Getting kids to eat anything can be a huge challenge. Never mind spice-laden cuisine like the one in our home. That hasn’t seemed to faze our little one who is almost a year old. She loves eating pieces of roti (Indian flatbread) dipped into chana masala, enjoys rice and beans and even eats her morning eggs scrambled with a bit of sautéed onion.
Never one to shy away from exposing my daughter to a new culinary experience I wanted to see if she would eat one of our favorite Indian dishes: pakora. These golden fritters are India’s answer to Japanese tempura, albeit with a batter made from chickpea flour.
Little B devoured these morsels. I hope your baby does too! Here’s the recipe but I have one disclaimer: it calls for green chili but the baby won’t taste much of it once all the ingredients are mixed. If desired, omit the chilies.
I think what made this pakora recipe so pleasing to Little B is that I used grated zucchini as a base. You’ll need to grate the zucchini, salt it and let it sit for 30 minutes before draining and adding to the recipe.
serves a family of 6
3 zucchini, grated (salted and drained)
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 potato, sliced thinly
1 cup of chickpea flour
2 inches of ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 or 2 green chilies, depending of your desired level of heat
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
1/2 teaspoon of dried fenugreek
1/4 cup of cilantro leaves, chopped
Place the chickpea flour in a large bowl and slowly which in the water until it forms a thick batter. Grind the ginger, garlic and spices to form a paste. Add to the chickpea batter. Salt to taste.
Place the drained zucchini, onions and potatoes in the chickpea batter. Drop by the spoonful onto hot oil (make sure the temperature is 350F) and fry until golden, turning once. Drain over paper towels and let cool before serving to baby.
image via Seba Della y Sole Bossio/Flickr