Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dinosaur Tibias (Delicata Squash Pakora)

One thing you just gotta have around your kitchen, especially if you sometimes cook for the wee’ans, is chickpea flour. You need the chickpea flour, also called besan, or gram flour, because it is a miraculous protein-rich ingredient that will provide a base for your batters without making them starchy or floury. It will create meltingly crackling crisp crusts for pancakes like these zucchini latkes, and you will be able to make instant fritter batter, or pakora batter without wheat, eggs, gluten, or dairy products.
I recently got some delicious delicata squashes from my CSA and, I could not but notice when I cut into them, that the cross section of a delicata squash looks exactly, but exactly, like the cross section of a dinosaur tibia, and we already know that some members of my family are much more likely to eat food if it looks like a dinosaur (or some part thereof). I remarked as well that the donut-shape is the universal ideal fritter shape and so I made these relatively quick and easy squash fritters. Real pakoras would have a more delicate and complex batter with ghee and many other spices, and you would sift the flour before measuring, but when you can’t do that, and you need fritters now, you want to have this recipe up your sleeve.
Dinosaur Tibias (Delicata Squash Pakora)
1 delicata squash (about one pound)
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
oil for frying
Slice the squash crosswise about ¼ inch thick. Remove the seeds and fibers (use these for toasted squash seeds).
In a bowl, mix the chickpea flour with salt and cumin about one half cup of water. Add a little more water a tablespoonful at a time until the texture is creamy and comfortable for dipping and coating the squash slices.
Heat oil in a wide skillet or wok. Dip the delicata rings in the chickpea batter and shallow-fry them on both sides until golden brown. Drain on brown paper or towels.
Look at them sizzle! Ah, what isn’t better for being batter-dipped and fried?
See the roundup for Weekend Herb Blogging at The Expatriate’s Kitchen.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a small bag of chickpea flour in my pantry and I've been trying to figure out what to do with it. I bought it to make the Sicilian specialty 'panelle' but never got around to trying it. These look great!

3:50 AM  
Blogger zoe p. said...

I was looking for a cut-and-pastable full text version of Gravity's Rainbow to leave you the bit about banana omelets and where did I find it? On a food blog . . .

My partner in crime read this to me when I told him about your omelet.

7:25 AM  
Blogger ByTheBay said...

Oh yum! I love pakoras. And I love Delicata squash. This one's going in the next Gluten-Free Roundup for sure.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Saju said...

great idea. I will try it next time I have fussy eaters round (nephews)

11:21 AM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

They look so good. I'm not quite sure if I've ever had delicata squash. I need to look for it at the store and see if I recognize it.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M. said...

I've also had a bag of chickpea flour--bought for a long ago cooking project--and didn't know what to do with it. Thanks for the idea.

8:52 PM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

nicole and yulinka, good luck with the chickpea flour. try socca as well--bythebay has links to recipes.

whew! thanks for this.

bythebay and saju,
thanks and good luck!

they are elongated--sort of zucchini-shaped, and creamy pale with glod or green stripes.

12:09 PM  

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