The best pakoras I ever ate were revelatory - I never knew these Indian vegetable fritters could be so delicious. We were at the Samode Haveli, in Jaipur, and my husband ordered them from room service, as a snack he could munch on while watching football. Although they had cooled down slightly by the time they reached our room, they were fantastic: the chickpea batter was light, delicate and flavourful, and the taste of each vegetable was distinct.
So many other versions I'd tasted had batter that was so heavy and stodgy it was hard to tell apart the flavour of the chilli from the cauliflower or potato: you could only tell which vegetable you were eating by the colour of it.
Pakoras are made by mixing chickpea flour with turmeric, ground cumin, chilli powder, salt and other spices and enough cold water to form a loose batter. Cut vegetables such as potatoes, eggplant and zucchini into slices; cauliflower should be cut into florets, while chillies can be used whole. Dip them in the batter and fry until crisp, then drain on paper towels before serving them hot with chutney.