Pakoda / Pakora means an Indian version of fritters.
The Tamil translation is 'Munthiri pakoda'.The recipe may vary between state to state (India), but this is how I recollect the Chennai's cashew pakora. With a lot of mint leaves, cilantro and crispy cashews....nothing can beat that rich snack along with evening tea.
Again some memories on this nut and the pakoda.
Cashew nuts are considered expensive and generally reserved for the festivals and gifts. No wonder it remains a rich food for most of us. I remember my mom preparing this special snack during Deepavali or for our Birthdays. After marriage I felt the importance of making it at home , when I saw my hubby buying this snack frequently. From then on, these homemade cashew pakodas get a special reservation in my to-do list:)
I have used halved cashews here. But generally people use the whole nuts.
Other ingredients for the pakora.
Cashew nut - 250 gm (2 cups)
red onion (thinly sliced lengthwise) - 1 1/2 cup
(adding onion is optional)
ginger - 3 tbsp (finely chopped)
green chilly - 5 (split into two)
curry leaf - 2 sprigs
mint leaf - 1 cup
cilantro leaves - 1/2 cup
besan flour - 3/4 cup
rice flour - 3 tbsp
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
red chilly powder - 1 tsp
garam masal powder - 1/2 tsp
salt - to taste (3/4 tsp approx)
oil - to deep fry (300 ml)
(corn oil or any lighter oil)
Chop the onion, mint leaf, curry leaf,ginger, cilantro, chillies as indicated.
Put the besan flour, rice flour, baking soda,salt, red chilly powder, garam masal powder in a mixing bowl and mix well.
(optional: Add 2 tbsp of hot oil to increase the crispiness of the pakora).
Add the cashews, chopped items to the flour and start kneading without adding water.
If needed , just add 2 tbsp water and mix well. The mixture should not be watery, but thick and moist. The water from the leaves and onion will be just enough.
Excess water makes the pakora oily and soggy.
Heat enough oil in a wok and wait till it reaches the smoking point. Then reduce the flame to medium. Put some fritter batter as if we are sprinkling the cashew mixture in the hot oil (they should fall as individual pieces). Take care not to overlap one another. Flip after it gets fried in one side. Take out, drain oil.
Like wise fry the cashew pakoda in small batches.
If you wish to store the pakora, then let them cool completely and store them in air tight containers. As we have added onion, this will be safer to use for 2 days only. So avoid the onions and other leaves (ginger, chillies are ok) to ensure longevity of the cashew pakoda.
Serve as snack or starter.
The above said quantity approximately yields 3/4 kg cashew pakoda (almost thrice that of the cashew added).