If you follow Chef Giada De Laurentiis... then you have probably seen or tried her Beer battered Asparagus recipe. enticed simply by the idea of using beer in the batter i had pinned the recipe few days back... and last Saturday i probably would have given her version a try if LIPA, our electricity provider , would have been merciful enough. but as things did not quite turn out that way... i decided to cook by own recipe of Beer-Battered Asparagus Pakodas. ... and surprised myself with the subtle -complexity of taste that i had created.
the pakodas were spicy with a hint of sweet-bitterness rendered by the beer... the presence and proportion of garlic and mustard was just right... and the flavors in the batter seemed to marry so well with the freshness of the asparagus.
I had never tasted asparagus before coming to US... but driven by my passion to cook with the local products, i started trying out various recipes soon after we moved... and continued my experiments with it till i realized that Nishi and I liked it best... when marinated in ginger-garlic paste and then cooked with onion, cumin-coriander blend and a paste of wasabi-greek yogurt-and-mustard sauce... so the choice of spices in the batter was not completely random... i knew they would work for asparagus... and for the beer i trusted Chef Giada's expertise and my husband's recommendation of which beer to use .. so that was that... a brief history of how the savory Beer-battered Asparagus Pakodas were born.
1 bunch of asparagus
1/4 cup besan(chickpea flour)
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon dhana jeera powder(also known as Cumin and Coriander blend)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon mustard sauce(I used Kasundi)
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
Dundee Porter Beer
Oil to deep fry (I used mustard oil)
what i did:
I started by snapping off and discarding the white-hard ends of each asparagus and then cutting them into two halves.
Next I made a batter using all the ingredients from besan to salt, using Porter Beer instead to water. I added the beer a little at a time to get a thick yet smooth batter.(I might have used 1/8 cup of beer. but i wasn't measuring. so i cannot say the exact amount I needed.) The batter was thick enough to be able to
hold together the spear end and the stem end of the asparagus.
I then poured mustard oil in a medium sized saucepan to reach a depth of 1 1/2 inches and heated it over medium heat. To check if the oil was ready, I put one drop of the batter in the oil. Once the batter came up without changing color right away I knew that I could start frying my pakodas.
For the Pakodas, I coated the asparagus with the beer batter in batches and dropped them into the oil and fried them until the batter was golden brown. Then transferred the asparagus pakodas to a paper towel to drain of the extra oil.
On demand, I fried some zucchini and eggplant slices in the same batter the next day... only i substituted the Porter Beer for Dundee Pale Ale this time. in comparison the taste fell a little flat this time. i am not sure if the batter does not work with zucchini and eggplant or if the substitution of Porter made the difference. Nishi, our house-authority on beer says its the substitution... but right now i can't confirm. for after two consecutive days of fries i was not in the ready for the test-ride..
If you stop by and decide to take the test-ride do fill me with your comments and notes.. I'll love to hear from you and improvise.
Happy Frying !!
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