Today’s recipe was a result of an experiment I tried doing at my parent’s place. Pakoras have been an inseparable part of the Indian cuisine, and they can be made with infinite combinations of dals, flours, veggies and spices. While it has been preferred fried, I did a bit of research on how the ratios change when we attempt to air-fry or bake them. For me, it was a complete game-changer if we work on minute details on getting the textures right. It cannot be the same amount of flour with a dash of baking powder to do the magic in your oven. In fact with millets, the technique completely changes.
I paired them with Sindhi style tamarind salsa and homemade bael sherbet. You can refer to the video attached. Try this quick recipe and be monsoon-ready with mindful indulgence.
NO-OIL RAGI PAKORAS
Ingredients (serves 4)
· 5 tbsp sprouted ragi flour (finger millet)
· 2 tsp barnyard millet flour (substitute with any rice flour)
· 1 medium onion, finely-chopped
· 1 medium potato, finely-chopped
· ½ cup finely-chopped bell peppers
· ¼ cup finely-chopped coriander-mint leaves
· Rock salt to taste
· 1 tsp pakora masala
1. In a deep bowl, mix all veggies and add pakora masala. Marinate them and place a lid above the veggies tightly. Leave it for good 20 minutes. I did this because I wanted to minimise the use of water. The natural juices from the veggies would do the job. This helps in getting the desired texture of pakoras when not frying.
2. After 20 minutes, add salt and both millet flours. Mix it all nicely. Please note, instead of pakora batter, you have to make a dough here. Add 2-3 tsp water only if required.
3. Preheat and season an iron griddle (tawa). Make lemon size patties of this dough and start roasting them on a medium flame. Make sure you cook each patty from both sides.
4. Once done, allow it to cool. Remember the Sindhi sanna pakora recipe I had shared? Check it out here.
5. After cooling, nicely cut each patty in 2-3 parts. You don’t have to be precise.
6. Now you can bake them or air-fry them. I air-fried them in a preheated air fryer at 180-degree Celsius for 10-15 minutes. If you wish to bake them, keep the temperature around 200-degree Celsius and flip once or twice for even baking.
7. Serve hot with Sindhi-style tamarind salsa. Refer to the video attached.
Sprouted Ragi is a good source of prebiotic, good for diabetics, women facing menstrual issues. It aids in weight loss and it is a rich source of calcium, iron and good fiber. It is always recommended you make your millet flours at home.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups.)