This morning we had the most glorious weather, and the jerusalem artichokes were calling out to be harvested. I was pretty keen to try a recipe I’d been exposed to the other day for jerusalem artichoke pakoras, so I suppose if I’m honest, my stomach was the motivation to get this job done.
This is the first season we’ve grown jerusalem artichokes (or fartichokes, as they’re affectionately known), so I was unsure what the crop would be like. The plants themselves were huge – at least 3m tall, so I feared they might have used all their energy for vegetative growth, and produced very few artichokes.
I was wrong.
This was perhaps the most exciting moment of my year.
Yes, big call. And perhaps a judgement could be made here on the mundane nature of my year thus far, but it actually was quite exhilarating to discover masses of artichokes. Giant ones too. I had never seen any so huge before, so my reaction was perhaps justified.
As I moved along the row, I noticed that I was harvesting
fewer artichokes, and many more potatoes. Unexpected, but fine by me. The dinner plans started coming to me all at once – potato curry with rice and jerusalem artichoke pakoras! Hurrah!
So into the kitchen I went. Scrubbed the knobbly beasties, and peeled them. I might just add that this is harder than it sounds.
From my encounter with this recipe the other day, I found that they take quite a while to cook, and the batter browns a lot faster than the artichokes become soft. So this time I parboiled them before battering them, which worked quite well. I’ve heard that soaking jerusalem artichokes before cooking them helps to reduce their fart-factor (for want of a better word), so naturally, I did that too before boiling them.
I also made a curry from the recipe sheet provided by Carmella’s Curries
. I bought some of her kasoundi from the Barossa Farmers Market over the weekend, and was keen to try it out. Unfortunately, my slightly less-than-sensational chef skills mean that multitasking in the kitchen is still a bit baffling to me, and I subsequently cremated a batch of pakoras while tending the curry…
So, the finished product? Unfortunately, the terrible quality photo doesn’t quite do it justice. It did look a bit more vibrant than this in real life. And it tasted quite good. The pakoras are ridiculously addicitive, but isn’t everything that’s deep fried though?
Lessons learnt: Cook curries for longer so the potato is soft, and my multitasking skills need work. Also that deep-frying oil is useless once you’ve burnt things in it.