There is something comforting about winter and these crisp and savory bites. Pakoras are the traditional monsoon snack, a perfect complement to the rainy weather. And they fare even better on cold evenings when there is snow. They work well with almost all the winter greens I've tried, but collards have a roughness that produces a crispy texture when fried.
1 red onion
2 cups finely chopped collard greens
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup grated aged cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (besan)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups neutral oil, for frying
Step 1Cut the onion in half lengthwise, slice it thinly, then place it in a mixing bowl.
Step 2Add in the collard greens, chili powder, thyme, cumin seeds, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
Step 3Then stir in the cheddar cheese and chickpea flour, mixing until everything is evenly combined.
Step 4Add enough water to allow the ingredients to bind, but don't add too much: You do not want a watery consistency. It should be somewhat loose and just moist enough to hold together. Stir in the cilantro.
Step 5In a saucepan over medium, heat the oil for 3 minutes. The temperature of the oil is important to ensure a well-crisped pakora without burning or undercooking.
Step 6Gradually add the batter, one heaping teaspoon at a time. Work in batches of about 6 to 8 pakoras, depending on the size of your saucepan. It is important not to crowd the pan.
Step 7Fry over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until the pakoras are crisp on one side.
Step 8Turn the pakoras over and cook until the other side is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels before serving hot.