For the Achar Chutney
2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Indian coriander seeds, crushed
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 red onions, diced fine
5 jalapenos, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons amchur (mango powder)
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish, if desired
For the Batter
2 cups besan (chick pea flour), sifted
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander seed, toasted and crushed
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
¾ cup water
2 quarts vegetable oil for deep
For the Filling
¾ cup green onion, white part only, finely chopped
1 cup carrot, shredded
1 cup celery root, shredded
Salt to taste
Spider or long handled strainer
Small ice cream scoops, tablespoon size
For the Achar Chutney
Menu Notes: Start the Chutney first so it has enough time to caramelize. Besan is also called gram flour or chick pea flour.
Warm the ghee or oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat then add the black cumin, mustard, coriander and black pepper. Heat until the whole spices become fragrant, about one minute. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook on medium to medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should be well caramelized. Add the sugar, cinnamon and amchur then cook for one minute. Add the vinegar and water and raise the heat to medium high. Cook until the liquid reduces almost completely, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat then garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
For the Pakoras
Preheat frying oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, add the shredded root vegetables and chopped green onion. A box grater works great for the shredding! Generously salt the vegetables with kosher salt, mix and let rest for a few minutes so it pulls some vegetable water out. Set aside. Into a separate large bowl, sift the besan (chick pea flour) then add the rest of the batter ingredients and mix well. Squeeze out and discard any excess water from the shredded vegetables then mix into the batter. Scoop tablespoon sized amounts of batter into the hot oil making sure not to add too many so that you reduce the oil temperature, maybe 10-15 at a time. Cook for about 5 minutes per batch or until they are deep golden in color. Cut one open to make sure it’s fully cooked inside. Make sure your oil stays at a steady 375 degrees in between batches.
Serve warm pakoras with a bowl of chutney for dipping! Garnish with green onion tops or cilantro.