Our local pub The Crown in Hastings recently got voted third best pub in the country. It’s easily the most pleasant environments for drinking in the whole of Hastings and they also do some seriously decent vegan grub. They usually have at least two vegan main options on their already rather concise menu and the quality is always next level.
This recipe is inspired by one of their latest options. Their dish was a celebration of cauliflower in all its forms and included one of the most delicious cauliflower pakoras I’ve ever tasted. I had to have a go at making my version at home and since I’m obsessed with romanesco, this recipe was the result!
These little dudes do really well served alongside a curry or as a nice communal starter. Make sure you’ve got some mango chutney and lime pickle at the ready for dunking!
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 inch piece of ginger (peeled and grated finely)
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
130 g chickpea/gram flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 head of romanesco cauliflower (cut into medium florets)
vegetable oil for frying
Make the Batter
Mix all the batter ingredients together in a large bowl with 255ml water. Whisk for a few minutes until no lumps of flour remain.
Fry the Romanesco
Place a medium, high-sided saucepan over a medium/low heat and fill with a good few cm of oil.
Drop the romanesco into the batter and mix gently to ensure all the cauliflower is completely coated.
Test the oil temperature by dropping a 1/4 tsp batter into the pan. It should bubble and bob to the surface, browning slowly. If the oil is ready, pick up around 3-4 florets of romanseco using a fork and carefully place them into the oil and fry for around a minute or until nicely browned. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, ensure the pakora are flipped during their cooking so they are brown all over.
Remove the pakora from the pan and place onto a few layers of kitchen paper to drain. Place another batch of 4 florets into the pan and fry. Repeat until all the florets are cooked.
Serve alongside a curry or with a selection of indian chutneys