How To Make Summat Out Of Nowt #16 Foraged Spring Pakoras
There are a lot of treats out there on our doorsteps, the three in this recipe are easy to find. Why not try these delicious vegan dandelion, nettle, pea and onion pakoras!
2 Handfuls of dandelion leaves
3-5 Dandelion flowers
2 Handfuls of young nettle tips
1 Large red onion sliced
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas
8 tbsp of Gram (chickpea) flour of plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp black onion seeds
1 tbsp of ground turmeric
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of garam masala
pinch of chilli powder
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of vinegar
Reserved nettle liquid
Wash your nettles in a colander, then place in a pan and boil for 3-5 mins to cook out the sting. Once cooked, drain, reserving the liquid then dip in cold water and drain off again squeezing away any excess liquid.
Wash the dandelions and flower heads. dry off the leaves with a press of a clean tea towel and leave the flower heads upside down for any excess liquid to run off.
Peel and slice one red or brown onion into 1cm slices and separate the slices. Chop the dandelions and nettles roughly inch pieces is just fine.
Combine the leaves, onions and add the peas and flower head petals to the dish giving a good stir to combine.
In a large frying pan or wok heat some cooking oil, you need enough for deep frying, around 4 inch in depth.
In a large bowl add the spices, flour, salt, pepper and bicarbonate of soda, stir with a whisk to combine. Then add the vinegar and start adding the reserved nettle liquid until it resembles a batter. Your looking for the consistency of pouring cream.
Add the leaves, peas and onion mixture to the batter and stir to combine.
Once the oil is hot add a few spoonful’s of the batter mixture to the pan and cook for around 1-2 minutes turning if necessary to ensure even cooking.
Once the pakoras are golden brown and crisp, remove with a spatula and transfer to a plate with some kitchen towel on for the excess oil to drain off.
Serve with a mint riata or mango chutney and fresh salad or alongside your favourite curry.