Saturday, 29 August 2009

Courgette pakoras in a spicy tomato sauce

I spent a few hours at the allotment today, not good news I'm afraid, my san manzano plum tomatoes have all got blight, so no home-made tomato sauce for me. D spent a couple of hours in the greenhouse pulling them out. Whilst did a little bit more harvesting: a bag full of colourful green beans, some round squash and two rather sad looking courgettes, one of which I turned into the dish below. I think the courgette plan is done for sure now, so either tomorrow or next weekend, I am planning to pull them out of the squash bed.

Anyway onto food. This is something I grew up eating, but I came across an easier version of the spicy tomato sauce in Nadine Abensurs The Cranks Bible who acknowledges Julie Sahni for the recipe. Last year, I must have made this dish about four times, because I had such a glut of courgettes. This year, only once and I thoroughly enjoyed the dish. Normally these little vegetable pakoras would contain either potatoes, grated carrots or cubes of aubergines, but this one has courgettes. You can eat the courgette pakoras just as is, a delicious moreish deep fried snack. For a vegetarian version, you could stir in some Greek yogurt to the sauce, but add this towards the end and do not boil the sauce, just allow it to simmer for a few minutes.
Courgette pakoras in a spicy tomato sauce
You will needs a deep fat fryer for this recipe.
Serves 6
For the courgette pakoras
700 – 750g courgettes, grated
1 medium onion, finely sliced
100g chickpea flour
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
2 – 4 green chillies, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped coriander
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
For the spicy tomato sauce
8 tomatoes, roughly chopped or in the winter 1 x 400ml tin of tomatoes
4 green chillies
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
2 teaspoons of paprika
2 teaspoons of garam masala
6 tablespoons of sunflower oil
Salt to taste
For the courgette pakoras

Squeeze the grated courgettes of its excess liquid. Then place all the pakora ingredients in a large bowl an mix well with your hands.
Heat the oil for deep frying. Then drop a large tablespoons worth into the oil, turn them carefully so that they are golden all over, which will take about 4 minutes. Remove and drain on layers of kitchen towel to absorb excess oil. Keep doing this until all the batter is used.
For the spicy tomato sauce
In a food processor, blend the tomatoes, chilli, ginger and spices to a smooth puree. Season with salt to taste. Then in a wide pan, heat the oil. Add the blended sauce to the pan and fry over high heat for a few minutes. Then lower the heat and simmer for 35 – 40 minutes, about halfway through the process add about 200ml water to loosen the sauce. When sauce is ready, gently add the pakoras and heat together for a few minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve with naan bread, plain boiled rice or potato wedges.


  1. Oops! you did it again. Another I will try for sure (maybe Monday), especially as I have all the ingredients.

    Sorry to hear of your toms getting blight.

  2. Thank you Kella,
    It't that time of year, when veg growers share the same abundance of vegetables, so I am pleased to read that you are enjoying my recipes. It really means a lot.

    My only word of caution on this recipe is to go easy on the chillies for the tomato sauce, I like it spicy, but not everybody does.

  3. These look soooo good!!! Thanks for the recipe - I still have a lot of courgettes to use up too and will definitely be making this :)

  4. It was done for dinner tonight and was another huge success. The tomato sauce taste like curried green mango (not sure if you have ever had that).

    I did hit a glitch (will explain when i update my blog later), I was able to rectify and the taste of the different flavours blew me away.

    Thanks for posting.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about the toms (i've been catching up with posts in reverse order so feel abit guilty about envying your crop from today's post!). These look so delicious and pakora's are always my Asian starter of choice. Thanks for sharing this one x

  6. Oh Kella,
    I am glad you enjoyed them and cannot wait to read about your variation. I have never had curried green mango. I like pickled mangoes, so this has certainly intrigued me. More information please, a recipe - even better.

    Hi Nic,
    Don't worry too much about tomato envy, you have some veg that my eyes turn my bornw eyes green with envy. These things happen, nature of course.

    I hope you like these courgette pakora, should you get round to making them.

  7. Sorry about your tomatoes! I love pakoras and these look great.

  8. Bookmarked. This is too delicious not to try - and, of course, we are all crazed with too much zucchini these days. : )

  9. Thanks Michele.

    Thank you Susan.
    I really rcommend these, I will def. be making them again this year too - with or without the tomato sauce.

  10. I realized this post is a couple years old, but Oh my goodness! These look amazing. I think I just found a potential use for the last of my squash. Thank you!

  11. Thanks Barefeet in the Kitchen.
    It is a fantastic recipe. You can sub the green chillies in the sauce for red, it makes it a bit more sweeter.


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