Monday is Holi the Hindu Spring festival in India. Holi is also know as the festival of color because during the celebration people throw paint at each other. There’s music and food and dancing during the celebration. It’s a wonderful time. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make it to the celebration (the New York celebration is serious) so I thought it might be nice to celebrate in our own way. So we are making pakoras. Pakoras are fritters with lots of Indian spices. One of our favorite types is gobi pakora or the cauliflower fritter. Gobi pakoras were served at last year’s celebration so it’s fitting that we make them for our mini Holi celebration.
You might have heard about the Holi festival or seen images of people covered in lots of color. Yes, lots and lots of color. It’s probably why it’s one of the mini’s favorite holidays to celebrate. But it’s more than just people throwing colored paint around. Holi is the Hindu spring festival celebrating the triumph of good. How wonderful is that?
Now that I know how to make these I realize I’ve been making something similar forever. The method for making vegetable pakoras is similar to the method for making latkes but with more spice and flour. The traditional recipe call for gram flour (chickpea) but I don’t keep that in my house so I’m using regular all purpose flour. Not using gram flour does change the texture of the fritter but it’s still delicious.
While we’re talking about substituting ingredients, I’m using cauliflower but you can use any vegetable you want. Julienne some zucchini, carrots, or potatoes. Anything. Mix potatoes and spinach if you’d like. This is a dish you can make your own. Enjoy and happy Holi.
Gobi Pakoras: Indian Cauliflower Fritters
Makes 12 – 15 fritters
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 head of cauliflower
- 2 teaspoons of oil
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/8 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- vegetable oil for frying
Cut cauliflower florets into strips.
Add cauliflower to a pot of boiling salted water.
Allow cauliflower to boil for at least 10 minutes. Then drain and season with sea salt and garlic powder.
In a large bowl mix all other spices with flour.
Add cauliflower, cilantro and oil to flour mixture. Mix everything together.
Add water a little at a time. The mixture will become thick batter.
Let mixture sit for 5 minutes. Begin to heat oil for frying.
Spoon a tablespoon of cauliflower mixture into pot of hot oil over medium heat.
Fry pakoras until golden brown (about 3 minutes).
Place on a paper towel or rack to drain.
And there you have it within 20 minutes a quick snack or before dinner appetizers for everyone.
Note: This dish can be baked. You’ll need less water and to bake at 425 for about 25 minutes.
This dish is typically served with a chutney but I also like it with a creamy chili mayo dip. It’s also perfect without dip.