Nadiya Hussain's Carrot Cake Pakoras with Cream Cheese Dip

A clever twist on a pakora, Nadiya Hussain's delicious carrot cake-inspired fried sweet treats, as seen on her BBC series, Nadiya's Family Favourites, are served with a cream cheese dip.

Nadiya's Family Favourites
Tasty midweek meal ideas
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Introduction

This is one those crazy ideas I get in the middle of the night. One of those ideas I’m so impatient to try that it draws me out of the comfort of my warm bed and down to the kitchen to start testing it right away, no matter what time it is! Imagine a carrot cake, with carrots, spices, nuts and raisins, but deep-fried, hot and dusted with icing sugar. All served with a cool sweet cream cheese dip. Now tell me that isn’t worth the lack of sleep!

Makes 20 pakoras
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 35 min

Ingredients

For the dip:
100g full-fat cream cheese
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
a pinch of salt
a pinch of mixed spice
For the pakoras:
1.5-2 litres vegetable oil
300g carrots (3-4 medium ones), peeled and grated
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
50g raisins
120g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
20g caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp salt
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
up to 1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions

These pakoras are best eaten fresh and warm, so I like to make the dip first so that it’s ready and waiting. Mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fully combined, with no lumps.

Mix in the icing sugar, maple syrup and salt, then transfer into a serving bowl. Drizzle over a squirt of maple syrup and sprinkle with a pinch of mixed spice. Cover the bowl and pop into the fridge.

Put a medium pan (one that has a lid, in case you need to put the lid on in an emergency) on a high heat and add about 1.5 litres of oil, depending on the size of the pan – the oil needs to be halfway up.

Have a baking tray ready, lined with kitchen paper to soak up excess oil.

To start the pakoras, put the carrots, walnuts and raisins into a mixing bowl. Mix well.

Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, mixed spice and salt, and stir into the carrot mixture so everything is coated. Add the beaten eggs and keep mixing until you have a thick batter.

Test that the oil is hot enough by adding a tiny drop of the batter to the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the top, the oil is ready for frying. (If you’re one of the few people who owns a cooking thermometer, this would be 170C.) Turn the heat down to medium.

Using 2 teaspoons, one to pick up and the other to push out, gently drop teaspoons of the mixture into the oil. Work in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.

Fry for about 4–5 minutes, moving them around and turning them occasionally so they are an even colour. They should be golden brown on the outside.

Remove the pakoras from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper-covered tray.

Fry more batches until all the batter is used up. Dust with icing sugar and serve with the dip. Hot fried cake, cool dip, and none of the waiting. Pakoras have taken on a whole new meaning.

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