Food

Shelly's Corn Pakoras with Sabz Chutney

A slightly sweet pakora with a garlicky and fiery green chutney.

A slightly sweet pakora with a garlicky and fiery green chutney

These South Asian-style fritters, made with roasted gram flour, have a crisp exterior with a pillowy filling, and are fragranced with gently crushed cumin seeds. The best part is that you can use a pantry staple — corn — to bring these pakoras together fairly quickly. Enjoy them hot and steaming, dipped into this spicy, verdant chutney.

Shelly’s Corn Pakoras with Sabz Chutney

The sabz chutney can be prepared a day ahead, and stored in a jar in the refrigerator.

*Besan or roasted gram flour can be found at specialty South Asian grocery stores.

Ingredients

Sabz Chutney:

  • 1 cup packed cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
  • 1 cup packed mint (leaves only)
  • 1 Thai bird’s eye green chili, destemmed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt, or more, to taste
  • ⅓ cup cold water

Corn Pakoras:

  • 1 cup canned corn, drained, liquid discarded
  • 1 Thai bird’s eye green chili, destemmed and finely chopped
  • ½ cup coriander, chopped (leaves and tender stems)
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, finely minced
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds, gently crushed
  • ½ tsp sea salt, or more, to taste
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups besan (roasted gram flour)*
  • 1 + ¼ cup cold water, divided
  • 3 quarts neutral oil for frying (grapeseed or sunflower)

Preparation

Sabz Chutney:

Wash herbs and pat dry. Pack all of the ingredients, except the water, in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped. When the mixture looks stiff, slowly add the water in a stream with the motor running, until the chutney is fluid and retains some texture.

Corn Pakoras:

In a large mixing bowl combine the corn, chili, coriander, onion, cumin seeds, salt, baking powder, baking soda and besan. Mix to combine. Add one cup of cold water and stir till it transforms into a thick batter. If the batter is too stiff, thin it out with one tablespoon of water at a time.

Heat three inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or a Dutch oven on high heat, to 350F degrees. Test the oil: a tiny drop of batter should sizzle and float to the top. Working in batches, carefully drop the batter, teaspoon by teaspoon into the oil (using the aid of a second teaspoon to nudge the batter off). Fry, agitating and turning the pakoras occasionally, for about  for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until they turn golden-brown and are cooked through. Adjust the heat up or down, as necessary, to maintain a temperature of 350F - 360F degrees. Remove cooked pakoras from the oil and transfer them to a large platter lined with paper towels.

Taste and season with more sea salt. Enjoy with sabz chutney.

Yield: Makes 4-6 servings


Shayma Owaise Saadat is a Food Writer and Chef. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow her culinary journey at www.ShaymaSaadat.com or on Instagram.

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