Recipes for Delicious Pakoras and Mouth-Watering Chutneys

“Pakora” is one of the most popular street foods in Pakistan and even across South Asia. Pakora is a crispy, fried snack made from chickpea flour (“besan”), spices, onions and veggies or chicken. This deep-fried snack is very addictive and served with different kinds of mouth-watering chutneys. You can make onion pakora, mixed veggie pakora, spinach pakora, potato pakora, green chilli pakora, eggplant pakora, cabbage pakora and chicken pakora – basically anything dipped in the pakora batter and fried.

There is a town called Rohri, which is a part of the Sukkur district in Sindh, Pakistan. There is a Hindu community there and they have local vendors or small restaurants with amazing street food such as pakora, samosas, aloo tikki (potato patties), and mithai (South Asian sweets). My brother Raja always went to that area to buy pakora and other street foods. I remember how we used to have pakoras especially during rainy days and during Ramadan. My variation on pakora is to use less chickpea flour batter and more veggies. Since it was Ramadan, I made pakoras more often and I made four different kinds of pakoras.

Below are the recipes for the different types of pakoras I made as well as two chutneys: green and tamarind chutney.

Recipes for Pakoras:

1. Mixed Veggie Pakora

Serves 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (“besan”)
  • 2 large chopped yellow onions
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 2 chopped green chilli
  • 2 chopped green onion stalks
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp dry pomegranate seeds (“anardana”)
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tbsp carom seeds (“ajwain”)
  • 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (“kasoori methi”)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • Water as required for the batter
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Optional: one garlic clove

Preparation

  1. Wash and chop the onions, potatoes, coriander and mint leaves, green chilli, green onions, and tomato.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the chopped ingredients and spices listed and mix well using your hands. Gently squeeze the batter to release the water.
  3. Add chickpea flour and mix well.
  4. Add water little by little to make the batter. There shouldn’t be any lumps in the flour and the batter should be smooth with a consistency that is not too thin.
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok (karahi). Optional: Add one garlic clove to reduce the smell of oil.
  1. When the oil is hot, gently drop a small portion of the batter as a tester to check if the oil is hot enough. After a few seconds, the drop of the batter should rise to the top, which indicates that the oil is ready for frying. You can also check the salt by tasting the tester and adjust accordingly.
  2. Use 1 tbsp (you can also use your hand, approx. 2 inches) and scoop up the batter for each pakora and put into the oil. Fry on medium heat, flip the pakora when it is light brown. Fry until both sides are golden brown and crisp and remove from pan. Do not overcrowd the frying pan. Make sure the heat is not too low, as the batter will soak up a lot of oil.
  1. Take out pakoras using a slotted spoon and place on paper towels, so that the excessive oils are absorbed by the paper towels.
  2. Serve hot with green chutney and/or tamarind chutney.

2. Onion Pakora

Serves 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 chopped green chilli
  • 1 tbsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tbsp turmeric powder
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Optional: one garlic clove

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, add all chopped ingredients and spices, mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Add chickpea flour to the bowl and mix well using your hands.
  3. Add 2 tbsp water and mix well. If the onions have released a lot of water, you may not need to add extra water. Make sure the batter consistency is not too thin. I like to add more onions and less chickpea flour when making the batter.
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok (karahi). Optional: Add one garlic clove to reduce the smell of oil.
  2. Deep fry the onion pakora just as described in the veggie pakora instructions above.
  1. Take out pakoras using a slotted spoon and place on paper towels, so that the excessive oils are absorbed by the paper towels.
  2. Serve hot with chutney.

3. Potato Fritters Pakora (Aloo Pakora)

Serves 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Water for soaking the potatoes slices
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Optional: one garlic clove

Preparation

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes
  2. Cut the potatoes into thin slices make sure the potatoes slices are not too thin. They should be thicker than a potato chip, but not too thick, otherwise they won’t cook from inside.
  3. In medium sized bowl, put all potatoes slices, salt and cold water. The cold water is used to soak the potatoes and protect them from turning dark in colour and keeps them fresh.
  4. Keep aside while making batter.

Ingredients for Batter:

  • ½ cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • ½ cup water (as required for the batter)
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp whole dry coriander seed
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1/8 tsp (a pinch) chaat masala for garnish

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, add the chickpea flour, salt, red chilli powder, baking powder, whole dry coriander seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds and mix well with a fork.
  2. Add water little by little to make the batter.
  3. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok (karahi). Optional: Add one garlic clove to reduce the smell of oil.
  5. Dip the slices of potato into the batter, making sure to coat it completely.
  6. Deep fry the potato pakoras just as described in the veggie pakora instructions above.
  7. Take out pakoras using a slotted spoon or tongs and place on paper towels, so that the excessive oils are absorbed by the paper towels.
  1. Garnish with chaat masala and serve hot with green chutney and/or tamarind chutney.

