Ingredients

FOR THE TOMATO KASUNDI
¼ cup sunflower oil
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 brown onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 long green chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
800g chopped tinned tomatoes
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 green apple, peeled, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
FOR THE PAKORA BATTER
1 cup cornflour
1 cup chickpea flour
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons onion/nigella seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
FOR THE DRESSED SORREL
6-8 large sorrel leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
TO ASSEMBLE THE OYSTER PAKORAS
24 pre-shucked oysters, removed from shell (keep the cleaned oyster shells to serve)
oil for frying
marigold leaves or baby herbs, to serve (optional)
At Cassia we love to showcase the best of our locally sourced ingredients complemented by Indian flavours. We use Te Matuku oysters from Waiheke in pakoras (also known as bhajji). The batter provides a textural element that works really well with the creamy oysters and the tomato kasundi adds sharpness to the dish. Oyster pakoras will be a big crowd pleaser at any event.

Instructions

1.TOMATO KASUNDI
2.In a large saucepan, heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, turmeric and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.
3.Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook for 2 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
4.Add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, apple and salt. Bring to the boil.
5.Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour until the liquid has evaporated and the oil comes to the top.
6.Cool and store in the fridge, in sterilised jars, for up to one month.
7.PAKORA BATTER
8.Combine all the dry ingredients well.
9.Slowly add cold water stirring to combine until the batter is a similar consistency to crêpe batter. Set aside.
10.DRESSED SORREL
11.Using a small knife, remove the sorrel from either side of the stem. Slice each of the leaves in half diagonally.
12.Place in a bowl and dress with the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and the oil.
13.Toss well and keep in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
14.THE OYSTER PAKORAS
15.Place the oysters one by one into batter, then either shallow fry in 2 inches of oil, or deep fry at 180°C for 2-3 minutes.
16.Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
17.Season lightly with flaked salt.
18.Put 1 teaspoon of kasundi into each cleaned oyster shell.
19.Wrap the fried oysters in a dressed sorrel leaf and place on top of the kasundi.
20.Garnish with marigold leaves or other baby herbs if you choose.
21.Serve immediately.

Photography Jason Creaghan

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