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A Warm, Comforting Snack Packed With Cheese & Greens

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Every so often, we scour the site for cool recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature—this one comes from longtime Food52er Rinku Bhattacharya.

How’s everyone doing on their 2018 goals? Still hitting the gym? Learning Portuguese? Feeding your sourdough? If you’re like me, by January 30th (heck, the past two weeks) it’s a struggle to keep up with resolutions. I blame the weather—the sometimes freezing, sometimes cold, usually wet weather. It weighs down the bright promises of a new year and makes me want to curl up under my covers.


The end of January is just tough, and requires equally hearty food to fight the scaries. According to community member Rinku Bhattacharya, pakoras are a traditional monsoon snack and the perfect complement to any less-than-perfect weather.

A warm, satisfying, and impressive winter snack.
A warm, satisfying, and impressive winter snack. Photo by James Ransom

“There is something comforting about winter and these crisp and savory bites,” she says. “They fare even better on cold evenings when there is snow.”

Her version of the fried bite-size snack combines a base of chickpea flour and cheddar cheese with crispy ribbons of collard greens. Bhattacharya says any winter green will work, but collards have a rough texture that holds up to hot oil.


It’s important to heat the frying oil for at least three minutes to ensure a perfectly fried pakora without burning or undercooking. And, as with other fried foods, don’t overcrowd the pan or you won’t get that great crunch.

So if you’re craving a warm snack to keep new year spirits up, try these pakoras. Crispy, cheesy, green-filled bites are tough enough to tackle the worst winter throws at you.

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Collard Greens and Cheddar Cheese Pakoras

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Makes about 30
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped collard greens
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grated aged cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups neutral oil, for frying
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What's a food that pulls you out of a January funk? Share recipes in the comments!

Tags: collard greens, cheddar, pakora