4. Green Chilli Pakora (Hari Mirch Pakora)

Serves for 4 people

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 10 Whole Green Chillies
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 ½ coriander powder
  • 1 ½ Mango powder (Amchur or Khatai powder)

Preparation

  1. In small bowl mix all ingredients (except the green chilli) with a spoon. Keep this masala mixture aside.
  2. Wash and dry the green chillies.
  3. Take each chilli and make a slit on one side and fill in the masala mixture.

Ingredients for the Batter:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • ½ cup water (as required for the batter)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp carom seeds (“ajwain”)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

Ingredients for Deep Frying:

  • 1 quart vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Optional: one garlic clove

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, baking powder, carom seeds, and cumin seeds. Mix well with spoon.
  2. Add water and whisk to a thick batter.
  3. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok (karahi).
  5. Dip the green chilli in the batter, coat it well and place the batter coated chilli in the oil. *For best results: Pour your batter in the glass and dip the chilli in the batter.
  6. Deep fry the green chilli pakora just as described in the veggie pakora instructions above.
  7. Take out pakoras using a slotted spoon or tongs and place on paper towels, so that the excessive oils are absorbed by the paper towels.
  1. Serve hot with chutneys.

Recipes for Chutneys

1. Green Chutney:

Green chutney is a flavorful condiment made with fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves, garlic, and green chillies. Green chutney is one of the healthiest and used often in the Indian Subcontinent for all kinds of snacks, chaats, dahi bhalla, samosas, vegetable cutlets and more.

The unique aroma of the green chutney is absolutely amazing and elevates the taste and flavor of any snack. It also help with digestion.

I store the green chutney in a glass jar and either refrigerate it or freeze it. When refrigerated, it can be stored for 2-3 days. Whereas, when I store it in the freezer, it can last for a month. When I need to use this frozen chutney, all I do is take it out of the freezer and microwave it for 1-2 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (or 1 cup chopped) of coriander leaves
  • ½ bunch (or ½ cup chopped) of mint leaves
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 2 green onion stalks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp salt or as needed
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ½ cup water or as needed

Optional:

  • 1 small piece of bread, this is used to make the chutney thick and binds it together. Also, water does not separate from the chutney when bread is added.

Preparation

  1. Pluck mint and coriander leaves. You can add the tender stalks of coriander as well.
  2. Rinse the coriander and mint leaves with water a few times then roughly chop them.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a blender.
  1. Make a thick paste by adding 1 tbsp water at a time (till ½ cup or as needed) and blend until the paste is smooth. Do not make the chutney too watery.
  2. Adjust salt, lemon juice and green chilli to suit your taste.
  3. Store this green chutney in a clean/dry airtight glass jar.
  4. Refrigerate and use whenever needed.
  5. Use a dry spoon to serve it.

Optional

  1. Add 1 cup of plain yogurt in a bowl and add 3 or 4 tbsp green chutney (made above).
  2. Serve with pakoras, samosas and more.

2. Tamarind Chutney (Imli Chutney)

Tamarind chutney or imli chutney is also very popular in the Indian subcontinent as a condiment just like green chutney. Tamarind chutney can be used to make chaats, and be served with samosas, pakoras, vegetable cutlets and more. This tamarind chutney is finger licking good.

Tamarind chutney is sweet and sour. It is made from tamarind, salt, brown sugar and various spices. Some variations use jaggery and dates too.

This chutney can be stored the same method as the green chutney, listed above. Although, tamarind chutney can be stored for longer and still taste fresh. In the fridge, it can last for a whole week, whereas in the freezer it can be stored for up to 6 months.

Ingredients

  • 200 grams (7 oz) tamarind paste
  • ½ tbsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tbsp roasted fennel seed powder (saunf powder)
  • ½ tbsp cumin seed powder (jeera powder)
  • ½ tsp black salt (kala namak)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion  
  • ¼ tbsp chopped green chilli
  • 1 chopped mint leaf
  • ½ tsp chopped coriander leaves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cup of cold water

Preparation

  1. Soak the tamarind paste overnight or for 4 hours in 1 ½ cup of cold water.
  1. Using your hands, squeeze the tamarind paste (pulp) in the same bowl. The leftover pulp can be used for biryani or chana masala or discarded.
  1. Now strain the tamarind juice (extracted from the paste) using a mesh strainer, and keep aside.
  2. Add tamarind juice to a small pan.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes on medium heat and keep stirring.
  4. After 3 minutes, add all ingredients and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Until the tamarind chutney mixture thickens.
  1. Turn off the heat
  2. When cooled, store the tamarind chutney in an airtight dry jar or container. Refrigerate and serve whenever required.

That is all! Try out these recipes and you will be blown away by its deliciousness.

Remember to like, share and comment!

One thought on “Recipes for Delicious Pakoras and Mouth-Watering Chutneys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s