Crispy Vegetable Pakoras | Vegetable Fritters | crispy, golden, battered, and pan-fried vegetables. An absolute must with Indian chai. Pakoras are a popular Indian snack that are perfect for a rainy day or to serve as appetizers.
Traditional pakoras are made with different vegetables, which are dipped in a spicy besan (chickpea flour) batter, and deep fried. These delicious, crispy snacks are even better when paired with a cup of hot aromatic ‘Chai’. This snack would also be great with Cardamon Walnut Chai Cake. Sweet cake, savory pakoras, and Masala chai… tea party!
I remember while growing up, whenever it would be rainy and gloomy on a weekend my dad would tell my mum that it was “a perfect day for chai and pakoras!” .Obviously this was a hint of what he was hoping to get with his afternoon chai. So that was it, the afternoon was
cooked… booked: hot chai and crispy pakoras.
Today was just one of those days! We woke up to the rain and it just wasn’t stopping. Hoping for some sunshine we attempted to go about our day but soon realized it was going to be like this all day. After moping around the house I suddenly remembered what my dad always hinted to my mom. The husband was of course, excited and accepted the proposition graciously. And our plan was made! Evening chai with vegetable pakoras, and a Bollywood movie.
I used onions, potatoes, long hot peppers, and green chilies for my vegetable pakoras. These can be made with pretty much any vegetable of your liking (cauliflower, okra, etc)
Tips for making the crispiest pakoras:
Make your batter thicker than you’d like, add your onions first before any other vegetable. Mix and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Onions have natural juices in them that will create more moisture, giving you the perfect batter consistency without having to add too much water.
Line a tray with a paper towel to drain the oil from the pakoras without piling them on top of each other (which causes condensation from the hot pakoras and they loose their crispiness).
- 1 cup besan; chickpea flour
- ⅓ cup water; start with this & add more if needed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ⅛ teaspoon red chili powder
- ⅛ saunf/fennel seeds; coarsly crushed
- ⅛ ajwain/caraway seeds; coarsly crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt; adjust for taste
- 1 tablespoon kasoori methi; crushed
- 1 large onion; thinly sliced and separated
- 1 small potato; thinly sliced
- 1 green chili; finely chopped
- 1½ cup oil; for frying
- Sift the chickpea flour into a medium bowl. Mix in all the spices and salt. Add the water and mix until a thick paste. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Add the onions and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Once mixture has settled in; mix more water if required (the batter should resemble the same thickness as pancake batter). Add additional vegetables. Over medium-high heat in a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the coated vegetables in small batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels before serving, add a dash of chaat masala. Pakoras taste best when eaten hot and fresh. Serve them with mint chutney, ketchup, or on their own!