Pakoras come in different shapes. They are made with different ingredients like chilies, onions, potatoes, cauliflowers, brinjals (eggplants), pumpkin flowers, zucchini flowers, cabbage, etc. More often they are simply made by gram flour only. Common spice mix used are turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala ( Indian spices), cumin seeds, chopped green chillies, salt etc. A semi-liquid thick consistency batter is made of gram flour and spice mix. With spoon or with fingers a small quantity is scooped out and deep fried in vegetable oil till brown. Pakoras are best enjoyed during rainy day with a cup of tea.
Recipe for a simple besan or gramflour Pakoras
• 250 gms of besan/gram flour
• Turmeric to add colour. ½ tsp is ok.
• ½ inch ginger, finely chopped. Although it can be optional but ginger add the flavour
• 1 or 2 green chillies with sharp aroma, chopped accordingly as desire. Finely chopped is better.
• 2 tbsp chopped cilantro ( hara dhania patta)
• 2 small to medium sized onion, finely chopped
• A pinch or 2 baking soda
• Water to be added only to make a thick consistency. The mix should not be too lose or tight. While moving the fingers or spoon in the batter, you must feel the thickness of the mix. The mix should be free of lumps and should be smooth
• Salt as required for taste
• Vegetable oil for deep frying.
• A deep bottomed wok or kadhai
Optional ingredients to enhance the flavour, you can added a punch of cumin seeds.
1. In a deep bottomed wok or kadhai, heat vegetable oil.
2. The oil must not be smoking hot. Keep oil in medium flame. One can try if the oil is ready by dropping a small amount of batter, if it sizzles and freely float in the oil, then the oil is ready. Pour oil as much so the batter can freely float.
3. In a medium sized spoon, scoop out a portion of the batter and drop it into the oil.
4. Fry till the pakoras are golden brown.
5. When done keep the pakoras on a paper towels or bloating papers for removing excess oil.
6. Serve the pakoras with sauce, or any chutney.
Below is the picture of a vegetable pakoras. They have been made keeping the same process but by adding small cauliflower florets, circular cut thin sliced potatoes and medium sized chillies.