Using the harvest Part 1- Pakora

Gardener:Somerset Sue

Date:31 Jan 2023

Blog Type:Vegetables, Recipes

This is not the preserving part of the harvest, but more the "trying to use in more imaginative ways" part of using our vgetables at the moment.

Right now something that is probably feeling  little neglected is our row of silverbeet. While we are feasting on salads - lettuce, tomatoes, spring onions, cucumber, capsicum, gherkins, chives, beetroot and beans... poor old silverbeet (one of our fave winter crops) is just growing away in the background, probably feeling somewhat unloved. But no!

On Sunday we had a chicken curry which consisted of some of our home grown onions, store bought chicken, store bought rice, curry spices, a few home grown tomatoes and not much else. The leftover curry I made into pies.

Tonight we had the first of the pies with homemade pakoras featuring our own frozen peas, fresh silverbeet, homegrown onion, grated kumara, ginger, garlic and dried chilli from our last years crop.

They were delicious and there is a secret to getting them super crunchy and crisp. First the recipe:

1/2 cup chickpea/besan flour

1/4 cup cornflour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

3/4 tsp salt

1 onion finely diced

1 tblsp ginger finely chopped

1/2 cup grate kumara

1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas

1/2 cup prepared silver beet (prepared as below)

I wash around 8 good sized leaves of silverbeet carefully and chop finely. I then boil it for 5 minutes and strain it through a colander.

I squeeze out as much of the moisture as I can (once it is cool) and then pop into a frying pan with a dash of olive oil, a tsp garlic and a tsp of chopped dried chilli (or more if you like hot). I stir fry it until it looks quite dry and then leave it to cool.

1. Whisk the besan/chickpea flour with the cornflour, baking powder, cumin seeds and powder, coriander powder and salt in a bowl. Whisk in about 1/3 cup of cold water (or a little more) to make a smooth batter-like paste.

2. Add all of your vegies including the cooled silverbeet mixture and mix together gently.

3. Heat some vegetable or canola oil in a deep pan or wok until it is almost smoking and then deep fry teaspoonfuls ( 4 or 5 at a time) of the mixture until lightly golden. remove and put in a pan on paper towels. You can then press these down slightly until they look like small discs. Cook them all and then leave until you are almost ready to eat.

4. Cook the pakora again in hot oil just before you eat - they will be so crisp and delicious. I serve them with mint chopped up in fresh yoghurt.

This recipe can be adapted to a whole range of vegetables... cauli, broccolli, capsicum, grated potato, carrot and more. I hope you like it.

PS: This photo shows the pakora before the final cook in oil... they become even more golden and delicious after the last step

Using the harvest Part 1- Pakora