Pattanam Pakoda or Patnam Pakodi is a famous street food of then Madras now Chennai! These deep-fried fritters are easy to make and are delicious. Check out the detailed pakoda recipe with step-wise pictures.
In a mixing bowl, add the ghee and baking soda and using a hand whisk mix them nicely until it is frothy and well combined. You can mix it with your hands also.
Now add the other ingredients as well - rice flour, roasted gram flour, besan, onion, ginger, green chili, cilantro, curry leaves, mint leaves, cumin seeds, salt, and red chili powder.
Mix them all. Sprinkle water little by little and mix to form a soft yet firm dough. Add water as required. I used ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp. You need ⅓ to ½ cup for this measure.
Heat the oil for frying. Meanwhile, take a small portion of the dough and roll into small balls (small gooseberry size would do). Similarly, roll the balls with the remaining mixture and keep it ready for frying.
When the oil is hot, slowly drop the pakodas in batches and fry in medium heat till they turn golden brown and crisp.
Place the fried pakodas on a tissue paper to drain the excess oil.
Serve hot with chutney or sauce of your choice.
The original recipe calls for 2 tbsp / 6 tsps of ghee and 1 tsp of baking soda, and I went with the same measure. You can reduce it to 1 tbsp, but I would not recommend reducing it further or using more. The pakoda might disintegrate while frying.
Coming to that, while frying the first batch, if you notice the pakoda are disintegrating, then add one or two tbsp of rice flour, mix gently and fry again. Small cracks in the pakodas are perfectly fine.
I used yellow onions. But red would be preferable.
You can add ¼ cup of finely chopped vegetables like cabbage, carrot or spinach.
Add water as required. Do not add all water at once. Add 1 tbsp at a time and mix the flour.
Adjust salt and spices according to your preference.