By Mike on Saturday, October 12, 2013, 21:05 - Permalink
October 2013 - Nearly everything in the vegetable garden has come to an end now... except the weeds.
So to make use of a lush carpet of chickweed that has taken over, here's a recipe for making it into spicy pakora fritters.
- For The Batter
- 2 or 3 heaped tablespoons of gram flour
- 1 heaped tablespoon of white self-raising wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon curry powder of your choice
- Pinch of salt
- Cold water (see recipe)
- For The Filling
- A large handful of clean chickweed shoots
- A small bunch of chives
- To Cook
- Vegetable oil
- To Serve (Optional)
- Mango chutney
Pick the chickweed, being very careful not to accidentally pick other, possibly poisonous, plant species along with it.
See here for identification tips for chickweed.
If the chickweed is at all dirty (which is likely if it has rained recently), clean it in a big bowl of cold water - swish it about and any grit will sink to the bottom.
Chickweed wilts quickly once picked, so immersion in water is also a good way to keep it fresh and crisp for a few hours if necessary.
Drain the chickweed thoroughly before use.
Put the gram flour, wheat flour, salt and curry powder in a bowl.
Add cold water in small amounts, whisking until a thick, sticky batter is formed - it needs to be just runny enough to fall off a fork or whisk - not as thick as a dough, but almost.
Chop the chickweed and chives roughly and stir them into the batter.
Keep stirring until all of the leaves are well coated and a fairly uniform mixture is achieved.
Heat a frying pan and add a little vegetable oil - when this is hot, drop spoonfuls of the chickweed batter mix into the pan.
The mixture will flatten out into little patties - fry on one side for about a minute, then flip over, press down and fry the other side for another minute.
When golden brown and a little crispy, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease.
Serve as a snack with chutney, or as a meal accompaniment - these chickweed pakora fritters are delicious and also packed with vitamins and minerals.
Here's a video version of the recipe...
The Promise Of Another Project
Here's an interesting thing. When I was washing the chickweed for this recipe, I happened to notice that amongst the particles of dirt and debris in the bottom of the bowl, there were a load of little pale brown dots - very uniform in size and shape.
These, fairly obviously, must be chickweed seeds. The question is: what happens if I try to grow them as a micro-salad (like mustard and cress)?
There's only one way to find out - so I'll be trying this very soon.
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