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Vegetable Pakoda

Classic Indian finger food that no one can resist, these easy vegetable pakoras are so simple to make.

250g/½ lb gram flour

50g/2oz self-raising flour

½ tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp tandoori masala powder (optional), available from specialist Asian supermarkets

1 tbsp lemon juice

300g/10½oz potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

300g/10½oz onions, finely chopped

3 spring onions, trimmed, finely chopped

6-8 spinach leaves, finely chopped

handful fresh coriander leaves

1 tsp chopped green chilli

1 tsp salt

sunflower oil, for deep frying

For the stuffing

1. Sift the gram flour and the self-raising flour into a bowl. Add the chilli powder, garam masala and tandoori masala powder, if using, and stir well to combine.

2. Add the lemon juice, then gradually add enough water to form a smooth batter that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

3. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the sunflower oil to the batter mixture and mix well to coat the potatoes and onions.

4. Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

5. When the oil is hot, carefully lower tablespoons of the batter mixture in batches into the oil and fry for 5-6 minutes, or until the pakoras are crisp and golden-brown and the vegetables have cooked through. Serve immediately.