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Kale Pakora with Yoghurt Coriander Mint Dipping Sauce

My kale is starting to flower, so it was time to finish it off. This hot weather will bring cabbage moths and aphids around anyhow. It has been really hardy and trouble free, and has borne really well for months now. I’ve used it regularly at least a couple of times a week – such a lot of food from such a small area.  It works well in soups and stews,  pasta and noodle dishes, stuffed and baked and very lightly steamed.  And it’s given me a big dose of a huge range of vitamins and minerals and some important anti-cancer phytochemicals all winter.  I’m sad to see it go!

But the chooks will love the stalks and older leaves, and I’ve picked all the younger, nicer leaves for this  Tuesday Night Vego Challenge. On hot evenings like we have been having lately, a platter of finger food and a cold beer on the verandah is the perfect dinner.

The Recipe:

This recipe made plenty for two of us for dinner. It isn’t exactly diet food, but the kale doesn’t absorb as much oil as you might think, and with dipping sauce and accompaniments it’s not too high fat. We like the batter with a bit of spiciness, but you can reduce the ginger, turmeric and chili if you want a milder version.

Make the batter first so it gets 10 minutes or so to sit, then the dipping sauce so it gets a few minutes for the flavours to meld.  Then last of all, mix in the kale and fry the pakora.

The Batter

Use a whisk or a fork to mix together to a smooth batter like a pancake batter:

  • 1 cup besan (bean flour – from any wholefoods store)
  • two-thirds of a cup water
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • pinch of chili powder or dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated turmeric (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped coriander, stems and leaves, and if you have them roots as well
  • pinch salt

Let the batter sit, and go on to make the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

Use a food processor or blender to blend together

  • ¾ cup plain yoghurt
  • big handful of coriander leaves
  • big handful of mint leaves
  • pinch salt

Let the dipping sauce sit for the flavours to meld and go on to make the pakora.


Heat up a pan with about half an inch (1.5 cm) of oil. You want it medium hot.  I use either avocado oil or light olive oil for frying like this, because they have fairly high smoke points.  Light olive oil is light flavoured, not light fat, and it’s light flavoured because it’s highly refined to remove the aromatics.  But it makes it better for frying because it means it heats to a much higher temperature without producing any unhealthy by-products.  Avocado oil has a very high smoke point, and it’s locally grown in my region, but it is a bit expensive.

Stir into the batter

  • 1½ cups (packed) of kale shredded into 3cm or so pieces.
  • 1 small onion finely diced

Stir so that all the kale is well coated in batter.

Drop dessertspoons full of batter coated kale into the hot oil.  Fry for around 3 minutes each side until they are crisp and golden.  Drain on brown paper.

I serve on a platter as finger food for sharing,  with the dipping sauce and some raw vegetables (cherry tomatoes, snow peas, celery) to dip too.


{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Sarah October 23, 2012, 6:24 pm

    Pakora are one of my favourite indian suppers/snacks. There’s a wonderful indian restaurant in North Strathfield in Sydney that serves their pakora with the most delicious tamarind sauce and yoghurt. Sweet, sour, tangy and crispy.
    I’ve been eating very boring dinners lately so that I can try and coax the toddler into eating “grown up” food, rather than sandwiches and fruit and not much else, so it’s been lots of sausages, frozen peas and corn, and plain pasta. His table manners are slowly becoming a bit more civilised, and finally he’s eating one green vegetable.

  • Linda October 24, 2012, 9:15 am

    I wonder whether, if you reduced the spice right down, pakora would be acceptable? Even with hidden greens? Crispy little fritters with dipping sauce – who could resist.

  • Frances October 24, 2012, 10:08 am

    This recipe is a great idea, as I went a bit overboard planting kale last autumn as I wanted to trial a few different types. My household is not impressed with it as a steamed green and so I have been feeding it to the chooks for months. The ‘Red Winter’ kale goes into the morning juice, mixed with carrots, beetroot, celery, apples, ginger and turmeric. ‘Red Winter’ has by far the most juice in the stems. I must try some of your other kale recipes soon before mine goes to flower.

  • Linda October 24, 2012, 10:18 am

    Mine is cavolo nero, and though I’ve tried a few varieties, I haven’t tried Red Winter. On the list for next year!

  • Liz October 24, 2012, 10:59 am

    I thought I’d turned most vegetables into pakoras but I haven’t tried Kale – unfortunately I will have to wait for a few months as the aphids have attacked and my leaves are looking particularly unapetising.

  • celia October 24, 2012, 2:12 pm

    Yum! Our Cavolo Nero is near its end too, although the blue curly kale is still going strong! Love the pakoras!

  • Julie Maloney October 26, 2012, 8:00 pm

    Yum, this looks delicious.

    Linda thank you so much for visiting my blog. I am so honored that you left a comment. I have read many of your articles, we have your book: “The Permaculture Home Garden”, and of course I read your blog. Thank you, you made my day. xxoo

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