1-2 small fresh red chillies, seeded and minced or 1 dried red chilli, crushed
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for serving
Water, as needed
Oil, for deep frying (peanut, vegetable or canola)
Salt, to taste
Lime wedges, to serve
Tomato ketchup and chilli sauce, mixed (optional)
Leaving the peel on, core the apple and chop the flesh into small chunks. Add to a blender with the water and process until the apple is liquified. This may take a few minutes of running the machine, stopping and scraping down the sides of the carafe, then running it again.
Stop the machine. Scrape down the sides of the blender and add the ginger and garlic. Purée until smooth. Chop the green chillies into rough chunks and add, with seeds if you like heat, to the blender along with the sugar and salt, then process again. Add the cilantro and the juice from one lime, and purée. Scrape down the sides of the carafe, process again, and taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice or salt as needed.
Use immediately or cover and chill overnight in the fridge, keeping in mind that as the chutney sits its flavour will mellow, and it will lose some of its colours.
Peel and slice onions into thin rings horizontally.
Keep potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, eggplants, and Jerusalem artichokes unpeeled, and cut into one-sixth to one-quarter-inch slices.
Cut beets into one-eighth of inch slices or alternatively into halves or quarters lengthways, in which case, parboil the pieces then drain and dry well.
Carrots can be left whole if skinny, or cut on the diagonal into slices if not.
Break the cauliflower into florets and blanch.
Green beans can be left whole. Break sturdy greens into individual leaves.
Set all the vegetables aside while you make the batter.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, chile, cilantro and salt. Slowly stir in enough water to bring the mixture to the consistency of heavy cream. Beat the batter well, until it is lightened and foamy at the edges. Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels then set a cooling rack upside down on top (so its feet are in the air).
In a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove or in a deep fryer, pour in enough oil to come to about five inches up the side (or follow the manufacturer’s instructions with the fryer).
Heat oil to 350°F/175°C. If using onions, separate the slices into individual rings and drop them into the prepared batter, stirring gently to coat. Using a fork, pick up a clump of onion rings and allow the excess batter to drip back into the bowl.
Carefully lower the clump of onions into the oil and fry until lightly golden on one side, around 30 to 40 seconds. Flip the fritter and cook until crisp on the other side. Remove from the oil and drain on the prepared cooling rack. Season with salt.
Repeat, frying a few at a time until all the onions are used. For the remaining vegetables, dip each piece in the batter, then lift out the vegetable, shaking off excess. Carefully place four or five pieces of vegetables in the oil at a time, or however many your pan can accommodate without crowding. Turn the fritters now and again to ensure even cooking, then transfer them to the rack to drain when golden brown all over and cooked through. Timing will depend on the vegetables used, with harder vegetables taking as much as a few minutes. Continue frying, draining, and salting until all the vegetables and batter are used. Enjoy immediately, or keep pakoras warm in a low oven until everything is ready.
Serve pakoras with a squeeze of lime juice, with additional wedges available. Offer both the dhania chutney and a condiment of ketchup blended with chilli sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
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