Warrigal Greens and Mountain Pepperleaf Pakoras with a River Mint Raita dip
The plant Tetragonia tetragonioids, is commonly known as Warrigal Greens. It comes from the family Aizoaceae, notorious for being tolerant to harsh climatic conditions. Warrigal Greens has its roots in Australia and New Zealand. It was a known plant by Aboriginal Australians but was not used as food until it was discovered by a British botanist Joseph Bank, who described it as a “good spinach substitute” according to a 2019 study.
Growing mainly in eastern coastlines and estuaries in Australia, Warrigal Greens’ most conspicuous feature is its succulent leaves mostly triangular and light green in colour. It’s flowers are small and yellow in colour.
Since the late 1700s, Warrigal Greens has not only survived through time but also thrived to become a highly commercially sourced vegetable by high-end restaurants across Australia. Similar to Spinach, it has a mild salty flavour and can be used to substitute it in many recipes.
Like many Bushfoods, Warrigal Greens has medicinal value. Research has shown leaves of Warrigal Greens are known remedies for gastrointestinal diseases, as an anti-inflammatory, and more recently, it was shown to have an anti-obesity effect when fed to mice on a high-fat diet.
Pakoras are common in the Indian subcontinent. A common street name for Pakora is Bhajiya. It is a home-stylish dish, especially popular during tea-time. It has recently taken to the streets in India quickly spreading to Japan, Spain and Portugal before gaining a footprint in Australia and to the rest of the world.
According to an Indian E-paper, this started in the 16th Century when Spanish and Portuguese ships made a stop-over in India on their way to Japan. This sparked off a culinary love affair between the three distinct cultures that endures to date!
While Pakoras are common almost everywhere in the world now, this one is not! We’ve combined the mild, salty, and spinachy Warrigal Greens taste with the aroma of spearmint and pepper from our River Mint to bring one uniquely tasty yet simple-to-follow Pakora recipe!
- 150g Warrigal Greens leaves
- 60g Chickpea Flour
- 5g Tsp Carraway Seeds
- 5g Tsp Mountain Pepperleaf
- 5g Tsp Salt
Oil For Frying
- 150g Plain Coconut Yogurt
- 5g Tsp River Mint
- 5g Tsp Cumin Powder
- 5 Tsp Coriander Powder
- Pearls of 1 Finger Lime
- Juice of Half a Lime
- 3g Tsp Salt
- To make the raita, all you need to do is mix all the ingredients together and set aside in the fridge
- Heat a saucepan filled with water on the stove to boiling point.
- Remove the Warrigal Greens leaves from the stems and place in the boiling water for two minutes
- Strain and rinse the leaves.
- In a bowl, combine the rest of the pakora ingredients with the greens, so they are lightly battered (you don’t need to add any extra water to the batter, as there should be enough on the greens already)
- Heat up a saucepan of oil about 1 cm deep on medium heat.
- Drop tablespoonfuls of the pakora mixture in the oil and fry on either side until golden brown and crispy
- Drain the pakoras on a paper towel, then serve with the raita.