Being a fan of British-Indian restaurant food, I cling like a limpet to the utterly essential book, The Curry Secret. While it gets me 99% of the recipes I want, a notable exception is Chicken Pakoras. These chunks of juicy, tender, gently spiced breast meat, wrapped in golden, fluffy, beautifully seasoned batter, are one of my favorite occasional treats when we head to our local curry house. Read on for my successful jazz-cooking recipe, and a 3d photograph of the food itself!
Recipe for Mini Chicken Pakoras
Makes: Loads. Enough to serve as nibbles for 8.
Cooking Time: 1.5 to 2hr marinading. 30 minutes of batch frying.
- 2lb or 900g chicken breast.
- Oil for deep frying
- 1 cup of yogurt (plain, Greek works fine)
- 2tbs lemon juice
- 4tsp garlic paste
- 2tsp ginger paste
- 2tsp cayenne pepper
- 2tsp garam masala
- 2tsp cumin
- 1/2tsp coriander powder
- 1/2tsp salt
- 7oz or 200g chickpea flour (also known as besan flour, or garbanzo bean flour)
- 1 1/2tsp salt
- 1/2tsp garam masala
- 1/2tsp tumeric
- 1/2tsp black pepper
- 1/2tsp ancho chilli (you could use paprika)
- 1/4tsp baking soda
- Approx 15 tbs water
- Chop up the chicken breast into tiny little chunks – 1/2″ or 1cm cubed.
- Mix up the marinade in a large measuring jug or bowl. Ensure it’s blended well.
- Marinade the chicken for anywhere between an hour, to two hours.
- Mix up the batter in another bowl.
- Add water to the batter by the tablespoon until it reaches a thick consistency – like brick laying mortar, or a cross between mayonnaise and hummus.
- Using either a deep fat fryer or a tall sided frying pan, fill with 2″ or 5cm of oil. Heat this to a medium-hot temperature (approx 360F/180C, or 6/1o on the electric hob)
- Rinse the chicken pieces of their marinade.
- Mix the chicken into the batter, and let them get nice and covered.
- Using your fingers, gently ease pieces of battered chicken into the oil from close to the surface.
- They should bubble and froth, resurfacing after only a few seconds. Half fill the surface of your frying container (a frying pan can do a much bigger batch).
- Fry until medium brown – about 3 minutes.
- Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.
- SERVE IMMEDIATELY! (I know this is usually an ignorable step in other recipies, but really – these things absorb moisture from the air like silica gel on steroids – anything approaching 2 hrs and they’re past their best).
Tasty! I surprised myself with how successful these were. This is the version from my second attempt – my first being a ‘valuable learning experience’ involving leaving the basket in a deep fat fryer (don’t do that – fry with no basket, trust me!) and much larger pieces of chicken. These are ideal nibble size, remain juicy, and have a lot of surface area for both absorbing marinade and collecting batter.
3d Food Photography:
Want to see them a little better? Have a 3DS or other means of viewing 3d photographs in MDO format? I’ve uploaded a 3d photograph of the mini chicken pakoras to my Google docs folder and you can find it here.
Just download, copy to your 3ds SD card, and you too can ogle tasty, juicy, spiced chicken pakoras in full (and astonishing) 3d. Try not to drool on your screen!