Betel Leaves or Paan Fritters |Tamalapaku Pakoda Recipe is my second post for the #blogchatterA2Z challenge.
Fusion food is a treasure house of exotic recipes and Betel Leaves or Paan Fritters |Tamalapaku Pakoda Recipe is a rare jewel amongst them. Down south Betel Leaves or Tamalapaku as they are called in Andhra are used for most religious ceremonies. Paan leaves are replete with vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and carotene and ofcourse are a great source of calcium. I am lactose intolerant and I am always calcium deficient. I started growing the betel vine so that I can chew on a leaf every day. Chewing on a leaf when you have a cough works wonders. We all know that Betel leaves are good for digestion as traditionally Paan is eaten after a meal. The betel vine is growing really well and now I am using it in different recipes and enjoying the experience.
Breaking away from tradition, here I have made crisp and tasty Betel Leaves or Paan Fritters |Tamalapaku Pakoda Recipe from the fresh leaves which I am growing in my organic garden. Just wash and dry fresh tender betel leaves and dip them in gram flour batter and fry till they are red and glowing.
Betel leaves are metamorphosing from just a betel leaf for Paan into a flavoured choice for food and drink. From just ending the meal with the betel leaf you can start with a Vodka Paan Thandai drink and move on to these betel leaf fritters or wraps or even egg rolls, Paan pulao and end it with a Paan kulfi or ice cream which I will be making soon. Try out the Chocolate Paan I have posted earlier.
Ingredients for Betel Leaves or Paan Fritters |Tamalapaku Pakoda Recipe
10 betel leaves
2 cups of besan or gram flour
Pinch of baking soda (optional)
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp of ajwain
6 flakes Garlic crushed
1 tsp of chat masala
Oil for frying
1 tsp of cumin powder
Sieve the besan or gram flour and add all the dry ingredients, garlic except baking soda. Add little water first then stir it properly with the whisk.
Add sufficient water to make the pakora batter and mix well so that the batter is smooth without lumps. The batter should not be very thin or very thick, it should be of coating consistency.Keep aside for 20 mins.
If you let the batter rest then there is no need to add baking soda. That is what I do as I do not like to use baking soda much.
Take tender betel leaves and wash them nicely. Dry them on a paper towel. You can even chop the betel leaves and add to the batter but I like the whole leaf.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Once it is hot dip the betel leaves one by one in the batter and slowly slide in the oil. Fry until golden brown and crisp.
Drain the crispy betel leaf pakoras onto a kitchen towel. Betel Leaves Fritters |Tamalapaku Pakodas are ready to serve.
Serve Betel Leaves Fritters |Tamalapaku Pakoda Recipe, hot with mint chutney or ketchup or any dip of your choice.
Use only tender and light green color leaves as the older, dark green leaves will have a pungent taste.
Chop the leaves if you want smaller fritters or cut into four.