Thursday, 9 October 2014


Suddenly in the middle of the night hunger strikes. Is it a fragment of my imagination, maybe I am dreaming. A rumble, followed by a grumble breaks the pin drop silence of the night. It is my tummy, gently tugging me awake. I quietly turn to see Mr. S in a deep slumber and I get out of bed trying not to wake him up. Straining my sleep caressed eyes in the dark I grope my way towards the door and hit my toe on the leg of the side table. The pain jolts me fully awake and without throwing another glance at Mr. S I scamper out of the room, straight into the kitchen and towards the refrigerator.

As I open the refrigerator door in childlike eagerness, an almost empty flight of shelves stare back at me. I look with all my concentration thinking in my head this cannot happen to my fully loaded refrigerator. Alas the result is the same as now I figure out that it's a loaf of bread, one zucchini, a bunch of spring onions and a couple of tomatoes lying idly there.

I am too desperate to give up at this hour and that too with a grumbling tummy. No way am I going back to bed without soothing my gut with some food. I walk unto the kitchen table, grab the knife and chopping board and finely chop up the zucchini, spring onions, tomatoes and ginger.

I March back to the refrigerator having gained sudden confidence after the chopping session, as now I am fully sure  that I will most definitely put together a dish. I pull out the packet of bread and the bottle of sweet chilli sauce. I can now see the tub of yogurt which the bottle of sauce had hidden  and I take that also with me.

Back on the kitchen table, I bring out a bowl, put in a few tablespoons of chickpea flour, add a pinch of sugar, salt to taste, one table spoon of yogurt, a big pinch of carom seeds and a teaspoon of roasted and coarsely grounded cumin seeds. Adding a little water I gently whisk the mixture to form a batter of one ribbon consistency.

I season the zucchini, tomatoes with salt n pepper. I am super confident by now as I have mentally put together my midnight snack. I lay the bread slices on a plate and coat one side of each with a very thin layer of the sweet chilli sauce. I do not want the sauce to overpower the other flavours of the dish. Not bad, being able to think so clearly with a half sleepy head at this late hour!!!

Then neatly, I horizontally make three layers of the zucchini, tomatoes and spring onion and sprinkle the ginger on top of this bed. Covering this bread with another bread having only the thin layer of sweet chilli sauce. I slightly wet my palms and taking the bread parcel in my hand, give it a light press to seal all the veggies in. I surely don't want them falling off when I fry them in the wok.

Diagonally running my knife across the bread parcel I cut out two triangles almost perfectly, thanks to my sincere effort at geometry in school. Mom will surely be teary eyed when I tell her on the phone in the morning, about my perfect triangle.

Time to dip "sob" my deliciously stuffed Firangi (International literally )bread triangle into the very Indianised batter and then ever so gently plop one by one into a wok of hot oil. But wait a minute I Don't wanna be harsh on my gut, at this very late hour so I first decide to pull out the air fryer but ultimately settle to frying it on my non- stick pan with a tad bit of oil.

As the chickpea batter full of flavour coating becomes crisp on the pan the aroma emanating
out has surprisingly enough brought in a bunch of curious faces into the kitchen. But the question on everyone's lip is the same, " What's cooking? " I wave away the question with my hand and quickly bring out the plates to proudly present to my eager gentry my Midnight Haul. 

And the rest as they say is history, not exactly cause the clanking of the coffee mugs drown by the endless chatter which I can guarantee will last all night till dawn.

Serves : 2
Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking time : 10 mins


1) Bread - 8 pieces
2) Tomatoes - 1 large chopped
3) Yellow Zucchini - 4 tbsp finely chopped
4) Spring Onions - 4 tbsp finely chopped
5) Ginger - 2 inch finely chopped
6) Chickpea flour/Besan - 5-6 tbsp
7) Yogurt - 1&1/2 tbsp
8) Carom seeds/Ajwain - 1/2 tsp
9) Cumin seeds/ Jeera - 1/2 tsp
10) Black Pepper/ Kali Mirch - 1/2 tsp crushed
11) Sweet Chilli Sauce - 1 tbsp
12) Sugar - A pinch (optional)
13) Salt to taste
14) Oil for frying

Step By Step Procedure :

1) Chopping
Finely chop Tomato, Zucchini, Green Onions, Ginger

2) Seasoning
Season the chopped vegetables with salt and pepper

3) Mixing
In a mixing bowl add Chickpea flour, Yogurt, Carom Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Sugar, Salt.
Add enough lukewarm water and whisk the mixture into a one ribbon consistency batter.

4) Assembling
Lay the bread slices on a plate and coat one side of each with a very thin layer of the sweet chilli sauce. 
Then neatly, horizontally make three layers of the zucchini, tomatoes and spring onion and sprinkle the ginger on top of this bed. 
Cover this bread with another bread having only the thin layer of sweet chilli sauce. 
Slightly wet your palms and taking the bread parcel in between your palms, give it a light press to seal all the veggies in. 
Diagonally run a knife across the bread parcel and cut two distinct triangles

5) Frying
Dip each bread triangle one at a time into the batter in the bowl and fry in hot oil in a wok on medium flame as not to burn the coating but get a lovely crispy golden colour on it.

6) Plating
Fork out the Crunchy bread pakora triangles from the oil and lay them on kitchen paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Serve them piping hot with a green chutney or ketchup.

*Always use lukewarm water to make the chickpea flour batter. You get real crisp and crunchy pakoras.
*Use white sesame seeds instead of caraway seeds for that extra crunch.
*If you don't want to deep fry the bread triangle, then take care that the batter is not runny and instead of dipping the bread triangle in the batter you can spoon the batter on to it, first one side. Place the side with the batter towards the pan, then spoon the batter to the side up. Turn when golden brown.
*Adding sugar is optional. I like the sweet, salty tangy taste all incorporated together, so I add.

Check List:
1)Bread, 2)Tomatoes, 3)Yellow Zucchini, 4) Spring Onions, 5) Ginger - 2 inch finely chopped
6) Chickpea flour/Besan, 7) Yogurt, 8) Carom seeds/Ajwain, 9) Cumin seeds/ Jeera, 10) Black Pepper/ Kali Mirch, 11) Sweet Chilli Sauce, 12) Sugar, 13) Salt, 14) Oil


  1. bravo! your perfect triangles demand a sure bite - here I come:):)

  2. thats really tempting.. i had an early dinner ..and now at 9 pm .. i am hungry again.. was just thinking what to do... bumped on to ur post:)..can totally related ur midnight hunger experience...have had many such episodes:)