recipes

Crispy spicy Finchley-style pakoras

This is a delicious and tasty recipe if you do not have much stuff about. It is basically just vegertables and such like fried in a crispy batter. It makes good party snacks or something to go with a curry, or you can take it to work and gobble it up in front of your co-workers’ surprised faces!

It is refreshingly easy to make as it is just vegertables, flour and water.

Ingrediments

  1. Flour (gram flour is best but any sort will do if you have it, it is not an exam)
  2. Some intresting vegertables, you can use anything for this, I have used onions, carrots and green peppers. Also some scrumptious prawns!
  3. Water
  4. Cooking oil
  5. Some spices ekcetera
  6. That is it basically

How to make

  1. Finely chop the vegertables and gradually mix in flour into a big bowl until it starts to get sticky and gunky.

  2. Add a bit of water and mix in, adding more flour if necessary to get a nice sticky consistency but not too wet.

  3. Add spices, again you can use the power of the imagination here, I like some ground cumin, pepper, chilli powder, fenugreek and so on. Mind you I have a super well stocked Indian food cupboard, which is much better than yours. Do not attempt to imitate keithlard as he is indestructible.

  4. Into smoking hot oil drop a few small spoonfuls of the mixture. If it is too big spoonfuls, it will not cook properly, but too small and it is just like eating fried dust.

  5. The oil needs to be kept as hot as possible while cooking, ideally you will have a wok or other big pan with a lid. If not then just turn the heat up and think warm thoughts.

  6. Deep fry for a couple of minutes or until crispy and golden. The most difficult thing is thinking of things to do while you are waiting for the pakoras to cook. I like to pass the time by eating some of the ones I have already made.

  7. Drain on kitchen paper and get on with frying the next lot. It takes a while in fact as you can only do so many at a time, but the trick is not to get impatient and try to do a big batch all at once. If you do they just go all sad and soggy, like wet football fans whose team has lost.

There is nothing more to it really except a bit of practice to get them just right. Luckily that is the kind of hard work that I do not mind putting in. Most things in life are better if you do them slowly and lovingly, and this is no exception.

keithlard-style Tandoori Shrimp

This is a delicious and authentic Indian snack invented by a pasty faced unshaven white man from North London, ie viz. me although I did copy it off the back of some tandoori shrimp I found in Tescos.

What you will need to make the food

  • Shrimp (or prawns, it is all the same really, like terrorists and freedom fighters)
  • Tandoori masala powder
  • Chilli powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Flour to coat

The procedure to follow in preparing these ingrediments

  1. Wet the prawns with a spoon or two of water.
  2. Coat with the flour and spices and mix well.
  3. Drop spoonfuls into very hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Yum yum.

You will need to drink a lot of beer with this. It does not matter if it is special Indian beer, eg Tiger, Cobra or Kingfisher, or another beer named after a dangerous predatory animal, but it is better if it is.

It's Finchley Fish! (now with intresting chips)

Stuff to buy at the shop where you buy food

  • Some fish
  • Lemons
  • Flour
  • Parsnips
  • Salt and pepper ekcetera

What to do with the stuff

  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Cut the parsnips into chips and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
  3. Bake in oven for 30m or until nearly crispy.
  4. Heat some oil in big pan.
  5. Drench fish in lemon juice, salt, pepper ekcetera.
  6. Roll around in some flour (do not laugh it is obvious what I meant).
  7. Fry.
  8. Serve with delicious vegertable chips you prepared earlier.