For most for us Indians, the perfect and comforting food during cold weathers or rainy season is a very popular and comforting Indian snack, Pakoda or Pakodi. Best enjoyed over a hot cup of tea, the cripsy and spicy Pakodi makes tea time something special, almost like a bonding time between family and friends.
Its not just cold weather or rains which makes me crave for pakodas, I can have them all year around as they are not only tasty but can be prepared in a jiffy and with ingredients which are usually available in the pantry…:)
Prepared from a batter of besan (bengal gram flour), rice flour, onions, curry leaves and green chillis, Pakodas are deep fried till they attain a beautiful golden brown color. Both soft pakodas and hard pakodis (known as gatti pakodi in telugu) can be prepared from the same batter and its the texture of the batter which makes them soft or hard.
Go to any busy street corner in a town or city and one is sure to find streets (be it a small town or city) lined by hawkers, cooking the food right before your eyes and selling hot pakodis. Here in Andhra, a popular snack which sells very well is the the crispy variety of pakodi known as gatti ulli pakodi, where the batter is prepared by using very little water. The less water used to mix the flours, the harder the batter is, to prepare crisp gatti pakodi which can be stored in air tight containers for a few days.
Ulli Pakodi Recipe
Prep & Cooking Time: 30 mts
1 1/2 cups besan (gram dal flour)
½ cup rice flour
4-5 green chillis, finely chopped
2 large onions, sliced
2 spring onions (optional)
2 tbsp melted ghee (clarified butter)
few sprigs curry leaves
salt to taste
pinch of baking soda
oil for deep frying
1 Combine both the flours with salt, soda, green chillis, curry leaves and onions. Add the melted ghee and mix well with fingers. Combine well till u have a crumbly texture.
2 Add few tablespoons of water and mix well that it forms a hard batter. Don’t add too much water.
3 Heat enough oil in a deep frying pan. It should be piping hot. Use your fingers to drop the batter in the oil to form small fritters. Reduce heat to medium and deep fry till they turn golden brown. Use a ladle to keep turning the fritters so that it cooks on all sides.
4 Once they turn golden brown, remove them on to absorbent paper. Store in air tight containers and serve as evening snacks over a hot cup of masala chai (spiced tea).
You dont need to add spring onions for preparing gatti pakodi. I used them for added flavor. The quantity of rice flour can also be reduced to one fourth cup. The softer variety of pakodi can be prepared by omitting rice flour and adding more water to the pakodi batter which should be more like a thick dosa batter.