Crispy Flora Pakora

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This recipe was originally inspired by Tempura Vegetables, I thought it would be fun to try it with Dandelion and Primrose leaves and flowers but as I don’t buy eggs I had to look for a vegan recipe and they were all too fiddly for my liking. 
I just wanted a very simple batter, which made me think of Onion Bhaji’s, which I love making because they are so easy and so delicious! 

Experimental

Now I had the perfect batter but thinking about Bhaji’s had given me an idea, and I decided to try using my abundance of Three-Cornered Leek leaves to create a wild version…

It wasn’t entirely a success, possibly because my batter was quite thin and the leaves didn’t quite stick together as intended. They sort of drifted apart and became little crunchy sticks, they were tasty but more like an onion flavoured crisp than a bhaji.

However, the next time I tried this recipe, I had loads of TCL flowers to try instead of the leaves and they turned out beautifully! 

What’s The Difference Between A Bhaji And A Pakora?

Good Question… I have no idea! 
Ok, I do have some idea because I googled it but there seem to be a lot of different answers, including that it’s ingredient specific, that one has spices added and the other doesn’t or that it’s a regional difference. If you have a better idea please let me know in the comments below. I’ve decided to go with Pakora, mainly because I liked the sound of it.

Battering Flowers

It does sound a little aggressive, doesn’t it? I must admit it did feel slightly wrong to be treating the delicate Primrose in such a manner but I had only just become aware of their edibility and was keen to try them out; it worked really well, as did the leaves. The slightly furry surface helped the batter to stick creating a more substantial mouthful than the Dandelion leaves, which were equally good but crispier. The flowers were also divine!

I also included some Red Veined Sorrel that I had in my herb garden which were ok.

First Batch with thin batter

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Gram Flour (Chickpea Flour) 1/2 Cup/100g
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper/Spices (optional)
  • Leaves and Flowers (Dandelion, Primrose, Three Cornered Leek)
  • Oil for deep frying

Add any spices that you like, such as chilli, turmeric, coriander, cumin etc. I only used Salt and Pepper this time to avoid overpowering the delicate flavours of the leaves and flowers.

Method:

Wash the vegetables and dry thoroughly. (I don’t use my salad spinner very often but on these occasions it more than earns it’s cupboard space!)

Add oil to a deep pan and begin to heat on medium-high temperature. (these are deep-fried but don’t require as much oil as you would use for frying chips, for example, but more than shallow frying)

Blend the gram flour, seasoning and spices in a large bowl

Slowly mix in a little water, beating out the lumps while it’s thick and then gradually whisking in enough to make a pourable consistency.
(You may like the batter thicker or thinner, so start off quite thick and add more water if you prefer.)

Dip the flowers and leaves into the bowl so they are coated in batter and drop them, one at a time into the hot oil in small batches. Fry for a few minutes, gently flipping them to ensure even cooking.

Using tongs or a slotted spoon remove from the oil and drain on some kitchen towel or paper.

Salad Bowl?

A dab of hot sauce

Hope you enjoy this recipe! Have fun trying out other edible leaves and flowers too and remember to come back and let us know what you thought in the comments below.

Dandelion Pakora

Happy Foraging Foodies!

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