We were neighbours for two years residing on the same floor. When we met on the lift we would smile at each other. The lift doesn’t take too long to reach the ground floor from the third, so we never really went beyond a quick hello. Then one day Neha’s husband gave us sweets. He had just become a proud father of a beautiful baby girl and his happiness showed. How did I not notice that Neha was pregnant? Was I too wrapped up in my own joys of knowing about my pregnancy or was I just conforming to the city attitude-‘its none of my business’. Nonetheless, her daughter and, mine who arrived a year later did what we made no efforts to do- brought us close. Neha and I became friends.
We meet every evening when we taking our daughters outdoors to play. Together we share their daily activities, at times with despair and at others with joy, mostly laughing and celebrating life. And there is no life without food. In due course of time we befriended other neighbours with kids. Together we hosted many kiddie parties and had very good times. This blog post is about our recent pakora party. Pakoras, the Indian version of fritters is an all time most enjoyed snack by all age groups. However, there is something about torrential rains which makes one long for pakoras. Holed up in Neha’s house because of the rains, what better way to engage a bunch of hungry kids than putting plates of hot pakoras in front of them? Needless to say we all had a rocking time.
Ingredients for potato fritters
5 medium size potatoes chopped into thin slices
1 cup gram flour or besan
2 cups water
Red chilli powder ½ tea spoon
Salt to taste
I watched Neha cut the potatoes into thin round slices. Then she made a thin paste batter by mixing the gram flur with water. She mixed it thoroughly to remove any lumps and added salt to taste and the chilli powder. Next, she added the potato slices to this mixture and mix it well. All this time she had been heating the oil in a deep frying wok. When she felt that the oil was hot enough she dropped in a tiny drop of the batter. The acid test is, if the oil is hot enough then the batter will be cooked immediately and float up. Another tip, use your hand when you are making pakoras. I saw her dunk each of the pieces properly in the batter so that it is nicely coated and then gently release into oil one by one. And woh ho, soon the potato slices turn golden brown. After taking them out, she puts them on paper napkins to absorb the excess oil and barely manages to keep them away from greedy hands. The kids and adults were already reaching out.
|These are some bread slices coated in the same batter and fried the same way|