Donuts, curry and almond sweets: Romy Gill’s chickpea flour recipes for a vegetarian Thali feast | Food

GRam Flour (AKA Chickpea Flour or kiss) is the unsung hero of many Indian dishes. It has an earthy, nutty flavor that takes me straight back to my mother’s porch in West Bengal. this thali, however, is Punjabi-inspired and shows some of the manifestations of chickpea flour: it is used twice in the kadhi Pakora recipe – in both the yoghurt curry and the donuts – and also appears in loss Roti, a regional flatbread, and Ladoa spicy sweet treat served at celebrations.

Kadhi Pakora

Romy Gill's chickpea flour curry with pakoras.
Romy Gill’s chickpea flour curry with pakoras.

preparation 20 minutes
a cook 20 minutes
serves 4

For the curry
50 grams of flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1-2 tsp chili powder
100 g natural yoghurt

3 tsp gheeor 6 tsp sunflower oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
4 large cloves of garlic
peeled and cut into thin slices
15g piece of ginger
peeled and sliced
1 medium red onionpeeled and cut into thin slices
1 small handful of fresh coriander

For the pakoras
75 grams of flour
1 medium red onion
peeled and cut into thin slices
1 medium potato
peeled and finely diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
2-3 green chili peppers
(I use bird’s eye), chopped
or sunflower oil, for frying

First prepare the curry. Sift chickpea flour into a large bowl and add salt, turmeric, ground coriander, chili powder, and yogurt. Gently stir in 900ml water to form a thick batter, then set aside.

Place the ghee in a deep saucepan and set over medium heat. Once hot add the cumin and fenugreek seeds and once they start to sizzle add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute. Add the sliced ​​onions and cook for six minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry batter and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 6 minutes until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble. Remove from stove and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the pakoras. Sift the chickpea flour into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients except for the ghee. Gradually add 60ml of water and mix gently with your fingers until everything is covered: you aim for a mixture that isn’t too runny and sticks to your hand.

Pour enough ghee into a medium saucepan to fill it halfway, then set over medium-high heat until it reaches about 350F (175C). Test by dipping a tiny bit of the pakora mixture: if it immediately floats, the fat is hot enough; If it sinks, heat it up a little more. Gently add four tablespoons of the pakora mixture to the hot ghee at a time and fry for two or three minutes until golden and crispy. Then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain and repeat with the remaining pakora mixture.

Once all the pakoras are cooked, add them to the curry mixture, warm over low heat for 10-12 minutes and serve hot.

roti sent

Gram Flour Roti by Romy Gill.
Gram Flour Roti by Romy Gill.

preparation 20 minutes
Rest 10 mins
a cook 10 mins
serves 4

150 grams of flour
125 g chapati flour
(extra fine wholemeal flour), plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground cumin
2-3 green bird’s eye chillies
1 medium onionpeeled and finely chopped
1 small handful of fresh corianderchopped
4 tsp sunflower oil
ghee or oill, for frying

Sift both flours into a large bowl, then add salt, cumin, ground cumin, chillies, onion, coriander and 130ml water. Mix, then knead gently with your knuckles for four to five minutes. Mix in the oil and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into eight equal balls, then gently press them into a 2mm thick disc on a lightly floured surface (if they stick, dust them with more flour) and place on the baking tray lined with baking paper.

Place a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, dry fry the roti individually for a minute or two on each side until small bubbles appear on the surface; Press down on both sides with a towel so it cooks evenly. Remove, then apply a layer of ghee or oil and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Keep it warm by either wrapping the roti in kitchen paper or placing it in a very low oven. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and serve hot.

Punjabi Ladu

Romy Gill's almond ladoo (almond balls).
Romy Gill’s Mandel-Ladoo.

preparation 5 minutes
a cook 25 mins
Makes 10

100 grams of ghee
200 grams of flour
125 g light brown powdered sugar
8th green cardamom seedcrushed
2 teaspoons toasted flaked almonds

Heat the ghee in a frying pan over low heat. Once melted, add the chickpea flour and toast the flour, stirring constantly, for about 20 minutes – it’s important that the flour is well toasted to get the best flavor. When the mixture turns golden brown and starts to smell earthy, the chickpea flour will start releasing the ghee.

Remove from heat, stir in sugar and cardamom. When the mixture has cooled slightly, shape into balls – golf ball sized or smaller. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve as part of the thali or simply with a cup of chai, tea or coffee. The Ladoos will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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