Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Group run! and pakora

My running group reconvened this morning for our first workout in at least six weeks. It was so good to be out there with my speedy girls again. With them, I can forget (or at least shove aside) any feelings of tiredness and laziness. They also make it easier to run in lovely 99.99% humidity, which was certainly the case today. They push me - maybe not intentionally, but they do. I want to keep up with them, and as a result, I've become a faster and more efficient runner.

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The other night I decided to try making the vegan, gluten-free veggie pakora that my friend in Washington introduced me to. Granted, she didn't actually give me a recipe, so I improvised based on memory and a very limited knowledge of Indian cuisine.

First I cut up cauliflower, carrots, sweet potato, red potatoes, zucchini, and onion.

In a separate bowl, I mashed up a can of chickpeas; added cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper, a little dill, and a tbsp or so of hot sauce; dumped in some garbanzo bean-based GF flour (I had Bob's Red Mill on hand, but I think pretty much any fine flour would work); and added water until the mixture had the consistency of gloopy mud. 

Remember making mudpies? The mixture should feel/look sort of like that. Maybe a tad bit more watery. But it should definitely be a thick-ish batter, because otherwise your fried veggies will look sad and naked (I know because I ruined the first batch with a watery batter).

I poured canola oil into a small saucepan so that it was ~2 inches deep and heated it on medium-high. When the oil was hot, I carefully plopped the batter-covered veggies into the pan and let them sizzle away for ~5-10 minutes, until each piece was goldeny-brown.

Using a slatted spoon, I placed each piece onto a brown paper bag to soak up excess oil. That part isn't pretty.

(I'm not a food photographer, in case you couldn't tell.)

I served the pakora over brown rice to give the faint illusion of healthiness:

The cauliflower, potatoes, and carrots worked really well in this recipe. The zucchini - not so much. Next time, I think I'll add eggplant to the mix.

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