When I was growing up in India, the monsoons would make the sky really gloomy, and we’d have a hankering for a hot masala chai. My grandmother would make rava pakodas, a small fried snack to go along with the tea. To an Indian, there’s nothing like sitting out on the patio watching the rain, with a steaming hot cup of chai in one hand, and a plate of pakodas in the other.
What you need:
- 1 1⁄2 cups of rava (semolina)
- 1 1⁄2 tsps cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1⁄2 inch piece of ginger – finely chopped
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- A handful of chopped cashew nuts
- A pinch of asafoetida
- Finely chopped green chillies to taste
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
How to make it:
Mix the cumin seeds, semolina and salt, add the ginger, green chilli, buttermilk, water, curry leaves and cashews. Mix very well and let it stand for 15 minutes to thicken.
Heat the oil in a wok or pan to 375 F. While the oil is heating up, make small balls from the mixture. About 1 teaspoons worth of the mixture should suffice for each ball. Once the oil is hot, drop in a few balls at a time and fry them until they are golden brown. Take them out of the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Spice it up:
You could also add in chopped onions and coriander (cilantro) leaves to the mixture before frying. The onions give a wonderful texture while the cilantro leaves give additional flavour.