Our chopped challenge this week was to use pancake mix – usually a breakfast staple – for a lunch or dinner recipe. Turns out, it makes a great corn dog batter, accented with Indian spices and enrobing a kielbasa.
Special equipment: six 8-inch wooden skewers
Place the mango, jalapeno, mayonnaise, lime zest and juice, cilantro and a pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and season with additional salt if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Fill a large Dutch oven halfway with oil and heat to 350ºF.
While the oil heats up, cut the kielbasa sausage into 3 equal pieces, each about 6 inches long. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut off the pointed end of each skewer. Carefully insert 1 skewer a little more than halfway through each sausage piece. If a piece of your kielbasa is curved, carefully straighten it out before inserting the skewer. Place on a large plate and reserve.
Prepare the pancake batter according to the package directions, adding the cornstarch, cornmeal and garam masala. Pour enough of the pancake batter into a pint glass to fill about three-quarters of the way. Reserve the remaining batter to fill the glass as needed. Dip 2 sausage skewers into the batter, covering completely. Carefully place them in the oil and fry until the batter is cooked through and golden brown, about 3 minutes, flipping occasionally. Do not fry more than 2 sausages at a time because they will start to stick together. Transfer the fried “corn dogs” on to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Season liberally with salt. Dip and fry the remaining sausage skewers.
Serve immediately with the mango dipping sauce.