Author Notes: On the occasions that long hot peppers would be spotted in the market in Mumbai, there was exactly one snack that immediately popped to mind. Mirchi (chili pepper) pakora. These peppers were simply ‘useless’ for spicing regular food, being too mild, but by themselves deep fried in a chickpea flour batter… all they needed was a friend to catch up on the latest bollywood gossip & a cup of piping hot ‘Masala’ Tea. ..or a cold frosty mug of Beer! —Panfusine
Makes: 24 pieces
Italian long hot peppers , preferably straight one, OR hungarian wax pepperss
sticks mozzarella string cheese (soft, at room temp)
cup bread crumbs
teaspoon dried mint leaves, crushed
chickpea flour (besan)
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon Chipotle pepper powder
Salt to taste
Plain seltzer water as required
cups Canola oil for deep frying
- Cut the top & the tail of the long pepper to create a tube and make a vertical slit.
- Combine the bread crumbs,1/2 tsp Chipotle powder, 1/2 tsp table Salt, and crushed mint and pour the crumb mixture onto a tray. ( Adjust the amount of Chipotle chile powder & salt as per your personal preference). Roll the mozzarella stick in this blend to coat well. Stuff the sticks into the chili pepper cavity. and cut each piece of the stuffed pepper into 4 pieces. Repeat with the remaining mozzarella sticks.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt, the remaining chipotle pepper and baking powder, combine to mix evenly using a whisk, eliminating any lumps. Add a cup of seltzer & whisk well. add the bread crumb mixture to the batter and combine (with extra seltzer as required) to get the consistency of thick pancake batter.
- Gently add the stuffed long pepper pieces in the batter, immersing it to completely coat the bite sized pieces. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Just as it begins to smoke, add the pepper pieces in batches & fry till the batter turns a golden brown. remove from oil & place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- There will be extra batter left over, simply dice an onion finely, add it to the batter & add spoonfuls of this mix to deep fry.
- Serve hot with a sweet and sour tamarind sauce (http://www.food52.com/recipes/10460_sweet_sour_tamarind_sauce)..
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