Cashew Nut Pakoras

Cashew & Peanut Butter Pakoras

Experimentation was the key ingredient on the menu for the soiree the Maharani had planned. So with a box of spice goodies courtesy of Natco Foods, supporting Find Your Feet’s Curry for Change campaign I decided on a lucky dip approach. With eyes clamped shut, I slipped my fingers into the box and rummaged around for a few a moments before producing a bag of cashew nuts dusted in cumin and black pepper. After crunching through a palm-full, I hesitated to put them on them on the menu, I mean I could demolish the packet in 3 minutes flat and who’d be the wiser? A higher cause prevailed and I wrestled with temptation as I thought about how to incorporate them into the evening.

Taking inspiration from their snack status I settled on a re-versioned streetfood classic, the pakora. Inspired by Mini-Rajah, who was demanding yet another piece of toast slathered with crunchy peanut butter, I purloined an extra tablespoon for the pakora batter. Several attempts later and with the assistance of Mini-Rajah as my chief taste tester the result was a spiced light crispy nutty fritter with a smidge of gooey peanut butter served with a sweet tamarind chutney. I wondered whether our guests would be as enthusiastic. Half hoping they’d decline another platter I reluctantly suggested a ‘few more’..quick as a panto response they replied in unison “are you nuts?”

Cashew & Peanut Butter Pakoras

How To Make Cashew & Peanut Butter Pakoras

Serves up to 6

  • 170g bag of Natco cumin and black pepper cashew nuts, roughly crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 50g of melted butter or ghee
  • 100g gram flour (sifted)
  • 4 tbs rice flour (sifted)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 green finger chilli, finely chopped
  • 2cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbs crunchy peanut butter
  • 20 curry leaves (optional but great to use)
  • 3 tbs coriander leaves, chopped
  • 100ml water
  • Vegetable oil – enough to fry approx 4-5cm depth in a wok

In a large bowl, whisk the butter and bicarbonate of soda until assimilated and mix in the flours, cayenne pepper, chilli, ginger curry leaves and coriander. Slowly add the water and mix furiously to avoid a lumpy batter, the mix should form a gloopy texture clinging on to the back of a wooden spoon oozily dripping. Now add the cashew nuts and peanut butter and mix thoroughly. If it’s too sticky add a little more water.

In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil over a high temperature, test it’s ready by dripping a tiny bit of the mix into the pan and see if it crispens quicky. Carefully drop in spoonfuls of the cashew and peanut butter pakora into the wok and gently turn cooking for 2-3 minutes until gorgeously golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove, drain on kitchen paper.

Serve with a sweet chutney such as tamarind or even thin strawberry jam...what, never heard of peanut butter and ‘jello’!?

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