Pakoras are a simple and delicious start to an Indian meal. They are also fantastic as a simple lunch, served with a crisp salad and coconut, mint and tamarind chutneys. They can be eaten hot or cold, and any leftovers are great in a sandwich too!
I just love Indian food. I find it very meditative to grind all the various spices and mix them together to get some pretty spectacular flavor combinations.
These pakoras can be served as part of a more complete Indian feast, or served by themselves with some chutneys and a crisp salad. I also like to serve these along with some other Chaat dishes to make a more substantial lunch or finger-food buffet.
These are pretty quick to put together and are great for just about any vegetable. For these pakoras I used just onion, carrot and potato, although you could use just about any vegetable you have on hand – cauliflower and eggplant are particularly good.
Start by gathering all your ingredients.
Finely chop the onion, and grate the potato and carrots. Crush together the fresh ginger and garlic to make a paste. (Alternatively, you can buy ready-made ginger-garlic paste from an Indian store). Chop the fresh chile, coriander/cilantro, and measure out the dry spices and besan/chickpea flour.
Pour the spices over and mix together with your hands. I usually wear a disposable glove – I just find it easier and more hygienic. Next mix in the besan/chickpea flour until the mixture resembles a thick paste. Add water by the tablespoonful until the vegetables are coated in a thick batter.
Heat the oil in a wok or kudai until hot – to test if the oil is hot enough, drop a small piece of batter in. If it foams up and the batter floats to the surface, it’s ready. Drop about a tablespoon batter at a time carefully into the oil. Fry in batches – around 6 at a time. They will float to the surface after about 10 seconds. Use a stainless steel slotted spoon to turn them over in the oil. Remove from the pan when they are golden brown and drain on kitchen paper.
I like to sprinkle a little garam masala over the top.
Serve with chutneys.
- 1 Medium Onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 3 Medium Potatoes, grated
- 2 Large Carrots, grated
- 1 cup Besan/Chickpea Flour
- 2-3 Small Green Chilies, finely chopped
- 1 T Grated Ginger & 2 Cloves Crushed Garlic, mixed together (
- OR 1 T Ginger Garlic Paste)
- ½ t Kashmiri Chili - or Red Chili - Powder
- 1 t Cumin Powder
- 2 t Garam Masala
- 1 t Ground Coriander Powder
- 1 T Turmeric Powder
- 1 t Ground Fennel Powder
- 1 T Kashmiri Mirch (Ground Fenugreek Leaves - not the seeds)
- 2 Cups Peanut oil, or your preferred high-heat oil
- Up to ½ Cup Water, as needed
- Gather, measure and prepare all the ingredients.
- Mix together the grated vegetables.
- Add the ginger and garlic and mix.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix once more, using your hands to ensure all the vegetables are evenly coated.
- Add 3 T water and mix again. Keep adding water by the Tablespoon until you have a thick batter.
- Heat the oil.
- Test oil is hot enough by dropping in a small piece of mixture. If it sizzles and rises, the oil is at the right temperature.
- Drop by Tablespoons into the hot oil - making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook in batches of about 5 or 6. Use a slotted spoon to move the fritters over so that they cook evenly - up to 1 minute a side.
- Remove when nicely-browned and set on a paper towel to drain.
- If desired, sprinkle with a mix of ¼ t sugar and ¼ t garam masala.