Besides a cup of tea, there are many dishes that can include tea as we discovered on our recent travels to visit tea gardens in India, some more unusual than others like the tea leaf pakoda.
Pakodas are Indian fritters that are crispy and seasoned with spices. Across South Asia you can find pakodas made with a whole variety of vegetables. Usually they are made with onions, spinach, cauliflower and other vegetables.
In Assam, it's the humble tea leaf that's often used. Tea leaves work very well as the tannins in the leaves add a slight bitterness to the fritters. Delicious paired with a cool, mint chutney..!
10 tea leaves
50g chickpea flour
50g all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder
1 teaspoon of pepper
1. Pick fresh tea leaves along with the bud. Wash well and leave whole.
2. Mix the chickpea flour with a little bit of water, and all the other ingredients to create a batter.
3. Leave for 5-10 minutes to marinate.
4. Heat the oil in a pan and dip the tea leaf in the batter and float gently on the hot oil and fry the leaves. Remove when golden.
5. Serve with chutney, and enjoy!