For this month’s Indian Cooking Challenge, Valli picked Patnam Pakodi. Patnam means City in Telugu and so this pakoda literally means ‘city fritter’ hence the title ‘city style onion fritter’ 🙂
This recipe is from Padma’s grandmother and it was once a popular snack in Tamil Nadu. The recipe that Padma shared used rice flour as the base along with a little bit of besan or chickpea flour. But unfortunately I ran of rice flour but had some brown rice flour in the fridge. I didn’t want to take a risk with making the pakodis with that, so I googled and found a slightly different version of the same patnam pakodi using besan or chickpea flour on Vahchef site.
This recipe is very similar to onion pakora or ullipaya pakodi, the only exception being that the pakodis are shaped as balls instead of random shapes. They are golden and crispy on the outside and are soft inside. Addition of grated ginger gives a nice flavor to this snack. They are perfect with a cup of tes/ chai on a rainy afternoon like today 🙂
So here’s my version of patnam pakodi made with chickpea flour.
Soak cashews in water for 10~15 minutes. Drain and keep ready.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the onions, green chilies, curry leaves and cilantro. Mix well and set aside for a few minutes.
In another mixing bowl, combine besan, rice flour, baking powder and salt. Add the ghee and rub it into the flour, either by using your fingers or a fork, until the mixture becomes crumbly.
Add the onions, soaked cashews to the besan mixture and mix well. Add water, very little at a time, until the mixture comes together into a stiff dough.
Heat oil for deep frying.
Meanwhile, divide the pakoda dough into small lemon size balls and roll them gently between the palms. Don't put too much pressure while rolling -- that will make the pakoda dense, so be gently when making the pakoda.
When the oil is hot enough, slide a few pakoda and fry them on medium flame until golden on all sides.
Remove onto a paper lined plate and serve hot with ketchup.