Any edible flour can be made into a batter, into which a variety of goodies can be dipped in and deep fried. This is the logic behind all the fritters, North Indian pakoras, Japanese tempuras, American hush puppies, South Indian bajji, North Indian bhajias, South Indian bondas, Japanese kakiage, South Indian pakodas, French beignets., Italian frittas and all such recipes, which exist in virtually every cuisine.
Different cuisines use different flours to make the batter. Column 1 lists some of them
- Gram flour forms the base for most North India Indian pakoras which are served with a spicy chutney.
- Wheat flour is the base for Japanese Tempuras. Whole-wheat / All purpose flour is mixed with equal amount of ice cold water and mixed briefly to make a light Tempura batter , which gives a light and crunchy texture. Eggs can be mixed in this batter. Almost all veggies, seafood, meats can be dipped into this batter and fried. Tempuras are served with a dipping sauce.
- Dry flour , usually gram flour, is used in south Indian Pakodas ( chiefly onion, spinach, cabbage). The water content in the veggies makes the flour cling to them. These are eaten plain as a snack.
- Yellow corn meal batter is used in southern states of America to cook up Corn fritters / Hush Puppies . These are served with maple syrup / honey.
- Finger millet flour is used to cook up Ragi pakoras popular in Tamilnadu.
- Rice flour is used to cook up Almojabanas, a Puerto Rican recipe.
- Rava (cream of wheat) mixed with yogurt can be used to cook up a crunchy fritter.
- Any edible flour can be used to make a batter. Some all purpose flour is usually mixed in so that the batter made from flours which have less gluten can cling to the stuff being fried.
A range of flavouring agents listed in column 2 can be mixed in with the batter to cook up scores of variations. Some fritters like the Tempura use little or no flavouring.
A variety of goodies listed in column 3 can be dipped into the batter and deep fried. There are no fixed rules about the goodies & batter combination. Experiment with your favourite goodies!
Rushina, whose blog is on my most admired list, calls for aPakora competition and was nice enough to request an one page pakora cookbook. I really enjoyed doing this one. This also goes to Srilekha's EFM - Savouries & Shanti's Lovely Winter Recipes.