Kale Pakoras

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I know what you’re (probably) thinking.

That picture is not cookies. It is not a cake. It is certainly not brownies. It doesn’t have sugar, or chocolate, or butter in it!(!!)

I know, I’m sorry. But don’t leave yet! These are good. I was even skeptical myself–but I had to try and I had to share.

While in Asheville, I had some of the best, most interesting Indian cuisine at a restaurant called Chai Pani. It is in downtown Asheville and serves some killer Indian street food. One of the appetizers we had were these crispy, flavorful kale pakoras served with a sweet chutney made of who knows what. Dates? Mango? Agave nectar? I don’t know but I want to know!!!

So here is an attempt at a spin-off of the deliciousness I had a few weeks ago. With very few ingredients, this made for a quick snack to pull together. Everyone loves snacks!

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The breading part of these crispy kale chips is made with chickpea flour. I have never used chickpea flour, and was a touch nervous working with it. But bean flour can be good! I picked this bag up from my local health food store for less than $4.

Minus water, the batter is a simple mixture of this flour and a few key spices.

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In the upper left are cumin seeds, full of flavor and extremely aromatic. Below is turmeric, a common spice, probably in your pantry, found in Indian and other ethnic foods. To the right of the turmeric is a spice called garam masala, and after 7 seconds of research I found out it means “hot spices” essentially, and is a common spice in North Indian and South Asian cuisines! Hot! Spicy! It smells very similar to curry powder, to give you a better idea. And then for flavor, a little bit of salt.

These spices are whisked into our chickpea flour until evenly combined. Water is added until you the consistency is a little thinner than pancake batter.

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Now we dip! You don’t want the leaf sopping wet with the batter, but just enough so that there is a thin coating. It’s a good idea to shake each leaf and let rest on a piece of wax or parchment paper before frying.

In a high-sided frying pan, heat about a tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil- letting it get real hot before allowing the kale leaves to make an entrance. I fried each leaf about 1-2 minutes on each side. As long as you keep an eye on the leaf, you’ll see when the breading starts to sizzle and it’s ready to be flipped. Repeat process with the rest of your breaded kale chips, adding in an additional tablespoon of canola oil to the pan when needed.

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I decided to make a yogurt chutney with my kale pakoras. All the spices that were used in our batter, I dumped into about a cup of Greek yogurt. Cumin seeds, turmeric, garam masala, and salt–all to taste. Keep adding a little bit of each and keep tasting until it is to your liking.

These were a total hit in my household. Hi-fives and slaps on the back for days.

Again, I know this is healthy. And not cake. And KALE, for goodness sake. But I really do promise that a healthful dose of sugar and butter will be back tomorrow!  Just consider this a cleanse from the pan of mint buttercream brownies you (I) ate a few days ago. All in good time.

Snack on!


Recipe from mommyniri.com

1 bunch of kale

2 cups chickpea flour

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1 1/2 cups water

Rinse and pat dry 1 bunch of kale, ripping into individual leaves. In a large bowl, combine flour and spices, whisking until thoroughly combined. Add water to flour mixture until the consistency is a little thinner than pancake batter.

Dip each leaf in the batter, covering with a thin coat and letting rest on a sheet of wax paper while coating the rest.

In a high-sided frying pan, heat one tablespoon canola oil. Fry a few leaves at a time, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Repeat process, adding more canola oil as needed. Let pakoras drain on a plate covered with paper towels.

For yogurt chutney, combine 1 cup of Greek yogurt with spices to taste. I used the same spices that were used in the pakora batter, but feel free to get creative! Curry could be delicious in this. Or even honey to make it a sweet chutney!


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