The staple snack of India – Pakoras

What if it starts raining on an evening? What if I didn’t prepare the dosa batter on a holiday? What if there is no upma rava in my kitchen on a holiday? What if some guests turn up at my place on an evening when I don’t have much to serve them? Simple.. I will rush into my kitchen and return with a plate of piping hot aloo pakoras or onion bhajiyas ๐Ÿ™‚ , the savory fritters that are a very popular component of the Indian chaat.

Rich in calories, pakora is a deep fried snack available all across the country. Vegetables like onions, potatoes, spinach, cauliflower, raw plantain and green chillies are dipped in spicy besan (gram flour) batter and then are deep-fried. Pakoras are all-time favorite snacking option for Indians and perfect for a rainy day. These crispy treats are delicious when teamed up with a cup of hotย coffee or tea.

Majority of Indian population relishes vegetarian pakoras and bhajiyas like palak pakora, bhajiyas like palak pakora, pyaz bhajji, bread pakora, paneer pakora etc. But the trend to savor non-vegetarian options like chicken pakora, fish pakora is also on rise.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 – 20 minutes

Serves: 2

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Ingredients: Any one of the vegetables – Potato, Raw Plantain, Paneer, Capsicum; 1 cup Gram flour (besan); 2/3 cup of water; 1 tsp Asafetida, 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder; 1/2 tsp Red Chilly powder; 1/4 tsp Garam Masala; A pinch of Baking Soda or you can use Soda too; Salt to Taste and Oil to deep fry.

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, take the gram flour, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt, asafetida and garam masala. Add 2/3 cup of water and mix it into a smooth batter without any lumps. Peel off the potatoes or plantain and slice those thinly. Dip the slices in the batter evenly and gently place in the medium hot oil for frying in the pan. Turn over when one side is cooked partly; flip them and fry the pakoras till those are golden in color and crisp. Take them in a bowl covered with paper kitchen towel to remove the oil. Serve them hot with some mint chutney or tomato sauce.

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Aagayi Mein Khandala ;-)

Aey, Kya Bolti Tu
Aey, Kya Mein Bolun
Sun,
Suna,
Aati Kya Khandala
Kya,Karoon, Aake Mein Khandala,
Arey Ghoomenge Phirenge Nachenge Gaaenge
Aish Karenge Aur Kya

While the perfectionist of Bollywood Amir Khan asked Rani Mukherjee for an outing to Khandala, the Versatile actor of Bollywood Farhan Akhtar too the most beautiful Deepika to Khandala for a coffee! Not only Bollywood, but also the young super star of Tollywood (the Telugu film industry) Mahesh Babu chose the very same Khandala as home in his debut film! What else could be a more better introduction? Isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

13.11.2016:

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Lonavla and Khandala are two sister hill stations in Maharashtra (7-8 km apart), at an elevation of 653 km from sea level. Located at the top end of Bhor Ghat, Khandala is at the heart of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and a favorite weekend gateway. And if you remember, we just had a quick view of Lonavala and here we are at Khandala.ย The best viewpoints are Tiger’s Leap and Amrutanjan Point. And our first choice is the Tiger’s Leap. While some told that, that was the Tiger’s Leap, some called it the Monkey point. Whatever it might be, we are there and the salubrious air was soothing.

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One can get a beautiful panoramic view of Lonavala and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway cutting those mountains. The view is breath-taking. A quick photographic session and we moved towards the Waghjai Devi temple, a temple dedicated to the goddess Waghjai. The idol of the goddess is quite different from the other shrines which I had visited so far and it is said that the Navratri festival will be celebrated here with much pomp ๐Ÿ™‚ We sat there in the temple for a few minutes and started walking towards the back of it.

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There were few youngsters walking in front of us and we followed them. There we were, at the edge of the cliff with a valley infront of us and this is also the place where I saw the people’s obsession with selfies. All of a sudden, a youngster jumped on to a tree which is right there at the edge and was trying to get a selfie. He was absolutely careless about his own life and more careful of getting a perfect selfie! How ridiculous!! It’s totally alright to take selfies, but not at the cost of one’s own life. Isn’t it?

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After all this, we were starving. Remember, we just had only a vada-pav from the time we stepped in Lonavala. And luckily, there is a small restaurant and it was buzzing with people all around ordering for food and tea. We asked for some paneer pakoda, jeera rice and dahi (curd). A chilly evening and pakoda – what a combo! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚ Time to leave these beautiful hill-stations back. Our auto-wala dropped us at the Lonavala railway station from where we would be catching a train to Pune.

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17.00 hrs – Again, the demonetization effect, we preferred a second-class ticket for an express train so that we can save a few rupees which we can use for our onward journey. With the tickets in our hand, we are ready to get into whichever train comes next to Pune ๐Ÿ™‚