Christmas starters and sides-Goats cheese pakora in a spinach, sundried tomato, fennel, cumin and gram flour batter

4 Dec

Christmas starters and sides-Goats cheese pakora in a spinach, sundried tomato, fennel, cumin and gram flour batter

They say you become like the people you surround yourself with.

Makes sense, doesn’t it. I mean I’m not talking about people who like to knit or read a particular genre of book. I’m talking about the energy within people. If you surround yourself with people who good-hearted, loving, supportive people who dream lovely things and smile and speak kind and generous words…that is what you’ll become. No ifs, buts, it’ll never work and life is rubbish because..

In this respect, I am blessed. My husband counts his blessings each morning and plays with my boy without checking his phone or looking at a tablet. He thinks that impossible is nothing. My parents taught me to dream and just be a kind and brave person. My brother will always listen and tell me to dust myself out, drop the negative and keep walking. My best friend cheers me on to just be happy in the day and smile for no reason. It’s also been true in the virtual world too.

Sarah from Brockhall farm makes cheese. She’s a witty, warm and utterly encouraging words to share with me for years now and my next recipe popped into my head during a twitter conversation with Sarah. It started with goats cheese, then onto Sarah’s favourite ingredient of chickpeas (chickpea flour in this recipe) spinach and tomatoes. Plus it’s Christmas and I feel like I can eat go no indulge again. So here we have it, a pakora that is goats cheese in a crisp and fluffy batter case of gram flour, spinach, sun-dried tomato and spices of fennel and cumin seeds. I’m really excited by this one. It’s really quite special. When they are warm, the goats cheese is oozy and juicy and the case is fluffy, flecked with green spinach and sweet sun-dried tomatoes…does it get any better?

I can imagine these would be great as a starter or a side at any party table. Serve hot!

Serves 6-8


250g goats cheese (not soft) rolls
200g gram flour
120g sundried tomatoes, coarsely ground or chopped
150g spinach turned into a corse purée
Salt to taste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
300ml water
Oil for deep-frying
Chilli powder to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric

1. Heat the oil for frying.
2. Whilst the oil is heating, make the batter by mixing the dry ingredients of gram flour, salt, turmeric, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and chilli powder. Mix it through.image
3. Add the spinach, sundried tomato and water and mix it all into an even and thick batter.
4. Check the oil is hot by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil. If it sizzles and rises then the oil is ready.
5. Cut the goats cheese into circles of around 1.5 cm thickness and gently dip them into the batter and coat them well. Be generous. Quickly drop them into the oil and fry them until they are golden brown.
6. Remove the pakora onto kitchen paper and serve hot with chutneys.

This week I would like to link this to Mark of Javelin Warrior’s Cookin’ W/ Luv Made With Love Mondays,

33 Responses to “Christmas starters and sides-Goats cheese pakora in a spinach, sundried tomato, fennel, cumin and gram flour batter”

  1. Camilla December 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    These look almost magical Deena with that cheese nestled in the fried spinachy crispy outer. We both seem to have been inspired by people on Twitter – I think I might ask twitter what to make with my key ingredient every night as I love doing new things in the kitchen which other poeple inspire:-)

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

      HEllo Camilla! Wow, what high praise, I’m so flattered by your lovely and encouraging words.

      Yes, what a great idea. I’m so happy to have met so many wonderful and talented foodies like you, who are kind enough to offer and take inspiration. Xx

  2. Dan December 5, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Wow…How good they look. Can I replace the goat cheese with another cheese?

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Hello Dan! Thanks so much for stopping by. I love this recipe, I think they are beautiful.

      I’ve not used another cheese but I can imagine mozzarella would work. It would of course be a less strong taste than goats cheese, but I bet it would be lovely. If you try another cheese for these pakora please do share your pics with me. X

  3. kellie@foodtoglow December 5, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Love every single ingredient! I can imagine how fabulous these complimentary ingredients taste in this crispy package. It is great to be surrounded by people who inspire us, and push us to be better, more creative people ourselves. I am similarly blessed by a close circle of fantastic people who inspire me daily.

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      Hello Kellie! Lovely to see a comment from you.

      I’m utterly tickled by how well this recipe full of ingredients that are made for the same mouthful work in a pakora. My senses were utterly roused by the contrasts of smooth, crisp, fluffy, sweet and spice. It’s an indulgent recipe, fab for Christmas.

