Grateful

by Naila Sheikh


These past few days the rain has been pouring down on us. Feelings of nostalgia; these warm, fuzzy moments that I recall from my childhood leave me grateful and in deep thoughts on the journey of life and where it has brought us. I am very grateful to the Almighty for all His blessings and as I count my blessings each and every day, it also serves as a constant reminder that life is so fragile, so precious. Alhamdulillah, with the Grace of God, there is no achievement or success that can be accomplished by just oneself - it's truly His incredible and generous doing of Good upon all of us.

 

In Pakistani culture, it's common to indulge in 'Pakoray' (fritters) when rain, cold & cloudy weather make the perfect recipe for these tasteful delights with a cup of chai! I usually opt for a quick sandwich in the mid afternoon, but the weather was calling for homemade pakoray. The secret to making awesome pakoray lies in the batter. I use the basic recipe, but also modify it to my own taste buds (and moods!). On this day, I thought of adding kale to my pakoray as kale is a leafy ingredients that can be easily mixed without adding too much of a dramatic change in taste & texture. I have to say, I was very happy with the result, especially my 'healthy conscience' whose been avoiding fried snacks lately. Oh, you protein-packed Kale, how magnificent you are! ;)

My friend, who lives just a block away from me, raved about the added kale and the right amount of spice in the pakoray. I was happy to deliver her a batch with a small note to "stay warm"!

 

Kale Aaloo Pakoray

Ingredients:

(serves 2-3 people)

- 1 leaf of Kale, thinly cut.  (peel the leaf off of the hard stem)

- Some cilantro, thinly cut.

- 2 tbsp of Achar, Pickle Shan Masala  --> it has the right amount of tangy spice with all the added masalas. Easy peasy!

- 2 tbsp of Sweet N Sour Sauce

- 3 tbsp of Imli ki Chutney -- "Tamarind Sauce"

- Half a cup of Yogurt

- Half a cup of Water

- 1.5 cup of Besan - "Gram Flour"

- 2 tsp of Laal Mirch -- "Red Chilli Powder": You can substitute by adding 2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes.

- 1 half onion - thinly sliced.

- 1 small potato - thinly sliced.

- 1 cup of (canola) oil for frying.

- You can add a pinch of Baking Soda for fluffiness.

 

Directions:

- Take a bowl and add all the ingredients.

- Mix well.

- In the meanwhile, pour oil into your frying pan on high heat.

- Grab a tablespoon and cover the entire ladle of tablespoon with batter. Slowly, pour/slide the batter off your spoon in the frying pan in small rounded portions. It doesn't have to look perfect. That's the beauty of frying pakoray. :)

- Bring out a plate covered in 1 kitchen towel for absorbing the oil.

- Fry your pakoray on medium heat so that the potatoes are fully tender. Flip sides as they're crispy brown on top & bottom.

- At last, enjoy your pakoray with chutney (I prefer ketchup) and your cup of chai in gloomy, rainy weather. Happy Holidays!

 

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