If using Cashews, chop the nuts into small pieces and soak it in 1-2 tbsp warm milk. You can also use just warm water instead of milk. If crunchy cashews arent a problem, skip this step and add it to the batter right away.
Chop the onion into small pieces. The northern version has it sliced thinly but for the southern version, we opt to do it this way.
Take the onions in a bowl and sprinkle salt over it. You can add more salt according to your taste. We are low on salt as well and this is perfect for us.
Add the Chilli powder (Please refer my tip 1 ) along with curry leaves. Set this aside while you finish the remaining prep. This resting allows the salt to bring out moisture from the onions.
Sift the dry ingredients together. For this recipe, I have used all the ingredients I mention under "Optional" section. So I have the asafoetida and the baking soda in here as well. I have used Brown Rice flour, but you can use regular rice flour instead.
Add the Ghee or Oil. Please refer my tip 2.
Combine it with your fingers - sort of like a South Indian way of making pastry :).
Now add the onion mixture along with drained cashews.
The water from the onion should help to bring the dough together and you would probably need just few tbsp of water.
Just add enough water to bind it into a dough.
The consistency of the dough should be that you can pinch of some amount and clump together.
Heat up your deep fryer until the oil is medium-hot. Pinch little amount of batter into the oil.
Fry them up - takes some time in medium heat.
but when browned and fried right, they are addictive. If your pakoras are crispy and brown on the outside but taste little doughy on the inside, it means you oil is too hot. The outisde has cooked faster than the insides. If your pakoras taste oily/soaked up on oil, then its too low.
Drain any oil in paper towels. You will find that when made right, your pakoras are crispy, crunchy and leave no oil marks in your paper towel.