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Author Notes: Crisp golden potato and onion bites cooked with a selection of spices in a gram flour batter which are deep fried.
I can remember my mum cooking pakora all the time. These were a staple for when guests arrived unannounced, which believe me happened a lot! They take minutes to cook and are lighter than the onion bhajis most people are used to. My son once described them as little aliens as I was scooping them out of the fryer - they are crispy and spiky and a mishmash of shapes.
I cook pakora in a number of different ways, either with onion and potato or a mixture of vegetables onion, potato, aubergine and cauliflower. You can also make them with just slices of aubergine or potato or even whole chillies.
This is the basic pakora recipe which is a great place to start - remember to season to your taste with as much or as little spice as you like. —Hari Ghotra
- 100 grams gram flour
- 1 medium onion
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 chillies
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 handful chopped coriander
- 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- Heat up the oil in a karahi or wok to a medium heat.
- Peel and grate (or very finely chop) the potatoes into the same bowl. You can also use aubergines and cauliflower - chop into very small pieces.
- Add a small amount of water a little at a time to create a thick batter that coats all the vegetables. Squeeze the mixture through your fingers to ensure all the spices mix through. Do not leave the batter and vegetable mixture for too long before cooking.
- Test your oil is hot enough by dropping a little batter into the oil. If it browns and rises immediately then it is ready. Very carefully drop in spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil and fry until golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon move the pakora around, be careful not to overcrowd the karahi.
- Once golden brown and crisp remove from the oil and set on some kitchen paper.