Vegetable pakoras are literally vegetable fritters, A very popular snacks from Indian sub-continent. They’re vegan finger food often served as afternoon snacks with a cup of tea or coffee.
They’re similar to Indonesian Bala Bala/ Bakwan Sayur. In essence, they’re both a mix of different vegetables in the seasoned and spiced batter that deep-fried.
So, really I can’t say that these deliciously moreish savoury snacks are healthy because they’re fried stuff.
However, just like anything, I personally think it’s ok to have vegetable pakoras from time to time in moderation. And when you do, make sure you make the best, so it’s worth it.
Pakoras which refers to anything coated in spicy batter then deep-fried to the crunch have many varieties according to their main ingredients. There are onion bhaji, vegetable pakora, potato pakora, chicken pakora, mushroom pakora, etc.
All these tasty fried snacks often appear for iftar/ breaking the fast in Ramadan, and special occasions such as weddings, family gatherings, parties, etc.
What do you need to make them
As the name says, this recipe will be all around the mixed veggies. You can choose and use any vegetables you like. Potato, carrot, onion, green beans/ french beans, courgette/ zucchini, cabbage, or runner beans are only some of the options. You can always try and experiment to your liking.
In this recipe, I use potato, carrot, onion, and green beans/ french beans. Because these are quite basic veggies that I feel most of us quite often.
To bind the pakora, you will need chickpea flour (gram flour) and a tablespoon or two of rice flour or cornflour (corn starch). The latter is optional. But I recommend using it as it gives body to the vegetable pakoras and makes them crispier.
As for the spice and seasoning, you need ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, whole cumin seeds, chilli powder (or chopped fresh chillies), and carom seeds (Ajwain). Again, the latter is optional. If you don’t have it, you can replace it with Garam Masala or just double the amount of ground/ powder spices.
How to make
Firstly, you get all the vegetables ready by washing and rinsing them. Then, finely cut the potato and carrot in julienne sticks. Or, you can grate them.
Diagonally cut the green beans in very-fine slices. And finely slice the onion.
Squeeze the vegetables out to remove the moisture that they release. Put them all in a mixing bowl.
Secondly, sprinkle the rice flour or cornflour over the veggies. Shake the bowl and try to stir the veggies quickly.
Then, add the spices and salt in and stir quickly. Followed with the gram flour. Stir the vegetables until all coated with the flour and pour the water little by little as you keep mixing. You may not need to use all the water suggested in this recipe. What you want is the flour to coat the vegetables quite thickly but not sticky. And make sure the batter is not runny.
Thirdly, heat the oil in a deep frying pan or a wok at medium-high heat. Try and test the oil by frying a tiny drop of the batter. It should fry at a steady pace and not too quick. Then carefully slide vegetable mixture in the oil a spoon at a time and make sure there is enough space between one to another. Fry the fritters at medium heat, turn them once and cook until they look golden.
Top tips to make crunchy and tasty vegetable pakora
- Vegetables release quite a bit of moisture, so make sure you squeeze them out, and you can even pat them drier with a kitchen towel.
- Try to cut and slice the vegetables in a similar thickness so that they cook evenly at the same time. Some vegetables take longer to cook such as potato and carrot, so you may want to grate them instead.
- Chickpea flour/ gram flour turns bitter after you open it for a while. So make sure you use fresh chickpea flour so that the taste will be fine.
- Carom seeds are what make the pakoras different from other types of fritters, I highly recommend. But if it’s not easy for you to get them, you can substitute it with Garam Masala.
- One of the keys of crispy pakoras is the frying temperature. You want to make sure the oil is hot enough to cook all the veggies inside the batter. But not too hot that it cooks the outside quickly but leaves the inside raw. If the oil is not hot enough, the batter will absorb more oil so it leaves your pakoras greasy.
Ways to enjoy
These crunchy savoury treats are delish to eat as they are. But, traditionally they’re enjoyed with mint yoghurt sauce, tomato chilli chutney, or simply with shop-bought chilli sauce.
Technically, you can keep your vegetable pakoras in a food container and store them in the refrigerator/ fridge for about 2-3 days. Just pop the pakoras in the oven for about 5 minutes to make them crispy again before serving.
But obviously these delicious vegetable fritters are best eaten fresh right away after frying.
Vegetable Pakora Recipe
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you’re now planning to try this vegetable pakora recipe. When you do, I would love you to share what you think about the recipe in the comments below (leave a reply box).
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Before you go, don’t forget to check out my other snacks recipe that you may love.
- Pakistani Dahi Baray – lentil dumplings in spiced yoghurt sauce.
- Chicken kebab patties.
- Khaman Dhokla – savoury chickpea steamed cake.
- Chicken tikka strips.
- Halwa Puri – semolina pudding with fried flatbread.
- Lamb burger kebabs.
Thank you and all the best