Easy Vegetable Pakora
Pakoras are a popular fritter from the Indian subcontinent. They're enjoyed as appetizers in Indian restaurants all over the world. Assorted vegetables, and occasionally fish and chicken, are coated in a chickpea-flour batter (also known as basan and gram flour) and fried.
- 1 cup Chickpea flour.
- ¼ tsp Baking powder.
- 1-2 tsp Red pepper flakes, to preference.
- ¼ tsp Salt.
- 1 small Handful cilantro, finely chopped (optional).
- ½-1 cup Cup water
- 3 cups Chopped vegetables of choice.
- Canola oil, for frying.
- Lemon wedges, mint and/or tamarind chutney, ketchup, for serving.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and cilantro, adding water until you have a smooth batter with a thick consistency.
Add the cut vegetables to the batter, and stir well to coat.
Heat a few inches of oil in a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Test for hot oil with a drop of batter; if it sizzles right away, it’s ready. Drop ¼ cup-sized balls of pakora batter into the hot oil and fry the pakora a few minutes per side, rotating as needed, until pieces are golden brown and crisp.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the pakoras to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season with salt and serve with lemon wedges, mint and/or tamarind chutney, and ketchup. Eat them while they’re hot!
Baked Pakora Variation: If you want to skip the deep-frying, it’s possible to bake pakoras on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 425ºF for about 20 minutes.
Just about anything can go into a pakora. Typical additions include:
Pumpkin and sweet potato are also becoming popular additions.
While similar preparations like tempura rely on rice flour to get an airy, delicate crunch, pakora batter results in a doughy, golden-brown shell—you may not even know what you’ve got until you crack it open.
By: ALICE WATERS