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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pyaji (Bengali Onion Pakora)

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Curling up with a good book and some hot pakoras on a rainy day is unbeatable. In Seattle there is no dearth of rainy days, but the leisure time is hard to come by. This Monday I didn’t have anything to cook because there was enough left-overs from a weekend party. So suddenly at around eleven I had nothing to do and there was no one at home. Outside, it was cold and drizzling. A perfect occasion to brew up some hot Darjeeling tea, put on some nice Bangla music and have some Pyaji.

Ingredients

  1. 2 red onions sliced into half moons
  2. 1tsp. grated fresh ginger
  3. 2 – 3 green chilies finely chopped
  4. Handful of chopped cilantro
  5. 1/2tsp. chili powder
  6. 1/4tsp. turmeric powder
  7. 1/2tsp. baking powder
  8. 5 – 6 tbsp. besan (Chickpea flour)
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Mustard oil for deep frying.

Procedure

In a mixing bowl take onion, green chilies, ginger, cilantro leaves and sprinkle salt over it. Mix the salt thoroughly by hand. Leave it for 10 – 15 minutes. The salt will bring out the natural juices of the raw ingredients reducing the amount of water required for binding.

Slowly add besan and keep mixing it with the other ingredients. Once you have utilized all your besan you may need to  add little besan or water depending on the requirement to bind things together.

Add baking powder and mix it once more.

Heat oil in a wok till it smokes and then reduce the heat. Now using a spoon gently slide small amount of mixture into the hot oil. Try not to over crowd the oil. Fry on medium heat till all sides are golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain on a paper towel.

Sprinkle black salt all over and serve.

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