More Weekend Cooking

I found chickpea flour, it is known as besan.  When I saw it I
guessed, and bought it, confirming my guess later on the internet. 

today I tried making a batter for onion bhaji.  It works, but
definitely makes fritters rather than balls. I think that a chickpea
dough might be rather gluggy, to use a technical term we chefs bandy
about.   I tried a different method for the bhaji this time; added a bit
more chilli to the batter and then dipped and fried slices of raw onion.  That was
nice, but different. 

I also used the besan to
make tapioca chip bhaji, by cooking tapioca roots, splitting them and
removing the string, then cutting into chips which I then dipped into
batter and fried. They turned out quite good, though not as nice as the
ones the vendors sell. Lots yet to learn.  Served with mango chutney
and lime chutney. Should have used tamarind sauce, but it is all gone.  

am currently frying with vanaspati, a vegetable oil ghee substitute. I
could not find ghee when I was shopping for it, so bought this to try. 
Vanaspati looks like ghee, and tastes
  I must get some ghee for comparison.  I noticed in the shops that there seems to be plenty of ghee around at present.  A new shipment must have
arrived.  It is all from NZ, I noticed. 

There was a Diwali special of prawns at MH.
 A 2KG box, usually nearly $50, was only $22. However I resisted the
temptation, despite wanting to make 
pakova; marinated prawns in besan batter.  
$21 towards getting my girls over for Christmas.     Anyway,  I
have had enough fried food for another week, and a 2Kg box of prawns is a big
temptation to just sit down and eat…   

Besan Batter – First try

1 cup besan (chickpea or gram flour)
( I used a rice-cooker measuring cup) 

½ cup flour  (wanted to use rice
flour but I couldn’t find any)
½  tsp salt (should have used a little more)

a good pinch of baking soda 
1 tsp chilli powder  ( use more)
1 tsp tumeric powder 
1 tsp garam masala 
1 tsp coriander powder

1 tblsp of vanasparti (could use
ghee, or melted butter, or even oil)

Whisk together with approx 1-2 cups
cold water – sufficient to make a thinnish creamy batter

Did not, but should have, add ½ tsp
whole cumin seeds (optional)

Besan batter, if spilt and left on the bench, is damnably difficult to remove and clean up.  I do believe it would make an excellent substitute ablative layer on the space shuttle.  Be aware. Don’t let it dry out.

About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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