Nadiya's Family Favourites: Carrot Cake Pakoras with Cream Cheese Dip
Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly like carrot cake more, Nadiya deep fried it and dusted it with sugar
"This is one those crazy ideas I get in the middle of the night. One of those ideas I’m so impatient to try that it draws me out of the comfort of my warm bed and down to the kitchen to start testing it right away, no matter what time it is! Imagine a carrot cake, with carrots, spices, nuts and raisins, but deep-fried, hot and dusted with icing sugar. All served with a cool sweet cream cheese dip. Now tell me that isn’t worth the lack of sleep!" - Nadiya Hussain
Carrot Cake Pakoras with Cream Cheese Dip
For the cream cheese:
- 100g full-fat cream cheese
- 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of mixed spice
For the pakoras:
- 1.5–2 litres vegetable oil
- 300g carrots (3–4 medium ones), peeled and grated
- 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 50g raisins
- 120g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 20g caster sugar
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- Up to 1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting
These pakoras are best eaten fresh and warm, so I like to make the dip first so that it’s ready and waiting. Mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fully combined, with no lumps.
Mix in the icing sugar, maple syrup and salt, then transfer into a serving bowl. Drizzle over a squirt of maple syrup and sprinkle with a pinch of mixed spice. Cover the bowl and pop into the fridge.
Put a medium pan (one that has a lid, in case you need to put the lid on in an emergency) on a high heat and add about 1.5 litres of oil. Depending on the size of the pan, the oil needs to be halfway up.
Have a baking tray ready, lined with kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
To start the pakoras, put the carrots, walnuts and raisins into a mixing bowl. Mix well.
Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, mixed spice and salt, and stir into the carrot mixture so everything is coated. Add the beaten eggs and keep mixing until you have a thick batter.
Test that the oil is hot enough by adding a tiny drop of the batter to the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top, the oil is ready for frying. (If you’re one of the few people who owns a cooking thermometer, this would be 170°C.) Turn the heat down to medium.
Using two teaspoons, one to pick up and the other to push out, gently drop teaspoons of the mixture into the oil. Work in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry for a few minutes — these only take about 4–5 minutes. Move them around, turning them occasionally so they are an even colour. They should be golden brown on the outside.
Take out of the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper-covered tray.
Fry more batches until all the batter is used up. Dust with icing sugar and serve with the dip. Hot fried cake, cool dip, and none of the waiting. Pakoras have taken on a whole new meaning.
Yield: Makes 20 pakoras
This recipe originally appeared on Nadiya's Family Favourites - Series 1. Stream it now on CBC Gem.