Preparation / Directions:
Drop the eggplant into a bowl, sprinkle it with salt, and turn the pieces about with a spoon to coat them evenly. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Combine the chick-pea flour, rice flour, cumin and red pepper in a deep bowl and, when they are well mixed, pour in the water, stirring constantly.
Pour 3 cups of vegetable oil into a 10-inch karhai or 12-inch wok, or fill a deep fryer with oil to a depth of 2 or 3 inches. Heat the oil until it reaches a temperature of 350* on a deep-frying thermometer.
Squeeze the eggplant pieces gently but firmly to remove as much of their moisture as possible. With tongs or a slotted spoon, dip one piece at a time into the batter and then drop it into the hot oil. Fry the eggplant in batches of 5 or 6 pieces for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides. As they brown, transfer them to paper towels to drain.
Baingan pakoras are traditionally served as a snack or as part of a meal.