Pakoras are popular snacks in India and also served in many Indian restaurants. Usually prepared as deep fried, batter coated vegetables but there is much more to it than that. That's why we offer a general procedure and not a single recipe.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor container.
- Add water slowly, stirring, until a smooth batter forms.
- Allow the batter to rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Prepare the filling while the batter sits.
- If preparing pakoras with thinly shredded or grated vegetables, mix vegetables into the batter once the batter has rested.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pan.
- Drop a spoonful of batter containing chopped vegetables into the oil
Coat large filling pieces in the batter and place them into the hot oil.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove pakoras from oil, drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve pakoras immediately accompanied of your favorite dip; any of chutney, raita or even ketchup.
Pakoras are best served straight away but you can warm any leftovers in the oven. Heat oven to 300° F, spread pakoras on a baking sheet and warm for 15-20 minutes.
The seasoning of the batter is highly personal. Substitute garam masala and turmeric with your choice of condiments.
- 1 tsp ground coriander and 1 tsp ground cumin .
- Add toasted cumin seeds.
- Add 2 Tbs chopped coriander leaves.
- Like it hot? Add finely chopped chili to the batter.
It has been suggested that blending up to 3 tablespoons rice flour into the batter makes it crispier.
If you cannot find gram flour, grind dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) in a food processor or coffee grinder then sieve the flour to remove any thick bits or substitute the pakora batter with traditional Western batter.
Traditional Western batter - Blend 3/4 cup plain flour, 1 egg, 1 cup milk into a smooth batter. Add a small amount of water if the batter is too thick. Season to your taste.
Suggestions for the filling
- Boil or microwave a potato until just tender, peel and cut into thick slices. for aloo pakora.
- Use 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped, for palak pakora.
- Cut 1 large eggplant cut into thick slices, sprinkle with salt and let it stand for 30 minutes, wash and drain.
- 1 large zucchini, sliced thick.
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced thick.
- 2 cups cauliflower or broccoli florets, par-boiled.
- 1 8 oz package tofu, cut into thick strips.
- 2 cups shredded cabbage.
- Tandoori marinated chicken tenders.