if desired.
Is there a cuisine you don’t often tackle at home- but would like to?