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!


Ingredients:


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

13 views