1 1/2 cups besan
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. cayenne (more to taste)
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water (approximate)
1/4 cup grated or finely chopped, peeled gingerroot
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
Combine besan and spices in a medium mixing bowl. Add just enough water to make a smooth paste. Gradually add more water until it is the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Add gingerroot and mix well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls into hot oil (350-375°) and fry until golden brown on all sides. When done, remove with slotted spoon and set to drain on absorbent paper towels. Let oil heat up again between batches. For a nice variation, chop an eggplant into 1/2" dice, coat with batter, and fry as above. Now add the pakoras to the cooking curry sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.