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Cauliflower Leaf Pakoras

You ever cut up a head of cauliflower, wonder if those green leaves and stem bits are edible, and then toss them into the garbage? I have. But when I was searching for recipes that use chickpea flour, I stumbled across this use for cauliflower leaves and now I don't have to waste any of it. Crispy and tasty side dish or snack. Best eaten while still hot. Now I can get a second dish out of a head of cauliflower when I make Honey Curry-Roasted Cauliflower

I found the chickpea flour (also called gram flour or besan) in an Indian grocery store. It's ground from chickpeas so I imagine this would also work as a gluten-free recipe.



one head of cauliflower



small photo of Califlower Leaf Pakoras




Remove the leaves from the cauliflower. Wash them and then chop them into small bite-size pieces. I included the thick center stalk too.


chopped up cauliflower leaves and stem


Mix up the dry ingredients:
2 cups gram flour (chickpea flour, also called besan)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Now add 1 cup of water and stir to form the batter.


Dry ingredients. Most of this is chickpea flour. From top, going clockwise: dried parsley, chili powder, salt, cumin seeds, baking soda


Once the batter is ready, mix in the chopped cauliflower leaves and stems. Heat up some oil to deep-fry in and then drop in large spoonfuls and fry until they've turned golden brown on both sides. You may need to flip them. I found that later batches seemed to brown faster. Perhaps the oil was staying hotter? I'm not really sure. I just had to watch the later batches more closely than the first batches.


Cauliflower Leaf Pakoras


One time I tried baking them. Since I didn't want it to spread too much in the oven, I used 3/4 cup water and the rest the same. Came out to a thick batter consistency. Mixed in the chopped cauliflower leaves. Covered a cookie sheet with some foil and sprayed it with some cooking spray. Dropped little piles of the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet and baked it in a 400F oven for 20-25 minutes. It wasn't the same at all. Didn't get crunchy like it did when fried. It was like a bland soft cookie. I won't be trying that again.


Baked Cauliflower Leaf Pakoras


Cauliflower Leaf Pakoras

2 cups gram flour (chickpea flour, also called besan)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
vegetable oil for frying


  1. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower. Wash them and then chop them into small bite-size pieces. I included the thick center stalk too.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Now add 1 cup of water and stir to form the batter.

  3. Once the batter is ready, mix in the chopped cauliflower leaves and stems.

  4. Heat up some oil to deep-fry in and then drop in large spoonfuls and fry until they've turned golden brown on both sides. You may need to flip them. I found that later batches seemed to brown faster. Perhaps the oil was staying hotter? I'm not really sure. I just had to watch the later batches more closely than the first batches.

  5. Set the cooked pakoras on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve immediately. We ate ours with some tamarind chutney.


Original References:
http://community.livejournal.com/food_porn/5229825.html
http://community.livejournal.com/food_porn/3305803.html

Thread at vegrecipes: http://community.livejournal.com/vegrecipes/1654014.html




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lovely !!!

i call them "heels"....and the same goes for broccoli ! <3

Oh...I wonder how broccoli would taste with this. Thanks for the idea.

I was happy to find a use for those leaves. Now that I know they're edible, I think next time I'll add them in with everything else for a cauliflower soup and then puree everything.

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