Trendy Kale, banana and red onion pakora

26 Nov

Trendy Kale, banana and red onion pakora

My mum had never tasted Kale until today, or so she thought. She asked me what sort of bhajhi (green) it was and what seed it grows from. So I said, ‘mum, you know when we go to Chinese restaurants and we sometimes eat crispy seaweed? Well it’s often this stuff.’

‘Ohhhh, but why are you making pakora out of this stuff’. I explained how potent kale is; it’s rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. I also told my mum how trendy kale is. She wasn’t so impressed with that bit, how can a vegetable be trendy after all. It is a bit ridiculous, isn’t it. People do use certain ingredients to express trendiness or snobbery don’t they. When I worked in the city I knew people who ate sushi or drank herbal tea without enjoyment. I know that secretly one or two of the women I knew would hold their breath when eating goji berries and heave whilst nibbling kimchi. What’s the point. I don’t even like mince pies or Christmas pudding, what does that say about me.

Kale is one of those leafy items that can taste bitter or rubbery if it is not cooked right but when sautéed, steamed, or fried, it is one of those favours that lasts with you and urges you back for more. A few of the twitter foodies had great ideas such as Gujarati girlie who suggested putting them in a paratha and having shared with her and fuss free helen and Monica shaw some lovely ideas…I got the hankering. Then yesterday whilst using kale in a master lass with Signe from scandalicious, I had to do it.

These pakora have some of that ‘seaweed’ essence and are a bit bitter sweet in a glorious way because of the banana and onion. These gorgeous and fluffy bites make great party snacks and are best devoured when crispy and hot. I’d suggest serving them with any of these chutneys.

Tangy sweet spicy Christmas food gift tomato pineapple cucumber chutney

Halwa chutney butternut squash almond coconut chutney

Ingredients to serve 6-8

100g ribbons of kale
3 cups of gram flour
400ml water
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp ajwain or carom seeds
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp garam masala
2 banana, chopped Ito 3-4cm bites
One large red onion, diced
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 green chilies, chopped


1. Heat oil for deep-frying
2. In a large mixing bowl, start with the kale, onion, chillies and banana pieces and then add the dry spices and seasonings. Mix it well.
3. Sprinkle in the gram flour and then mix it all again. Pour in the water and lemon juice and stir it all to a batter consistency.
4. Put a drop of batter into the oil and if it rises and sizzles then the oil is hot enough. Take small balls of about 5cm and fry them until they are golden brown.
5. Place the pakora onto kitchen paper and serve hot with chutneys.

24 Responses to “Trendy Kale, banana and red onion pakora”

  1. foodbod November 27, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    They look gorgeous! What an interesting combination, and not something I would ever have thought of!

    • Deena Kakaya November 27, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Hi Elaine, great to hear from you! Kale is gorgeous when fried, really has a lasting flavour that’s so fresh. It can be bitter but when it’s with banana like this it feels like a lovely harmony x

      • foodbod November 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

        Sounds lovely ☺️ x

        • Deena Kakaya November 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

          Thanks Elaine, hope you’ll try them x

        • Deena Kakaya November 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

          Ps Elaine I’ve made a couple of comments to your site, you may find them in spam xx

          • foodbod November 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

            Okay, thank you, I’ll check it xx

          • foodbod November 27, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

            Found them, thank you x

          • Deena Kakaya November 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

            You are welcome, I enjoyed looking round your site xx

          • foodbod November 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

            Thank you xx

  2. theundergroundgourmet November 27, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    I am a regular at a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya, called Ashiana that has this type of food. I call it my comfort food. Nice recipe.

    • Deena Kakaya November 27, 2013 at 9:21 am #

      Hello, great to hear from you! Oh really, what’s the restaurant called? Do they use kale? Sounds just my sort of thing 🙂

      • theundergroundgourmet November 27, 2013 at 9:55 am #

        The restaurant is ASHIANA in Westlands, Nairobi. Great for vegetarian pizza too. Actually, They probably have the best pizza in the whole of Westlands if not Nairobi. Cheers

  3. deelightfullyveg November 28, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Those look delicious and what a combination!

    • Deena Kakaya November 28, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      Hi! Thanks so much for the comment, I appreciate it. They were a big hit, the taste of kale in pakora is lasting! X

  4. Anita Menon January 23, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    Are we using ripe bananas here?

    Looks and sounds awesome

    • Deena Kakaya January 23, 2014 at 8:19 am #

      Hi Anita, yes I used ripe banana but not squashy ones, ripe enough to eat but still quite firm x

      • Anita Menon January 23, 2014 at 10:00 am #

        I think I would like to try this combo

  5. buttoni March 6, 2014 at 4:05 am #

    These sound fantastic! I often cook Indian food and just love kale. This is a must try!

    • Deena Kakaya March 6, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      Hello, thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

      They are pretty fabulous, light taste of that seaweed and some crunch too x

  6. dassana March 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    this is a very interesting recipe deena. they are similar to the methi na gota which i make. i add bananas in them, but mashed ones. i think i can make the same version with kale. or may be just skip the bananas. lets see.

Let me know what you think about this recipe

%d bloggers like this: