If you love Indian food, you’ve probably gotten your hands dirty in plate of vegetable pakora at some time or another.
Pakora is a very old dish. The name finds its roots in Sanskrit and loosely translates into “cooked small lump”. Yum. The snack has many variations and many names found in varying forms all over India, Africa, and the Middle East; each region has its own twist on this classic snack.
We found this top notch vegetable pakora recipe in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The chickpea flour batter was perfectly seasoned and spiced, and the pakoras had the right ratio of batter to vegetable—the factor that makes or breaks this dish. We were lucky enough to receive a hands-on demonstration from pakora master and home chef turned teacher Shashi, and now we can share it with you!
Vegetable Pakora Recipe
Note on the vegetables — Typically you’ll find potato and onions in most variations, but cauliflower, green peas, okra and any other seasonal veg you fancy make tasty additions. Just make sure your chosen vegetables are chopped, diced, or sliced thin enough to fully cook in the amount of time takes for the batter to become a crispy golden brown.
For this staple vegetable pakora recipe we use very thin sliced potato and onion.
- 1 cup chickpea (gram) flour
- 4 cloves garlic and 1/2 a thumb size of ginger peeled and crushed with mortar and pestle
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground red chili
- 1/4 cup ground coriander (cilantro)
- 1 bunch fresh chopped coriander (cilantro)
- pinch of anise
- pinch of oregano seeds (not powder)
- pinch of Garam Masala powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 onions, thin sliced so that the 1cm rings stay intact (as best you can)
- 2 potatoes, thin sliced 1cm
- 4 cups neutral oil (for frying)
- Heat oil for frying.
- Mortar and pestle garlic and ginger till very fine.
- Combine chickpea flour, dry herbs, garlic and ginger, and fresh chopped coriander (cilantro) in medium size mixing bowl.
- Add 1/2 cup of water to flour mix slowly, incorporating as you go. The final consistency should be a watery paste, but not too runny.
- Add sliced onions and potatoes, hand mix gently until completely covered.
- Add 2 tablespoons of hot oil from frying pan to the mixture, this will make the batter extra fluffy.
- Combine one slice of potato and one slice of onion together and slowly drop into frying pan. The consistency of the batter should hold the two pieces together while frying.
- Repeat till done.
- Serve fresh with mint sauce and tamarin chutney.