Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spring Onion Flower Pakodas

Spring onion pakodas
Onion flower pakodas
I usually start my day with a cup of tea and then head outside to water my plants. Like all gardeners, I have never been able to stick to simply watering. There are leaves that need to be picked up, there's always a bit of weeding to be done and then there's the myriad garden wildlife whose moments one MUST capture as you might never get them again. So it's the trowel, the hose, the watering can, the phone, and the camera that make up my watering paraphernalia.:)
Spring onion blooms in a wooden container
I knew my spring onions were better this year than on other years. I had noticed earlier that they were about to bloom but this morning I some of them looking like this one in the picture. And suddenly I remembered my mother making pakodas out of the several blooms in our garden when my siblings and I were very young. That must have been in the 70s. It was THAT long ago. But I called up my mother and asked here because it did feel like it was in a dream. Cooking the onion blooms, I mean. She said, Goodness, you remember that? That was ages ago and I haven't made these pakodas since when... 
When you talk about instances from the past all the years come back in fleeting moments. But when you lose your loved ones, every memory comes with the faces of the dead and gone. Well I have been reliving many precious moments today....
The blooms are so pretty that I ended up taking more photos than required.
 Spring onion pakodas
Pakodas are fritters that are made with different kinds of vegetables. The simplest ones will have onions, chillies and a few spices. The batter is made from chickpea flour with a little bit of soda bicarbonate added to it. A mix of chopped vegetables are mixed into the batter and deep fried. Pakodas are crunchy on the outside and soft inside. It's usually eaten with tomato sauce or green chutney. This is the most common and versatile snack. And goes so well with a cup of tea!

To serve 2 you'll need:
10-12 spring onion flowers
2 green chillies, chopped fine
A quarter tsp mixed spice powder (curry powder will work fine)
3-4 heaped tbs besan/chickpea flour
1 tsp rice flour (for the extra crunch
A pinch of soda bicarbonate
Salt to taste
A quarter tsp chilli powder (optional)
A pinch of turmeric powder (if you want a richer colour)
Oil to fry
Water to mix the batter
Spring onion pakodas

Remove the stalks and the papery stuff at the base of the clusters. Wash and leave to drain.
In a bowl, add the chickpea flour and the rice flour.
Add the chillies, the spice powder, salt, soda bicarbonate, and chilli powder, if using.
Pour the water in very small amounts till you get a thickish batter.
Heat the oil in a pan. When it becomes hot, dip each flower in the batter and fry till golden brown.
It will take only 2-3 minutes for each one to be done. The whole lot can be fried in a couple of batches.
Drain on absorbent paper. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with tomato sauce or green chutney.
The remaining batter can be used for more pakodas. The stalks can be chopped up, added to the batter and fried. That is if you do not intend to use them for another recipe.
These were wonderful with a milder taste than what you would have got out of the bulb. But the best part was using the blooms from my garden. There are some things that you will not get until you them.:)
Pakodas are best eaten hot! The spices can always be changed along with the vegetables that you add to the batter. My favourite pakodas happen to be a mix of eggplant and cabbage chopped fine with plenty of onions added to the batter.
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