Here is a popular Indian dish that I wanted to post for some time now. The USA Rice Federation had sent me some very interesting and yummy holiday entertainment dishes that I thought would be of interest to my readers as well. I know Thanksgiving is still a way off but I thought with it quickly approaching next month you might need a few new appetizer ideas for your family get-together. Now I have to say, if you don't already know, I love Indian food! This got my attention immediately. This spicy deep-fried appetizer, using rice and chick-pea flour, is a delicious little bite for any of your party guests. Paired with a sweet mango chutney for dipping and you've got a new surprise treat sure to satisfy any spicy food lover!

Recipe and photo from USA Rice Federation. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use U.S. Rice is strictly from the USA Rice Federation and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*

Makes 30 Pieces


  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) plain Balkan-style yogurt
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) garam masala or Jeera-dhaniya powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) chili paste
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each turmeric and salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked U.S. long-grain white rice
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) besan or bengal gram (chickpea flour)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Mango chutney

In bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil, sugar, garam masala, baking powder, ginger, chili paste, turmeric and salt. Stir in rice and cilantro; stir in besan until a thick batter forms. Let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in deep heavy-bottomed skillet or wok, add enough oil to come at least 1-inch (2.5 cm) up side of pan. Heat oil to 350°F (180°C) (or use deep-fryer). Scoop mixture by tablespoonfuls (15 mL) and form each into ovals or balls.

Fry, a few at a time and turn once, until deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined tray to drain. Serve warm with mango chutney for dipping.
TIP: These gluten-free snacks are similar to pakoras. To make ahead, refrigerate for up to 3 days, then reheat on baking sheet in 350°F (180°C) oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.

If batter seems a bit thin when frying, add a couple more tablespoons (25 mL) of besan. If you can’t find besan, these can be made with all-purpose flour, though the flavour will be noticeably different. Or if you have a grinder, make your own besan with dried chickpeas.

PER SERVING (3 pieces): 200 calories, 16 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 227 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 1 g fibre, 3 g protein. % RDI: 2% calcium, 4% iron, 2% vitamin A.

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