To me, pakora is synonymous with rain. I remember when I was young, growing up in Kenya, we had two rainy seasons. The long rains and the short rains. When the rainy season started, it was almost a guarantee that dad would want some fresh pakora and masala chai. Now that I am all grown up and have kids of my own, I still think of dad whenever spring arrives and brings its first rainfall and my cravings for this delicious snack.
This vegetarian recipe is made with fresh spinach, 1 baking potato, 1 medium red onion, 1 green chili, 2 garlic cloves, 1 inch of fresh ginger, and a bunch of fresh coriander.
Wash a bunch of fresh spinach and chop it finely – 2 cups worth. Wash and either finely chop or grate a baking potato – I keep the skin on, but you can peel it if you like. Finely chop the red onion, 1 green chili, and a 1/4 cup of fresh coriander. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger.
This is a very flavourful snack (much like a lot of other Indian food) and it takes a lot of spices to make it as flavourful as it is.
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach (you can use baby spinach)
- 1 baking potato
- 1 small onion
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 inch slice of ginger–grated
- 1 green chili
- 2 cups chickpea flour (besan)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (use paprika for a milder version)
- 1 cup cold water
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
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Making the batter
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chickpea flour, corn starch, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well to combine the spices with the chickpea flour. Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, green chili, and fresh coriander.
Do not add water to make the batter, instead, add the spinach leaves, chopped potato, and onion to the dry ingredients – the moisture from the vegetables will help start the batter forming.
Add one tablespoon of water at a time until you get the desired consistency. You are looking for the batter that is spoonable so that you can drop it into the oil. Do not make it too runny or else they will be more like latkes (flat). If you don’t add enough, and the batter is too thick, you will need to cook it for a lot longer so that the center gets cooked too or else you will be able to taste the raw batter.
Now you are ready to fry. You must make sure the oil is heated enough – 300 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometer to check the oil temperature, you can check the readiness of the oil by dropping a couple of drops of the batter into the oil. If the batter goes to the bottom and settles, the oil is not ready. If the batter rises right away and sizzles a lot, it’s too hot. The best temperature is when the batter goes to the bottom and rises gradually.
I often fry a little tiny bit of the mix, so I can taste it and adjust for salt, chili, etc. Once done, enjoy with some tamarind chutney, some of my mango and coriander chutney, and a hot cup of masala tea!
- Don’t like potatoes, use sweet potatoes. They taste absolutely delicious in this vegetarian recipe.
- I love mine with butternut squash in place of potatoes. They taste like Indian tempura.
- Want to turn this vegetarian recipe into a meaty one? Replace the vegetables with chicken, fish, or even shrimp.
- Want another vegetarian option, replace the potatoes with paneer. It offers a delicious creaminess to the vegetarian recipe.
The Best Ever Spinach Potato Onion PakoraCourse: SnackCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Spinach potato onion pakora – it’s the best ever crispy, golden, deep fried Indian snack made with an array of Indian spices and chickpea flour batter.
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 baking potato
1 small onion
1/4 cup fresh coriander
2 garlic cloves
1 inch slice of ginger-grated
1 green chili
2 cups chickpea flour (besan)
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder (use paprika for a milder version)
1 cup cold water
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
- Heat the oil to 300 degrees F. (See note)
- Wash and finely chop the spinach.
- Wash and grate the potato into 1 cm cubes – I keep the skin on.
- Finely chop the onion and chili. Grate the ginger. Mince the garlic cloves.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chickpea flour (besan), corn starch, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, and red chili powder.
- Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and mix well.
- To this add spinach, potato, onion, fresh coriander, and green chili. Mix well. The wetness of the vegetables will help start the formation of the batter.
- Slowly add water to the bowl – one tablespoon at a time. The mix should be thick enough so you can scoop it with your hands or a spoon and drop it into the oil.
- Drop a few tablespoons of the mix into the hot oil – do not overcrowd the oil. Too many pakoras in the oil will lower the temperature of the oil and the pakora will turn out greasy.
- Serve warm with a delicious cup of masala chai.
- – If you don’t have a thermometer to check the oil temperature, you can check the readiness of the oil by dropping a couple of drops of the batter into the oil. If the batter goes to the bottom and settles, the oil is not ready. If the batter rises right away and sizzles a lot, it’s too hot. The best temperature is when the batter goes to the bottom and rises gradually.
– Try the same spice / batter mix but replace the potatoes and spinach with paneer, or chicken, cauliflower, or even onions to make Indian style onion rings.
– If you have left over batter, use it up to make extra pakora that can be reheated in a toaster oven or conventional oven. Do not leave the batter to use later. It will not taste very good.
What is Pakora made of?
Pakora is a delicious Indian snack made with chickpea flour, an array of aromatic spices, and a variety of vegetables, meats, or paneer. The vegetables or meats are dipped in chickpea flour batter and deep fried to golden crispiness.
Is Pakora always vegetarian?
No, although most restaurants sell vegetarian versions of the crispy golden treats, they can be made with a variety of meats. Meats such as chicken breast, fish, shrimp, and even lamb.
Can you reheat Pakora?
Although it is best enjoyed hot and fresh when served with a side of mint or tamarind chutney, pakora can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove it from the fridge and heat it in a 350 degree C preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat it in a toaster oven as well.
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