In Garhwali homes, urad ki pakoris are traditionally made to mark any celebratory occasion. They are first offered to the gods and then served for breakfast on the day of the festival or celebration, accompanied by sweet gulgule, another Garhwali favourite. Typically, urad ki pakoris are eaten with til ki chutney (a winter speciality) or heeng ka achaar. They are made in large batches and leftovers from breakfast are snacked on through the day.
(Plus overnight soaking for dal)
- 1 cup unskinned split urad dal (black gram)
- 2 tbsp sesame and cumin seeds (mixed in equal parts)
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp asafoetida
- 2-3 cloves
- 1-inch piece of ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1 green chilli
- Salt to taste
- A bowl of water
- Oil for frying
- Soak the urad dal overnight. In the morning, strain it well, and wash thoroughly, rubbing rigorously to remove as much skin as possible and swirling them out.
- Place washed dal in a blender with ginger, green chilli, cumin, cloves and asafoetida powder. Pulse the mixture into a grainy paste using the minimum amount of water required.
- Transfer the dal paste to a bowl. Use a fork to beat well and aerate the mixture.
- Test whether the batter is light enough by dropping a tiny amount into a bowl of water – it should float up.
- Heat oil in which to fry the pakoris.
- The authentic way of shaping the pakoris is to place a spoonful of the batter on a greased palm or piece of plastic, and shape into a flat disc with a hole in the centre. Slide this pakori carefully into the hot oil.
- Alternatively, you can just drop spoonsful of batter into the hot oil.
- Before releasing the pakoris into the oil, dredge them lightly in the sesame and cumin mix.
- When the pakoris are done, remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper.
- Serve hot.