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Pakora Recipes

Fulfill your fritter fascination with these recipes

The ubiquitous pakora is great when it’s nice and crisp. Here’s how to make sure that it is so...

Durri Bhalla | Published 07.08.22, 12:53 AM
Crispy Crunchy Onion Pakora

Crispy Crunchy Onion Pakora

Pakoras are crispy fritters made with onions, vegatables, chicken, fish, gram flour, spices, herbs, or anything else that takes your fancy. It is a popular snack and street food from the Indian sub-continent. Chai and pakora is a match made in heaven and we love it all round the year, especially during the monsoons. It is comforting to listen to the pitter patter of heavy rain sitting in the comfort of our homes having tea and pakoras. Here are tips to make sure that your pakoras come out crispy and crunchy.

CRISPY CRUNCHY ONION PAKORAS

INGREDIENTS

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  •  Onions: 3 large, thinly sliced long and each separated
  •  Green chillies: 3, chopped very finely
  •  Salt: 1tsp, or according to taste
  •  Turmeric: 1tsp
  •  Red chilli flakes: 2tsp, crushed
  •  Lemon juice: 2tbsp
  •  Besan (gram flour): ½ cup
  •  Rice flour: ½ cup

METHOD

  •  In a bowl put the sliced onions, salt, green chillies and chilli flakes. Now crush everything well so moisture from the onions and salt is released. Mix at least for 2 minutes.
  •  Now add turmeric and lemon juice. Crush once again.
  •  Now add the besan and rice flour. Mix once again. Let the onions be coated well with the flour. In case you need to add a little water then just 1tbsp will be enough.
  •  Now heat oil for deep frying. When hot, pick a little of the battered onions with your hand and drop it in the oil. Do not crowd the kadai. Let it cook without turning for 2 minutes and then keep turning it over for another 3 minutes till golden and crispy. Drain and keep aside. Fry the rest the same way.
  •  Enjoy with green chutney, ketchup, etc.

SPINACH (PALAK) PAKORA

INGREDIENTS

  •  Spinach leaves: 1 bunch. Wash and pat dry. The bigger the leaf the better.
  •  Besan: 1½ cup
  •  Rice flour: ¼ cup
  •  Cornstarch: 2tbsp
  •  Turmeric: ¼tsp
  •  Chilli powder: ½tsp
  •  Chaat masala: ¼tsp
  •  Salt: ½tsp, or according to taste
  •  Water: 1 cup

METHOD

  •  Mix all the ingredients except for the spinach leaves. Beat the batter for at least 1 minute till it is nice and smooth. It should not be runny or too thick. The consistency should be enough so that the leaf is coated but not thickly coated.
  •  Now add 1tbsp hot oil to the batter. This trick makes for crispy pakoras.
  •  Heat oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot dip each leaf in the batter and coat it well.
  •  Then gently drop in hot oil. Fry them on medium flame till they turn golden and crispy.

NOTE: Just put 3-4 pakoras in the kadai. Do not crowd it. Once it rises keep turning it gently so that it is cooked on both sides and it will not burn that way.

Also, when you drop the pakoras in hot oil then cook it on medium hot flame. Thereafter you can turn the flame on high and cook it.

RAJASTHANI MIRCHI PAKORA

INGREDIENTS

  •  Big and long green chillies: 9-10 (about 250g)
  •  For the stuffing
  •  Potatoes: 3, boiled, peeled and mashed
  •  Coriander leaves: 3tbsp, finely chopped
  •  Cumin seeds: ½tsp
  •  Turmeric: ¼tsp
  •  Red chilli powder: ½tsp
  •  Coriander powder: 1tsp
  •  Ginger paste: 1tsp
  •  Green chilli: 1, very finely chopped
  •  Hing (asafoetida): A pinch
  •  Garam masala powder: ¼tsp
  •  Amchoor powder (mango powder): ½tsp
  •  For the batter
  •  Besan: 1 cup
  •  Red chilli powder: ½tsp
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Water: As needed

METHOD:

  •  For the chillies
  •  Make a slit on one side of the chilli and remove the seeds. Do not tear on the other side.
  •  For the stuffing
  •  Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan. Add cumin and let it splutter. Then put flame on low and add turmeric, ginger, green chillies and saute for half a minute.
  •  Then add mashed potatoes. Now add salt, red chilli powder, amchoor and garam masala powder. Mix well and cook till the rawness of the masalas goes and everything is well combined. Turn off the flame and add coriander leaves and mix well. Transfer to a bowl.
  •  Stuff each chilli with the potato stuffing. Pack it in well. Then even it out. The stuffing should not be sticking out of the chilli.
  •  For the batter
  •  Add water to the besan little by little and make a smooth batter. It should not be runny but slightly thick — but not too thick — so that it coats the chillies well.
  •  For frying
  •  Heat oil in kadai for deep frying. Dip each chilli in the batter and coat it well. Then gently drop in hot oil and fry till golden-brown on all sides.
  •  Do not crowd the kadai. Do not touch the pakora for 1 minute. Then you can gently keep flipping till they turn golden and crisp. Drain and keep aside in a mesh basket.

PANEER PAKORA

INGREDIENTS

  •  For the paneer
  •  Paneer: 200g cut into thick slices like fish fingers
  •  Red chilli powder: 1tsp
  •  Turmeric: ¼tsp
  •  Coriander powder: 1tsp
  •  Salt: 1tsp
  •  Mix all the above ingredients gently so that the paneer does not break.
  •  For the batter
  •  Maida (plain flour): 4tbsp
  •  Besan: 2tbsp
  •  Cornstarch: 1tbsp
  •  Ajwain: ¼tsp, crushed with the hand
  •  Bhuna jeera: 1tsp
  •  Coriander powder: 1tsp
  •  Black pepper powder: ½tsp
  •  Salt: To taste, remember we have already put some salt in the paneer.

