These Indian chicken dumplings are deliciously spicy and addictive. Packed with flavourful chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and red pepper, they make a wonderful appetizer. Served with basmati rice and chana masala, they are the highlight of an India-inspired meal.
Chicken & Vegetable Pakoras with Yogurt Mint Chutney
Make chicken marinade by pureeing the yogurt, jalapeño, onion, ginger, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice in the blender.
Cut chicken thighs into 4-6 pieces each and place in plastic zip lock bag. Pour in marinade, seal and use your hands to cover pieces with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove chicken pieces and place on plate. Discard marinade.
Make the batter by combining chick pea flour (besan), cold water, salt, chili powder, ground cumin and turmeric. Stir until smooth and lumps are dissolved. The batter thickens somewhat as it sits. The texture should be that of a thick pancake batter. If not, add a little more besan or water as needed.
Heat oil in pot or deep fryer. Dip chicken pieces into the batter, one by one, and fry in hot oil until cooked through and golden brown – about 4 to 5 minutes. Fry the first piece solo to make sure the oil is hot enough and the batter is thick enough. The chicken pakoras should start to brown and float to the surface. Fry remaining pakoras and drain on paper towel. Place on a tray and keep warm in a 300°F (150°C) oven.
Prepare the vegetable fritters by adding the corn, peppers, mushrooms and sweet potato to the chick pea batter. Stir to combine. Alternatively, you can divide the batter and omit the sweet potato from the vegetable fritter above and coat and fry them separately. With a big spoon remove vegetables with some batter and add to the hot oil and fry until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel.
Serve with mint chutney.
Yogurt Mint Chutney
To make the chutney, combine the yogurt, sugar, minced mint and salt in a small bowl. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve with the warm pakoras.
This gluten-free recipe makes about 35-40 pieces of pakoras. The batter calls for chickpea flour (baisen) which you can buy at an Indian specialty market or many health food and bulk stores. Many ethnic foods can also be purchased online. The chili powder in Indian recipes is hot – like cayenne powder. You can even use the Mexican style chili powder if you prefer a less spicy version.
Serve with the simple mint chutney or your favourite Indian style condiments. Pakoras are also good with tomato ketchup or even barbecue sauce.
The nutrient analysis does not include the oil for the deep frying.