Friday, February 1, 2013

Ragi Pakoras / Vada

I was talking to my friend, who is from Andhra Pradesh, and she asked me what I was doing, I told her, I was making ragi pakoras and she told me she has never heard of it. She requested me the recipe, so  I thought I will share this recipe.I was in the idea that every south Indian was familiar with this healthy snack.Ragi pakora is a staple in south Indian cuisine. Every one in Tamil Nadu would have grown up eating them. They are a great low calorie snack.They are even sold as packaged snacks in stores. Every one has their own name for it, my dad calls them as ragi vadai, my husband calls them as pakora. however, they are the same recipes. I remember my mother cooking them for my dad on every other rainy day  and this is what I do for my husband. He loves to have them on a cold day with a cup of hot tea, plus they are sooo easy to make.

For those who are not familiar with ragi flour, ragi is nothing but finger millet powder. Indians refer to finger millet as ragi and India is the biggest cultivator of them. You can find ragi flour in any Indian store. Ragi is very healthy ingredient and experts recommend them as a regular part of the normal diet.They are high in calcium and low in calorie. My husband is a fitness junkie and that's why he loves them.

Ragi flour is pale in color but once you add water to them, they turn into a deep dark grayish color. I remember not liking them when i was a kid, bcos they were 'dark colored snacks', but once i had them i felt hmmm.. not so bad and it grew on me.They are chewy in the center and crunchy on the corners and you can enjoy them with just ketchup or coconut chutney if you have or just with  your tea. Now I enjoy them as much as my dad and my husband.

Dough consistency

I hope you enjoy it to.

Ragi Pakoras   Serves 3

Ragi flour - 1 cup
Onion chopped - 1 small
Green chili chopped - 4
Curry leaf chopped - 1 stem (optional)
Water - 1  cup or as needed to make the batter
Chana dal - 1 tspn
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Heat oil in wok
In a mixing bowl add ragi flour, chopped onion,chopped green chilies,chana dal and the curry leaf and salt according to taste.
Add water slowly and start mixing them, the consistency should be not too dry nor too watery.
Start adding little dough to the hot oil ,using a spoon or just with ur hands in free form and let them cook until they turn into deep dark brown or for arnd 3 mins.Usually the cooking time depends on the size of the pakoras. Try one to find out how many minutes it takes and then you are ready to make amazing pakoras.

If you want the pakoras to be chewy, the dough should be in the consistency of a short crust pastry or your roti dough.
If you want it crispy add more water but be careful, do not make it runny.
You can temper mustard seeds and chana dal and add it to the mixture.Feel free to do what you are familiar with.

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