      I can tell from your words and energy that you are surrounded by goodness. That’s why I was drawn to you and saw that your recipes are incredible. I love your novel ways and your flavour pairings…I’m being totally honest when I say that your recipes are quite remarkable. Xx

  4. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche December 5, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Oh my word Deena these look incredible!! Love that thick slab of goat’s cheese and I bet it goes so well with the spiced batter. Gorgeous!

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Hello Becca, so good to hear from you! Becca, I can’t tell you how I had butterflies as I took my first bite. The balance of oozy cheese, crisp exterior, fluffy batter, spices…tomatoes…it’s really very good! Xx

  5. foodbod December 5, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    “They say you become like the people you surround yourself with”
    I absolutely agree with you on that! And these pakora look AMAZING!!

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      hello Elaine! Great to hear from you. I’m a firm believer of surrounding myself with people who think good thoughts. I’m really pleased with these pakora, really pleased! Hope you’ll try them xx

      • foodbod December 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

        They’re in my list to try! The list keeps getting longer though!!

  6. Tina @ The Spicy Pear December 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Wow, these goats cheese pakoras look amazing. Such a cool idea to combine the cheese with spinach and chickpea flour. I also enjoyed reading your post on staying positive and enjoying the good we have in our lives. You are surrounded by so many lovely people.

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Hello Tina, thanks so much fur taking the time to leave such a lovely and generous comment. I’m very grateful.

      I have to be honest and confess to being pretty delighted with this recipe, the balance of contrasting flavours and textures us a real treat and I’m going to do these again during the Xmas period.

      I am very blessed. You know this morning I spoke to a friend who replied, ‘same old, same rubbish’ when I asked her how she was tis morning. I just think that things being ‘normal’ is such a blessing and if we can choose to be around people who see good things and have gratitude life feels happier. Xxx

  7. Lisa December 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    OH MY! I have to try this one. I adore goat cheese and you include some of my favorite flavors here. Lovely. xo

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

      Hello Lisa! Thanks so much for stopping by! I would love you to try it…I promise you, the taste us pretty special xx

  8. Keep Calm and Fanny On December 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    These look so amazing, almost like savoury Macaron! Just have to try these… Thanks!

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      Hello! Thanks so much fir taking time to comment, I really appreciate it.

      Oh what a wonderful comparison, never thought of it like that…I hope you enjoy them! We really, really did 😉 xx

  9. kstienemeier@yumandmore December 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    These look marvelous! what a great combination. a must try.

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      Hi Karin, it’s so good to see a comment from you, thank you for reaching out and taking the time.

      I’m so pleased at how each if these flavours and textures come through and balance each other. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did xx

  10. Javelin Warrior December 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    These sound delicious, Deena! I love the use of the goat cheese in combination with the spinach and sun dried tomatoes… A perfect snack or starter…

    • Deena Kakaya December 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      Thanks so much Mark, it’s a lovely combination which I’ve made into a pakora, I’m making then again during Christmas x

  11. lushly December 6, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Amazing recipe! I am going to make this –L

    • Deena Kakaya December 6, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      Thank you. Happy that you like the recipe. Please share pictures with me when you have made it.

  12. Joanne December 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Whoa!! These look awesome! I love anything stuffed with goat cheese.

    • Deena Kakaya December 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

      Joanne, great to hear from you!

      I love those exclamations and the. ‘Whoa’ in your comment, I’m smiling; thank you xxx

  13. foodbod December 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Hi Deena, I was just wondering, do you think that these could be oven baked?

    • Deena Kakaya December 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

      Hi Elaine, I’ve never baked a gram flour and water based mixture. I think this batter would he far too dense to bake. Xx

  14. liveboldlylovefreely December 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    So Deena, you follow and comment on my blog: confessions of an Emotional Eater. And I wanted to check your blog for sometime. I am finally here and OMG, where have you been my whole blog life. Your blog is amazing and has me drooling . I love it.
    Keep up the great work.

    • Deena Kakaya December 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

      Hello, so lovely to see a comment from you and that too such a positive and encouraging one! I’m so glad you like my recipes, I hope you’ll keep visiting. This recipe in particular has proven very popular in particular with my Facebook group! I’m so pleased. It is great to connect with you xx

  15. FictionalKitchen December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Any time there is fried goat cheese, I know people will be happy. Great recipe!

    • Deena Kakaya December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

      Hello, thanks for stopping by! It’s great to connect with you! Yes, I am so pleased with this unusual recipe and I am so glad so people are enjoying it, hope you’ll try this one out x


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