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A Taste of India

By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

I adore India. This incredible country is the place of my heart and my soul—a sacred place.

The first time I touched Indian ground was in 2007, when me and my partner—who is an oriental antiques dealer—visited Northern India for more than a month. It was the time of Shivaratri, a celebration for Lord Shiva. It was a magic experience that I will always keep close to my heart—the bright colors, the perfumes, and the flavors! As you can imagine, I tried to taste everything, and I was fascinated with the magnificent Indian spices. I always have my kitchen full of little packages of all kinds of curries and spices.

A dish that brings me immediately to the streets of the Indian towns is a simple and easy street food: pakora. I used to fry pakora at home, and just one bite of this flavor-packed delicacy is like time travel for me.

Palak Pakora

Palak is the Indian term for "spinach," but you can use the ingredients you prefer, because pakora are always delicious!


1 onion, sliced into rings

1 cup baby spinach, chopped

2/3 cup (80 g) chickpea flour (besan)

½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon chilli powder

½ teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

3/4 cup (70 ml) water

Salt to taste

Sunflower seed oil for deep frying

Sift the chickpea flour into a bowl. Mix in the coriander, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, ginger, and cumin.

Gradually pour the water into the chickpea flour and mix to form a thick, smooth batter. Add the vegetables and mix well.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large, heavy saucepan.

Using a spoon, form the batter into little balls and fry until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper before serving.

Serves 6

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