sunflower oil, for frying
250 g prepared squid, body opened out, scored on the inside, then cut into bite-sized pieces, plus the tentacles
mango chutney, to serve
FOR THE BATTER
140 g gram flour, plus 1 tbsp to serve
1 tbsp freeze-dried curry leaves
½ tsp fennel seeds, bruised in a pestle and mortar
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)
150 ml full fat coconut milk
1 thumb-size piece ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 long, hot green chilli, finely shredded (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)
½ bunch spring onions, finely shredded
FOR THE COCONUT YOGHURT DIP
100 g low fat Greek-style yoghurt
2 tbsp coconut milk
small handful mint leaves only, torn, reserving a few to serve (optional)
- Heat a 5cm depth of oil in a medium, deep saucepan. It’s hot enough for frying when a cube of bread turns brown in the oil in about 30 secs. Heat oven to 200C fan. Line a large bowl and a baking tray with kitchen paper, ready to drain the squid.
- For the batter, put the flour in a large bowl, add ½ tsp salt, then stir in the dried spices. Using a whisk, gradually work in the coconut milk to make a thick batter. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and spring onions. Tip in the squid and mix it well to coat – it will feel quite claggy. Mix the yoghurt, coconut and mint for the dip, then season with salt.
- When the oil is hot enough, drop generous tablespoons of the batter in. Do not fry more than three pakoras at a time, or the oil will lose its sizzle. Fry for 1½ mins, or until golden on one side, then carefully turn the pakoras over with a slotted spoon and cook for another 1½ mins.
- When golden all over, lift out, drain on the paper in the bowl, then lift onto the paper on the baking tray and put in the oven to keep warm. Repeat, using up the rest of the batter. When all the pakoras are cooked, put them on a platter, sprinkle with a little salt and reserved mint leaves, if you like, and serve with the dip and mango chutney.