METHOD:

  •  Mix all the ingredients well. Add a little water. Whisk for about a minute. The consistency should be not runny but should be able to coat the paneer well.
  •  Now coat each piece of paneer in the batter.
  •  Then coat with bread crumbs and keep aside.
  •  Now take each piece and gently roll with the palm of your hands so that the breadcrumbs stick well to the paneer.
  •  Heat oil. Then put the pakoras in and keep medium flame.
  •  Do not touch it for a minute.
  •  Then you can flip and cook till nice and crispy.
  •  It will take 3-4 minutes.
  •  Enjoy with chutney or dip of your choice.

CAULIFLOWER (GOBI) PAKORA

INGREDIENTS

  •  Cauliflower: 1, cut into big size florets.
  •  For the batter
  •  Besan: ½ cup
  •  Cornflour: ¼ cup
  •  Rice flour: 2tbsp
  •  Coriander leaves: 1tbsp, finely chopped
  •  Curry leaves: A few, finely chopped
  •  Ginger garlic paste: 1tbsp
  •  Salt: 1tsp
  •  Black pepper: ½tsp
  •  Red chilli paste: 1tsp

METHOD:

  •  For the cauliflower
  •  Cook in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. In the water add 1tsp vinegar and 1tsp salt.
  •  Drain the cauliflower and keep aside.
  •  For the batter
  •  Mix all the ingredients to make a smooth and not so thick batter.
  •  Add 1tbsp hot oil to the batter. Mix well.
  •  Add the cauliflower to the batter and see that it is well coated. If the batter is too thick then it will not go inside the cauliflower. So the consistency should be such that the batter is able to get inside the cauliflower.
  •  Let it be in the batter for 20 minutes.
  •  Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. Put few pieces of gobi at a time and cook on medium flame for 3 minutes till light golden and remove it. Do the same with the rest.
  •  Now put oil on high heat and again fry the gobi till golden brown and crispy. (This is double frying. You can do this earlier and then at time of serving fry on high flame and serve hot.)
  •  This double frying makes the cauliflower super crispy.

CHICKEN PAKORA

INGREDIENTS

  •  Boneless chicken: 500g, cut into 1-inch pieces
  •  For the pakora mix
  •  Ginger garlic paste: 1½tsp
  •  Lemon juice: 2tbsp
  •  Salt: 1tsp, or according to taste
  •  Red chilli powder: 2tsp
  •  Garam masala powder: ½tsp
  •  Cumin seeds: ½tsp
  •  Coriander leaves: 2tbsp, finely chopped
  •  Curry leaves: 2tbsp, finely chopped
  •  Besan: ¾ cup
  •  Rice flour: 2tbsp
  •  Oil: 1tbsp
  •  Water: 4tbsp
  •  Oil: for deep frying

METHOD

  •  Pat dry the chicken pieces. Then put all the ingredients for pakora mix and mix it well.
  •  Keep in the fridge for minimum 2 hours. More is better.
  •  Heat oil in a kadai and put chicken pieces one by one and cook on medium high flame. Do not crowd the kadai.
  •  Do not touch for 2 minutes.
  •  Then keep flipping it around till it becomes crispy. It will take about 3-4 minutes.
  •  Remove on a steel mesh and serve hot.

AMRITSARI FISH PAKORAS

INGREDIENTS

  •  For the fish
  •  Boneless fish fillet: 600g, cut into 1½ inch pieces
  •  Lemon juice: 1tbsp
  •  Red chilli powder: 1tbsp
  •  Ginger garlic paste: 4tsp
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Marinate the fish with above ingredients for 20 minutes.
  •  For the batter
  •  Besan: 1 cup
  •  Malt vinegar: 2tbsp
  •  Ajwain (carom seeds): ½tsp, crushed with the palm of the hand
  •  Egg: 1, beaten
  •  Thick curd: ½ cup
  •  Rice flour: 2tbsp
  •  Cornstarch: 1tbsp
  •  Oil: For deep frying

METHOD

  •  For the fish
  •  Marinate the fish with abovementioned ingredients for 20 minutes.
  •  For the batter
  •  Mix all the listed ingredients to form a smooth batter. Toss the marinated fish in this batter and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
  •  Heat oil for deep frying. Put the fish in and fry till golden brown and crisp.
  •  Serve with a sprinkling of chaat masala (as they do in Amritsar) and onion rings and garnished with mint leaves.

GREEN CHUTNEY

  •  In a blender put 50g of coriander leaves, 2 green chillies, 4 cloves, 1-inch piece of ginger, 12-15 pieces of bhuna (sauted) peanuts, ½tsp red chilli powder, 1tbsp lemon juice, 1tsp sauted cumin powder, ¼tsp black salt, ¼tsp salt and 3-4tbsp of water.
  •  Grind the above ingredients to a smooth paste.
  •  Adjust the seasoning and consistency according to your choice. You can even put in a few mint leaves if you wish.

Pictures: Rashbehari Das

Durri Bhalla is a cookery expert and author of Indian Bohra Cuisine and Inner Truth To Good Health And Weight Loss. You can find her at @DurriBhallaKitchen on Instagram, Durri's Kitchen on Facebook and Durri Bhalla on YouTube

Last updated on 07.08.22, 12:53 AM
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