Sunday, July 20, 2008

Recipe : Prawn Bajjes (Pakodas/Fritters)

Rushina from A perfect bite... is having a Hot and Spicy Pakora contest! This is my first entry for the same. :)

Coming from a Coastal town, Prawn bajjes were an evening treat we relished. They weren't made very often because of the high price of prawns & financial prudence dictated that they were better suited for a curry that would go a longer way especially with potatoes and green mangoes added to the mix.

My sister is visiting and I had promised her some prawn pakodas when she arrived, plus Rushina's contest had me frying some up this evening. It may be monsoon and pakoda time in Coastal India, but its peak summer in Egypt and I don't have airconditioning in my kitchen. Hence this turned out to be evening dinner (I only cook once the sun sets)

500gms shelled prawns (any size) cleaned & deveined
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
half a lemon (or 1 teaspoon vinegar)
1 medium size onion
4-5 green chillies
10-14 sprigs corriander (cilantro) leaves
250gms besan (chickpea flour) - moderate the quantity as needed.
1 tsp finely chopped ginger (or 1/2 tsp ginger paste)
pinch of soda bicarbonate
salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Clean and devein the prawns thoroughly. Coat them with the turmeric powder and juice from half a lemon and keep for a while. This helps get rid of the strong fishy smell. Add some salt to the prawns to flavour them.

Small sized prawns are best for this dish. I have used larger ones for ease of cleaning. My mum sometimes chops up the prawns if they are too large so the pakodas can be made in smaller bite-sized pieces.

Finely chop the onions, chillies, ginger and coriander leaves. You can use less or more chillies depending on your love for spice.

In the picture above, you can see that my stock of Indian chillies has started to dehydrate, so I was forced to use some of the larger less spicy chillies that are available in Egypt.

Mix all these chopped ingredients into the prawns and mix well.

Slowly add spoons of besan to the prawn mixture and moderate the water to get a batter of dropping consistency.
Add a pinch of soda bicarb to give the pakodas a bit of crispness.
You can add some salt at this stage too, in case you haven't added too much salt to the prawns.

Heat oil in a pan (at least 1 inch of oil in the pan). Since the oil is going to be constantly heated at a high temperature, use an oil which does not go bad on long exposure to high heat.
Corn oil or sunflower oil are good options.

Form the mixture into balls with your hand. (For those not familiar with this Indian technique, you can use the 2 spoons technique used for choux pastry: Take a tablespoon of the mixture, and using another tablespoons, spoon it from one to the other to tighten the ingredients and drop it in the hot oil)
Fry them for a minute or so before turning them over.
Fry on the other side for a minute so till they turn deep brown.
Take them out of the pan with a slotted spoon and drain them.

Serve hot with a spicy and sour green chutney.
Green mango Chutney
Mint Chutney
Coriander Chutney
are all good options.

You can even serve them with tomato sauce, but they won't taste as good.

Serves 3 hungry people :)
Makes about 40 pakodas

Tip: Sometimes there may be a bit of batter and chopped non-prawn stuff left in your vessel. Cut a slice of bread diagonally in half. Dip the bread into that batter and deep fry in the same oil.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

World's hottest curry title

From Yahoo News

LONDON (AFP) - A London restaurant was serving up Thursday what it hopes will be confirmed as the world's hottest curry, with even the chef admitting it is "too extreme" to keep on the menu.

Vivek Singh at The Cinnamon Club grabbed some of the hottest chilli peppers known to man to create the Bollywood Burner, a lamb-based dish with a fierce kick.

The curry is so hot that diners are asked to sign a disclaimer confirming they are aware of the risks involved before daring to eat it.

The Bollywood Burner is being submitted to Guinness World Records for verification of its status as the planet's hottest curry. The verdict should be announced within three weeks.

Student Toby Steele, 19, from Brighton on the southern English coast, was the first to taste the Bollywood Burner.

"I'm usually a korma man and I suspect this is the hottest thing I've ever tasted," he said.

"It was nice actually, you could really taste the spices.

"The initial taste isn't that hot but now, a couple of minutes later, I feel a bit floaty and light-headed."

The dish, inspired by cuisine from Hyderabad in southern India, includes the Naga and its seeds -- confirmed by Guinness World Records as the hottest chilli pepper in the world.

On the Scoville scale of piquancy, the Naga scores 855,000 -- more than 100 times hotter than the jalapeno, which measures 8,000 on the scale.

"We found a list of the 10 hottest chillies and decided to try and use some of them. I think it will be the hottest curry in the world," said Singh.

The curry will not be a regular feature on the menu, he added.

Lianne la Borde of the Daily Star newspaper said: "It is the hottest I have ever tasted. At first, it tasted delicious. Then my mouth caught fire. It even made me feel dizzy."

Metro newspaper's James Ellis said it was "innocuous enough at the first bite," but one helping "saw my taste buds melt in fury at the inferno in my mouth.

"Meanwhile, my heartbeat, which started at a resting pace of 68 beats per minute, zoomed up to 128 -- the equivalent of doing aerobic exercise."


Related Posts with Thumbnails