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How to Make Oil Free Pakoras? Don’t Waste Cauliflower Stems SuperFood

It’s that time of the year, rains ruining your travel plans and messing up your laundry duties. We all need the warmth and feel good factor of bhajiyas and pakoras with chai but with all the goodness of no oil of-course. So I’ve come up with a few recipes to do just that.

Cauliflower stem and leaf pakora:

It’s the monsoon season, vegetable prices are soaring and one can’t afford to throw away any edible portion of vegetables especially when they are so expensive. Did you know the actual raw yield of a head of cauliflower is just about 55%. If you purchase 1 kg cauliflower for 63 rupees which is the prevailing rate. You are essentially dumping 28 rupees worth of perfectly edible cauliflower in the bin which is wrong on so many levels.

Making this cauliflower stem pakoras is incredibly simple and is sure to brighten up a gloomy monsoon evening. Best enjoyed with a cup of piping hot chai.

 

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Cauliflower stem pakora
Course Snacks, Vegetarian
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Snacks, Vegetarian
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash the cauliflower, destem the florets and keep aside. We will not be using the florets. You may use the florets for your regular sabji or any other purpose. Once cut you can store the florets immersed in water for upto 24 hrs in the refrigerator.
  2. Roughly chop up the stems, leaves and the stalks. In rare cases the cauliflower comes whole along with the larger leaves that completely envelope it. Make sure you don’t include these as we want to make sure that the pakoras don’t have too much leafy content which will leach out water and not allow them to crisp up adequately.
  3. Once this is done put all of these contents in a blender and blitz the mixture till it is finely chopped up but not to a paste. Add some salt to the mixture, mix and keep it aside. The salt is added for seasoning ofcourse but also to ensure that the leafy portion lets of some of the excess moisture. Moisture being the enemy of crispyness.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the batter and keep it aside. Keep water for boiling. Squeeze the blended cauliflower and drain the excess water. Now add it to the batter, check the consistency as mentioned in the ingredient list.
  5. Once the water is boiling, add the batter in small dolops either with a spoon or your hands. The batter will be sticky so keep a bowl of water handy so that you can quickly rinse your fingers before dropping the next pakora. The boiling process is to make sure that the contents of the pakora are cooked and it gives structure for us to be able to spread out on a baking tray. Poach for about 2-3 mins, drain and cool in the refrigerator. Cooling in the refrigerator will help in the drying out of the surface of the pakoras and help in the browning process in the oven.
  6. Grease a baking tray with 1 tsp of oil and spread it. Preheat the oven to 200*C, add the pakoras to the tray and bake. After about 2 mins, increase the temperature to max, around 250*C. You might have to turn them around slightly to achieve even browning.
  7. After about 5-7 mins it should be crispy, golden brown and ready. Serve hot with ketchup or sauce of your choice.
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How to make oil free Pakoras? Waterchestnut Pakoras (Singhada bhajiya)

Waterchestnuts are in season, with the rains come these decoratively arranged green jewels with a mellow ivory interior adorn the streets with numerous vendors selling them. Before we delve into making these beautiful waterchestnut pakoras, a bit about this seasonal super food.

Price point:

At 6o rupees for half a kg they aren’t exactly cheap. But their versatility and nutritional value outweighs this factor. It is a food that is consumed especially in times of fasting since it is a non-grain source.  It can also be converted into a flour (Singhada) and used much like regular flour.

Nutritive Highlights:

  • Potassium: Whats more, it is high in potassium and low in sodium, so it helps in the electrolyte balance in the body and especially beneficial for people with high blood pressure
  • Healthy Snack:Its incredibly helpful with satiety levels. 1 cup of water-chestnuts will only set you back 120 calories and is hence the perfect snack with instant energy.

  • Dietary copper: A lesser known fact is that it is rich in source of dietary copper which is required in organ and tissue functions not to mention stable oxygenation of blood.

 

Texture:

Its crunchy texture will turn to a mellow slightly firm potato like texture after cooking. What better way to enjoy them as pakoras in these rains other than maybe popping them raw.

Print Recipe
Waterchestnut Pakoras (Singhada bhajiya)
Cuisine Healthy, Indian
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Healthy, Indian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel the waterchestnuts.
  2. Hand chop the waterchestnuts into small cubes. Avoid blitzing in the mixer as after the steaming process the waterchestnuts may turn mushy.
  3. Prepare the pakora batter. Check the ingredient lists for the consistency of the batter.
  4. Fold the waterchestnuts into the batter. Get a steamer running. You could boil the pakoras but after my first recipe with the cauliflower stems, I found that steaming them is a lot easier and they look a lot like golden cookies.
  5. After steaming them for about 2 mins. Grease a baking tray with 1 tsp of oil and place the steamed dollops.
  6. Bake it at 180* for 5-7 mins to begin with and then increase the temperature to max for another 2-3 min till the pakoras brown and crisp up.
  7. Serve hot with a sauce of your choice. Ideally some ketchup or coriander mint chutney.
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