Pakoda: as with other things, means different things to different people. I was really shocked during one of my first visits to the capital when someone passed off bajjis as pakodas. I still don't know what the real pakodas are called in Hindi (or if they even something like this here!)
I am not sure if this is really a konkani dish, but Amma makes it and the recipe is found in Rasachandrika, the book that I consider the be all and end all of Chitrapur Saraswat cuisine. So, to me, this will always be an amchi dish.
Before the Rasachandrika was printed in English, we had a Marathi version at home. I hardly know any Marathi. Today I can understand a lot more than I did when I was a child. I wanted to surprise Amma one evening and so before she returned from work I went home and decided to make pakodas. (Before the term was invented, I was a latchkey kid!) I opened the Rasachandrika and came to the pakoda page. Since I studied in a part Hindi medium school, and was learning both Hindi and Sanskrit as compulsary subjects (yes, subjects and not languages) and so I had no problem reading the devnagari script. I figured out the entire recipe except for this one thing. It said "10 olya mirchya". Now, I didn't associate "olya" with the amchi "valle" which means wet (and in this case green) chillies, I took it to be some measure. Even as a 10 year old with limited spice tolreance, I knew that the recipe that had 1 cup of gram flour can't have 10 measures of chillies, however small the measure may be. So I conveniently replaced it with chilli powder. That evening, Amma was pleasantly surprised. Then I told her the book had a printing error. And she also had a good laugh. Since then, I have never forgotten what "olya" means in Marathi. So when I say "Mala marathi samjhat nahi" (I don't understand Marathi) I may not be telling the entire truth.
I made these pakodas last week. But since I knew I was going to be doing a lot of frying for Ganpati, I went the Nupur way. I baked my pakodas in the oven. And I know that I'll be making these again for sure.
1/2 cup Gram Flour (Besan)
1/2 cup Rice Flour
1/2 cup Cashews, chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chilli Paste
1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
1/3 cup Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Coriander Leaves
1/2 tbsp Oil, heated
Salt to taste
Oil for greasing the baking sheet
Mix all the ingredients except oil. Add the hot oil to the mixture and add enough water to make a thick dough. Grease a baking sheet with the oil. Make small balls of the dough and flatten on the sheet. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes and then turn each pakoda and bake for another ten minutes.
These turned out like crunchy savoury biscuits and we polished these goodies off with our wine. And so that dear Asha can do the same, I am sending this to the RCI Karnataka event.