Tukri Pakora, Baked Veggie Squares

October 18, 2016

Tukri Pakora, Baked Veggie Squares - Indian As Apple Pie

My mother came up with the name for this snack. It's essentially a baked chickpea fritter or pakora cut up into little pieces - tukri in Hindi refers to little pieces. One of the key differences between this and a fried pakora is that most of the veggies are coarsely hand grated to give you a distinct texture rather than just chopped or sliced. 

This recipe is in my second cookbook, Vegan Indian Cooking (page 104), but I got to thinking. Why limit myself to chickpea flour? I had Teff flour in the pantry and have always wanted to give it a try. Made from an gluten-free ancient grain originating in North Africa, Teff is a fantastic source of iron and fiber. Basically, think Ethiopian food. I also used the Sorghum flour in my pantry that a source gave me to test. Once again, gluten-free and high in protein and fiber. If the combination worked, this recipe was going to be a nutritional powerhouse. 

Well, it not only worked, it was more delicious than the original. Note that once cooked, these babies store well. I put them in sandwich bags and then freeze a bunch to pull out later. I use them for the kids as subs for veggie sandwiches in between bread or instead of a falafel in a pita. So much you can do with them and quite honestly the best and easiest snack to keep on hand.

So, let's get on it ... first, grate and chop your veggies. 


Tukri Pakora; Baked Veggie Squares 

5 cups grated veggies (any combination of cauliflower, sweet potato, cabbage,         beets, potato, carrots, and/or butternut squash) *
1 medium red or white onion, minced
1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and grated or minced
1-4 Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and thinly sliced 
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
3 cups flour (use all chickpea flour or a combination of 1 cup chickpea, 1 cup Teff, 1     cup Sorghum) Quinoa flour is also a good one - high in protein
1 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt or 1/2 package silken tofu, blended until smooth
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup oil

1. Set an oven rack at the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 10-inch square baking pan. You can makes these in your toaster oven as well and use a larger pan if you want a thinner, crispier pakora. 

2. In a deep bowl, combine the grated veggies, onion, ginger, chiles, and cilantro. 

3. Add the flour and mix slowly. Add the yogurt or tofu and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Transfer to your oiled baking dish. 

4. Bake for about 45 minutes. It's finished when you insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then cut into squares. Serve with your favorite chutney like tamarind or ketchup. I will have a green chile chutney up on this site soon. 

* It's important to get a fine grate on the veggies, why I usually do them by hand with a box grater. Another alternative is to use your food processor. It really does not take long to do these by hand. Use whatever veggies you have - this is a great way to clean out your vegetable drawer. And, remember, use up the raw veggies here, there's no need to cook them first.  

 Here's a shot of the Teff I used ... 

I'll be cooking up a storm this fall into winter. For my schedule, click here. Come taste these beauties at my Nov. 5th launch of book 3 in paperback at Read it and Eat. All are invited, and if you live in Chicago - no excuses! 

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