Currypedia No. 2: Pakora

Curry Club may only meet up once a month but Trampy and The Tramp are thinking about curry all the time, which is why we take great care to update the Glasgow of Curry blog every Thursday, allowing curry-addicted members to get a fix before they chaat themselves. This week is no exception, so let's dip into our occasional look at the world of curry-related facts.

Having previously chomped our way through that essential appetiser the poppadom, we now find ourselves facing the cornerstone of any good starter selection – the pakora.

Glasgow curry guru Mr Ali, the man behind the legendary Shish Mahal, has this to say of the humble pakora:

"The European tradition of serving a 'starter' before the main meal is not customary in Indian or Pakistani households. The Pakora is considered a snack, something to tide you over till dinner time. You can buy them in the streets from traders who will fry them freshly for you, rather as we would expect to buy a hot dog, or hamburger in this country; but there the similarity ends."

Pakora are basically the Indian equivalent of our fritters. Take your pick of vegetables: onion, potato, aubergine, cauliflower, chillies – the possibilities and variations seem endless. Then mix with spices and gram flour before dipping into a rough batter or dough and frying until crispy.

So beloved by the Scots are Pakora that Glasgow even once had a restaurant dedicated to the stuff: the long-gone and sadly-missed Murphy's Pakora Bar which occupied the space now taken up by trendy West End watering hole The Goat, a great place to go if you're looking for a pint and have at least four quid in your pocket. As Murphy's used to offer over 100 different types of Pakora, including a haggis variety, it's a genuine shame that it is no longer with us. It surely would have been a Curry Club favourite.

Whether you like pakora as a simple snack to tide you over until dinner or you enjoy them as a starter there can be no denying that they are a firm favourite of all curry aficionados. So keep your eyes peeled for a TATTGOC home cooking special where Trampy and The Tramp will try their hands at cooking pakora at home and then, presumably, stuffing their faces with it.

So there you go Curry Clubbers - another exciting installment of Currypedia. What's your favourite type of pakora? Have any funny pakora-related tales to tell or any top pakora recommendations? Let us know ... and while you're at it - is this feature a complete waste of time? Do you have any better ideas? If so, don't be shy and let us know through the comments section...


Germaine Greer said...

What an uncommonly masculine blog! Yet I don't understand what brings so many Australians to it ... it's very difficult to barbecue curry dishes.

Mick Dundee said...

Depends on the size of your knife, Germaine love.