Pakoras are the quintessential fritters of India, and after a long day of fasting make for a substantial and delicious starter.
makes 4 servings | 1 1/2 cups chutney
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt, divided
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp ajwain
1 tsp black pepper
2-3 cups frying oil (canola, sunflower or peanut)
1 egg, lightly whisked
Mint chutney (recipe follows)
1 green apple, cored and diced
1 serrano pepper, whole (optional)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1 tsp salt
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
1 bunch cilantro, bottom 3 inches removed
Trim the fat from the chicken breasts and marinate them in yogurt, garlic, chili powder turmeric and 1 tsp salt. Set aside in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours or overnight.
Toss the chickpea flour with ajwain, 1 tsp salt and black pepper in a shallow container.
Heat the oil in a shallow frying pan until it reaches 325-350 degrees.
Slice the chicken breasts each into 6-8 long slices. Pour the egg over the chicken strips to evenly coat.
Dredge each chicken piece in the chicpea mixture until coated evenly and gently place in the hot oil. Repeat with the remaining slices. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or until lightly brown and firm. Serve immediately with mint chutney.
To make the mint chutney: in a blender, combine apple, serrano, yogurt, peanuts, salt and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add the mint leaves in two to three parts, followed by the cilantro and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.