I’ve been getting these really lovely winter squash in my CSA for the past few weeks.  They have a mildly sweet flavor and are smooth and buttery in texture.  I’ve been using them in curries, roasting them, pureeing them into soups and more.  I was talking to, Pearl, from my CSA recently and she was giving me some great tips on some other really yummy Indian dishes I can make with the veggies I’m getting.  She inspired these pakora because they sounded both delicious and incredibly easy.  Also, how cool is it that I can have a long recipe exchanging sesh with my CSA farmers?!?!  Talk about knowing your farmer!!

Winter squash and Gram Flour

Sometimes I also roast the seeds in some olive oil, garlic salt, paprika and cumin powder as a quick snack. It’s so good.

These pakora are quick and relatively easy to make.  The batter is not complicated at all and they fry up pretty fast.  This is definitely something you could whip up in a flash for a hungry crew who happens to stop by.

Grated pumpkin or winter squash

I wrote this recipe so that you can scale it depending on how big your squash is. After I grated mine, I had 3 cups of squash so I scaled it up as needed.

spices and flour for pakora

This recipe uses rice and gram flour (chickpea flour) which give it a very distinct flavor.

The dough should hold it’s shape but it should still be moist and a little sticky. I used a tablespoon measure to scoop and then drop the dough into the hot oil so that there was some consistency.

 

Frying pakora in oil

Make sure the oil is around 300 degrees F before you start dropping the dough in. Use any sort of kitchen thermometer you have on hand. You also want the oil to be about an inch to and inch and a half deep. With a wooden spoon or spider, turn the pakora so they get nice and golden brown on all sides.

 

This recipe yields and nice little pile of golden pakora.  The gram (chickpea) flour gives them a distinct flavor that reminds me of falafel.  The squash makes them a little bit sweet so they go well with other pickles or relishes such as my favorite, lemon pickle.  I also topped a bowl of saag with these and it kind of reminded me of meatballs in marinara but Indian and vegetarian and totally different.  I thought those two went really well together if you want to give it a try.  I think the pakora would also be good with a green salad or stuffed in a pita with fresh veggies.  Or just dip them in some mint chutney.  Or come up with your own combo and leave it in the comments!  Sharing is caring!

 

Delightful Recipe

Serves 4-6
Adapted from Blend With Spices

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of grated winter squash
  • 1/2 cup of gram flour (aka chickpea flour or besan)
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (up to 1 teaspoon if you like it hot or omit completely if you don’t)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • Scale the recipe up or down depending on the size of your squash.  Grate the squash, measure it and see how many cups you have.  Scale the recipe accordingly.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated squash, rice flour, gram (chickpea) flour, garam masala, salt, cayenne (if using), turmeric, asafoetida (hing), baking soda and ajwain (carom).
  • The batter should hold it’s shape but still be moist and sticky.  If your squash is on the dry side you may have to add water to your batter to get it to the right consistency.  Add water by the Tablespoon until it holds it’s shape in the bowl but is still moist and spreadable.
  • Put enough veggie oil in a frying pan or cast iron pot so that you have 1 to 1 1/2 inches.  Heat the oil to around 300 degrees F.  Use any sort of kitchen thermometer to measure it or you can test it by dropping tiny dollops of batter into the oil to see if it bubbles and fries.
  • When the oil is ready, drop 1 Tablespoon scoops of batter into the hot oil to fry.  With a spoon or spider, turn the pakora so that they brown on all sides.  Make sure that the pakora have space between each other while frying.  You may have to do a few batches.
  • When pakora are deep golden brown all over, pull them out of the oil and let them cool on a plate.
  • Serve warm or room temperature.  Enjoy!
Winter Squash Pakora inside

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