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Vegan Cauliflower Pakora

Guest Chef Recipe

Vegan Cauliflower Pakora
Courtesy of The Omni Collective
gluten free
wheat free
1 spoon difficulty rating

Serves: 4

Vegan Cauliflower Pakora
We've always found pakora incredibly versatile - they're a really easy but interesting way to use up leftover vegetables and can be adapted to use whatever herbs and spices you have at home. These cauliflower ones however, always seem to be a huge success; we put them on our menu at The Yard and immediately they were everyone's favourite, even getting a mention in the Observer. They're a delicious way to impress family and friends on mother's day or over Easter, and feel the perfect combination between deliciously decadent and fairly simple.
 

Ingredients: 

  • ½ – 1 whole cauliflower (roughly chop into small florets)
  • 1 red onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 handful of coriander (roughly chopped)
  • 4 tsp of cumin
  • 2 tsp of garam masala
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 cup of sparkling water
  • 1 cup of gram flour
  • 5 tsp salt (roughly)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Rapeseed oil

For the sauce 

  • Tamarind extract
  • Coconut soya yoghurt
  • The juice of half a lemon

Method: 

  1. First you want to heat up your oil in the deepest saucepan you can find (if you have a deep fat fryer then that's great but it's definitely not essential!).
  2. Whilst it is heating up, roughly chop your cauliflower into small-medium florets, then finely slice your onion. Place these into a mixing bowl, along with the roughly chopped coriander and ensure that all three components are evenly mixed.
  3. Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon tumeric and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Once again, you want to ensure that the spices are mixed evenly throughout.
  4. Set this bowl aside whilst you work on the batter by mixing the gram flour with the sparkling water. The consistency ought to be relatively thick, however feel free to judge it by eye. If it is too loose, the pakora will have a hard time staying together so we always start with this and then test out one pakora once the oil is hot to see if it stays together. The batter is also where most of the flavour comes from so add the rest of your spices and 3 teaspoons of salt. Mix these in and then (once the oil's hot) with a dessertspoon, scoop up some of the cauliflower mixture and drop it into the batter. Scoop it back up with the spoon and slide it off into the hot oil. If it doesn't stay together, then add a little bit more gram flour into the batter. If it does, leave it cooking until the batter appears crispy and goes golden in colour – this is usually about 3 minutes or so. Give it a taste and adjust the spices to your tongue. Keep doing this until you're satisfied with how it tastes.
  5. Once satisfied, you’re ready to cook the rest of the mixture, using the spooning technique into the oil. We usually make 3-4 pakora at a time so be careful not to overfill the saucepan as they can get stuck together.
  6. Once cooked, leave them to rest on some kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil, whilst you make the sauce.
  7. In a bowl, mix in 3 teaspoons tamarind with half a pot of coconut soya yoghurt. Squeeze in your lemon juice, mix together and give it a taste. You may want a little more or less tamarind depending on your preference, so feel free to adjust the amounts accordingly. Enjoy!

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