Kale tales & tempura
The flip side of festive days such as thanksgiving is this terrible sense of withdrawal symptoms that invariably strikes after the festivities are over.. Once the cleaning is done, the nice plates are put away and the last wine cork is located in the far corners of the kitchen counter & tossed out, a feeling of 'now what do I do?' sets in and no dish that the head conjures is ever good enough to beat. and no recipe that has been tried, tested & waiting to be posted seems to fit the bill (Take home message: Its not worth making & banking good recipes way too ahead of time)
When that happens I regress back to comfort foods that I know I'll regret stuffing my face with.. This time around it was deep fried 'Bhajia', and a large mug of Masala Chai... at 10.00 am in the morning (doing this ought to rank with hitting the booze at 9.00 am, in terms of socio-culinary blasphemy), but it was delicious while it lasted. Weight watchers just got relegated to the back burner!
I had this gorgeous delicata squash left over from the previous dish that I had incorporated it into, and just could not bring my self to see it languish on the kitchen counter.
The coating of Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs, that are made by drying out only the centres of the bread) also adds a crunchy texture to the otherwise smooth batter covered squash (experimented with both versions with & without bread crumbs, , the one with the Panko won hands down!)
1/2 a delicata squash (seeds & stringy membrane removed),
2 cups shredded Kale
For the Batter:
2/3 cup Chickpea Flour (Besan)
1/3 cup rice flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 - 1 tsp Chipotle chile powder (adjust as per your taste)
Salt to taste
~ 1 cup Seltzer water.
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 cup Canola Oil for deep frying.
Slice the Delicata squash using the thin setting of a mandolin (~ 2 mm thickness)
Remove the thick central vein of the Kale leaves & cut into a fine shred.
Heat the oil in a cast iron pan. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.
In a mixing bowl, combine the chickpea & rice flour, the spices, salt and baking powder & mix well to evenly disperse the ingredients. Add just enough Seltzer to make a thick batter that coats well to the surface of the squash.
When the oil gets sufficiently hot, dip 2-3 rings of squash into the batter evenly coating the surface.
Transfer the battered rings to the plate containing the bread crumbs and coat evenly on both sides. Drop gently into the hot oil & fry till both sides are golden brown. Remove onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towls to absorb the extra oil. Repeat until the squash is used up.
Add the shredded kale into the batter.
Mix to ensure that all the remaining batter coats onto the kale leaves. Drop spoonfuls of the battered kale into hot oil & fry till the Kale gets crunchy. Remove onto kitchen towels.
Serve with your choice of condiments.