by Gita Sharma & Alan Whykes
Pakoras are a tasty snack for any time of day or as an accompaniment to a meal. We had a free demonstration of this recipe and tasters to give away at Taste of the World at Moonah, Hobart, on 30 March 2014. Many thanks to Gita for doing a great job: seemed like the audience very much appreciated the 60 or so pakoras we served up.
2 medium potatoes
1 cup besan flour
1 tsp salt
1 pinch baking powder
½ tsp curry or chilli powder (optional)
500ml oil (for frying)
Interestingly, there's an enormous variety of wonderful vegan snacks and dishes from around the globe. I like to explore these cuisines, especially those of places where I have lived such as Indonesia, Italy, Germany and Russia. Specialty ethnic cuisine classes are usually titled Ethnovegan on my workshops page.
Feel like snacking on something Javanese? No, not Japanese! Over a number of years on various trips to Indonesia I became quite familiar with Javanese cuisine, which although consumed by 100 million people or so on a daily basis is precious little known outside its heartland. I also spent 5 weeks living as an exchange student in Semarang, which in particular has a reputation as the home of wingko babat.
Wingko babat is a coconut-flavoured rice cake that is very easy to make. Why not have a go yourself? Enjoy them warm just out of the oven or cold for a day or two afterwards.
* Ingredient tip - you can get glutinous rice flour from Asian specialty grocery stores. Don't substitute it because it gives these sweets a characteristic gluey texture.
400ml canned coconut milk, & a dash of water
200g brown sugar
200g glutinous rice flour
150g dessicated coconut
1. Tip the coconut milk into a mixing bowl. Use a dash of water to rinse the can and add to the bowl as well. Meanwhile preheat an oven to 190C.
2. Measure the sugar into the mixing bowl. Stir vigorously until mostly dissolved.
3. Measure the glutinous rice flour and the coconut into the mixing bowl. Stir until well combined: the mixture should be thick like pancake batter.
4. Spoon the batter into a greased mini-muffin tray or into paper cups. Bake for 20 mins or until the wingko babat are beginning to turn golden brown.
5. Turn out on to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Consume warm or cold. These bite-sized sweets are very good with strong black coffee.
Time: 25 mins.
Yield: 30 small cakes.
- add a teaspoon of vanilla essence to the batter. Or a pinch of salt. Some people think this helps lift the flavour.
- pour the batter into a shallow tray and bake it as a single mass, then cut it into diamonds or squares. Don't make it more than 2cm thick.
- Green it: add a teaspoon of pandan essence! This works both as a flavour and a colour, highly recommended. Pandan essence is also available from Asian specialty stores. I used to harvest pandan leaves from a tree grown in my back yard in Darwin but unfortunately Moonah's a bit cold for pandan :-/
We blog about once a month on vegan and food topics in and around Hobart.