Spiced Vegetable Pakoras with Mango Relish

1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon salt
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices
12 cauliflower florets
6 large button mushrooms, wiped and cut in half
1-1/3 cup chick-pea flour OR all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup ice water, more if needed
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
lemon wedges
coriander or parsley
Mango Relish
1/4 cup medium -sweet sherry
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground mace
1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place the eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with the salt, and let drain while preparing the other vegetables. Blanch the zucchini and cauliflower florets separately for 2 minutes in boiling water . Drain, refresh under cold water, and dry well. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry.

Combine the flour, coriander, salt, and curry powder in a large bowl. Gradually beat in the oil, lemon juice, and water until the batter is the consistency of heavy cream. Alternatively, place all the ingredients - except the water - in a food processor, and with the motor running, pour the water through the funnel until you have the right consistency.

Heat 4 inches of oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan to 350 degrees F. Lightly whisk the batter and dip the vegetables in batches of 5 to 6, then slip them carefully into the hot oil. Fry the pakoras for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning them with a slotted spoon. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels, and keep warm in a moderate oven while you cook the remaining pakoras. Allow the oil to come back to 350 degrees F between batches. When all the vegetables are ready, garnish with lemon wedges and coriander or parsley and serve at once with the mango relish.

MANGO RELISH: Place the sherry, water, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, star anise, salt, and mace in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the mango, bell pepper, and lemon juice; lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Spoon into a screw top jar and refrigerate until required.

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