Settling into fall has brought on the cold weather munchies…and what better way to please the stomach that tugs away at the strings of your brain telling you to eat, than fried pakoras! These munchy little bites would also be perfect to keep all those lurking Thanksgiving snackers satisfied until the feast begins!
The funky & delicious romanesco broccoli seems to make these pakoras extra fun to pop into your mouth, while the chocolate in the tamarind-raisin chutney satisfies the urge for rich indulgence in such cool weather conditions. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Don’t forget this is the time to remember that which makes you thankful. Life is too short.
Here’s what you need:
Tamarind-Raisin Chocolate Sauce
2 guajillo chili (seeded & broken into pieces)
¼ c. tamarind pulp (seedless)
¼ c. bittersweet chocolate
1 TB. butter
¾ c. dark raisins
3 TB. honey
1 c. water
½ tea. powdered ginger
¼ tea. of each
ground black pepper
1 ½ tea. salt
1 head romanesco broccoli (broken into florets)
1-1/3 c. chickpea four
½ tea. turmeric
1 tea. salt
¼ c. shredded dried coconut (un-sweetened)
2 serrano chili (minced)
1 ½ tea. ghee (clarified butter)
1 TB. lime juice
½ c. water
2 tea. coriander seed (crushed)
¼ c. peanuts (chopped)
fry oil (like peanut, safflower oil or sunflower oil)
2 TB. cilantro (roughly chopped, garnish)
coarse sea salt (garnish)
For the sauce:
1) In a bowl combine tamarind and chili and cover with 1 c. boiling water. Let steep for ½ hour.
2) While the tamarind and chili are steeping, melt the butter in a pan and fry the raisins until they puff and lightly toast. Set aside.
3) Melt the chocolate in the microwave until it just starts to melt, about a minute. Do not let boil. Set aside.
4) In a blender combine the steeped tamarind and chili, raisins, melted chocolate, honey, spices and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little more water if necessary. It should be of a pouring consistency.
5) Strain sauce through a fine-mesh strainer. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For the pakoras:
1) Steam or boil broccoli just until tender. You want the broccoli to have a little bit of a bite to it still, so keep an eye on it. It can easily turn to mush. Drain and set on a plate with a paper towel to dry in the fridge.
2) In a food processor combine chickpea flour, coconut, chili, turmeric, ghee, lime juice, salt and water. Process until fully combined.
3) Pulse in peanuts and coriander. The consistency should be
thick enough to nicely coat each broccoli floret. If the batter is too thick, thin out with a little more water until it reaches desired consistency.
4) Combine the blanched broccoli in a large bowl and fold in the batter. Be sure to fully coat each piece.
5) Pour about 3-4’’ of oil into a deep pan. Heat oil on med-high heat. Once oil it hot, carefully and one by one, drop each broccoli floret into the fry oil flipping each piece over halfway through to evenly brown each side of the pakora. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt.
6) Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot with tamarind-raisin chocolate sauce.