I fell in love with pakora, battered and fried vegetables, when I lived in India. Pakora is a popular food that can be purchased from Indian street vendors, and is also a popular snack served in restaurants and homes. The great news is, it is easy to make pakora at home, particularly if you have a deep fryer. This article includes a few easy recipes for Indian pakora.
Pakora starts with a batter, made from chickpea flour, also known as besan. Regardless of the type of pakora you make, you will always start with the same batter.
Here is a great and easy recipe for pakora batter:
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
3 tsp oil
1 tsp. ground cumin,
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp. ajwain seeds (optional)
1 chopped jalapeno pepper
1 cup water
Mix all of the ingredients for the pakora batter together in a blender for about five minutes. Although the ingredients will be well blended before then, beating them for five minutes will make the batter light and fluffy.
Set the batter aside for 30 minutes.
While the batter is resting, prepare the vegetables.
The vegetables you use depend on personal taste, but some common ones are cauliflower, cut into small florets, sliced potatoes, and sliced onions.
One delicious option is to prepare a combination of vegetables and create a mixed vegetable pakora.
Mixed Vegetable Pakora
1 small cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup of sliced spinach leaves
1 large yellow onion, sliced.
1 medium potato, diced
Boil all of the vegetables together until the potatoes are tender. Drain well.
Mix the vegetables into the pakora batter and fry at a temperature of 375 degrees, until golden brown, turning the pakora occasionally so that both sides brown evenly.
Single Vegetable Pakora
My favorite single vegetable vegetable pakora is potato, but you can really use any of your favorite vegetables or whatever you happen to have on hand.
Depending on the vegetable you use, you may need to cook the vegetable first. For example, potatoes should be sliced and boiled until barely tender, before making the pakora. Cauliflower should be cut into florets and boiled or steamed until just tender. Other vegetables such as onions and squash do not need to be cooked prior to being battered.
There are two ways to handle battering single vegetable pakora. For larger pieces of vegetables, such as potato or cauliflower, I like to dip the individual vegetables into the batter and drop each piece into hot oil. For onion pakora, I suggest cutting the onion into quarters, and then cutting the quartered onion into slices. Mix all of the onion slices into the pakora batter, and drop by spoonfuls into the hot oil and cook until golden brown.
Regardless of whether or not you make single or mixed vegetable pakora, once the pakora has finished cooking, you’ll want to drain it on paper towels and serve it with cilantro chutney or ketchup.