Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cooking pakoras in a waffle iron

There is more than one path for reaching an objective, like writing a great speech. A decade ago during August in Portland we attended the Bite of Oregon. One of the local Indian restaurants sold us excellent spinach and onion pakoras. They are delicious  deep-fried fritters made with a chickpea flour (besan) based batter as shown above.

A few weeks later I found a recipe, bought a bag of besan, and mixed up a batch. Then I realized that  a) we didn’t have enough oil to deep fry, and b) anyway it would undesirably heat up the kitchen.

That’s when I decided to try ladling the batter into our waffle iron, and baking a few waffles rather than frying a bunch of little fritters. Those pakora waffles got cut into squares for serving. They were great, and not as oily as the deep-fried ones.

I was inspired by having watched a 2002 episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats TV show (This Spud’s for You Too) where he made Rösti, a Swiss cake like hash brown potatoes in a waffle iron.  

Late this summer Daniel Shumski published a book titled Will It Waffle: 53 Irresistible and Unexpected Recipes to Make in a Waffle Iron. One is for Fawaffle, a waffle iron version of another chick pea based food, falafel. You can also find Mr. Shumski’s recipe here. Falafel is often served with hummus, which contains more chick peas and tahini (sesame seed paste). Mr. Shumski suggests substituting peanut butter if you don’t have tahini, but I’ve also seen toasted sesame oil used. Use what you have, and go make something great.   

Back in 2011 Nick Morgan had an article both on his Public Words blog and at Forbes on How to Write a Great Speech: 5 Secrets for Success. Those secrets were that:

Great speeches are primarily emotional, not logical.
Small shifts in tone make an enormous difference to the audience, so sweat the details.

A great speech has a clear voice speaking throughout.

A great speech conveys one idea only, though it can have lots of supporting points.

A great speech answers a great need.

Images of pakoras and a waffle iron came from Wikimedia Commons.

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