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3.7/5 rating (63 votes)

Vegetable Pakora

Golden Potato and Onion Bites

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 4
  • Dietary Info VEGETARIAN LACTOSE-FREE GLUTEN-FREE
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 10 mins
                             

Crisp golden potato and onion bites cooked with a selection of spices in a gram flour batter which are deep fried.

Hari says

I can remember my mum cooking pakora all the time. These were a staple for when guests arrived unannounced, which believe me happened a lot! They take minutes to cook and are lighter than the onion bhajis most people are used to. My son once described them as little aliens as I was scooping them out of the fryer - they are crispy and spiky and a mishmash of shapes.

I cook pakora in a number of different ways, either with onion and potato or a mixture of vegetables onion, potato, aubergine and cauliflower. You can also make them with just slices of aubergine or potato or even whole chillies.

This is the basic pakora recipe which is a great place to start - remember to season to your taste with as much or as little spice as you like.

To get the main ingredients for my Pakora recipe, check our my curry kit here.

 

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 100g gram flour, sieved
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 2 chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated (optional)
  • Handful of coriander, chopped
  • 2 tsp of dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp of red chilli powder
  • Water
  • Oil for deep frying 
  1. Heat up the oil in a karahi or wok to a medium heat.
  2. Slice the onion lengthways very thinly and place in a bowl.
  3. Peel and grate (or very finely chop) the potatoes into the same bowl. You can also use aubergines and cauliflower - chop into very small pieces.
  4. Sprinkle all the dry spices and freshly chopped coriander, chillies and ginger into the bowl and then sieve in the gram flour - mix together using your hand. 
  5. Add a small amount of water a little at a time to create a thick batter that coats all the vegetables. Squeeze the mixture through your fingers to ensure all the spices mix through. Do not leave the batter and vegetable mixture for too long before cooking.
  6. Test your oil is hot enough by dropping a little batter into the oil. If it browns and rises immediately then it is ready. Very carefully drop in spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil and fry until golden brown.
  7. Using a slotted spoon move the pakora around, be careful not to overcrowd the karahi.
  8. Once golden brown and crisp remove from the oil and set on some kitchen paper.

Served with

Delicious when served as a starter or a nibble with imlee which is a tamarind based chutney. My children love these with just some plain old tomato ketchup to dunk into.

Nutritional information

Typical values per 100g per 85g
Energy10690.10
Fat1.31.11
of which saturates0.10.09
Carbohydrates2017.00
of which sugars2.01.70
Fibre2.92.47
Protein5.14.34
Salt1.21.02

This goes well with

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“ Thank you for printing this recipe for my delicious Vegetable Pakora ”

Comments

Comments (54)

  • Kiran

    Kiran

    18 April 2016 at 04:49 |
    Greetings from sunny Colorado Hari! I absolutely love the pakoras and so do my friends in Denver. They're an absolute hit out here in the 'mid-west' and what a great introduction to home made authentic indian food, so much better compared to the local restaurants. I've used spinach on a couple of occasions, trouble is they get eaten faster than i can fry them, they're just divine! Your recipes are excellent!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      19 April 2016 at 07:49 |
      Hi Kiran Yey - Wonderful to hear they are such a hit in the mid west!! thanks for your feedback too

      reply

  • neyha

    neyha

    14 March 2016 at 19:55 |
    I totally love this one - thanks so much for sharing!

    reply

  • Alison

    Alison

    11 February 2016 at 16:23 |
    Can I use something else instead of fenugreek leaves or could I use fenugreek seeds instead.?

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      15 February 2016 at 08:44 |
      Hi Alison For this dish I would just miss the fenugreek out. It's really the leaves (methi) you want. Let me know if you are having trouble finding it and I will send some out to you. Thanks Hari

      reply

  • Tom

    Tom

    09 February 2016 at 22:16 |
    Thank you sooo much for this recipe!. Made them at the weekend and enjoyed every bit of it.
    This is from someone who's previous experience is beans on toast.

    X

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      10 February 2016 at 15:22 |
      Hi Tom From beans on toast to great tasting Indian food - I'm so pleased! Thanks for commenting I would love to hear what you try next time - keep cooking and let me know what you try next time. Thanks so much for joining the HG community. Hari

      reply

  • Nicholas Young

    Nicholas Young

    07 February 2016 at 12:27 |
    Made these again last weekend - lost count of the number of times I have made these now!

    This time, I added some sultanas as a tester and I found they worked really well!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      09 February 2016 at 08:28 |
      Hi Nicholas Nice addition and tweak to the recipe - Did they add a sweetness to the dish? Cooking is about doing it your way. Thanks so much for sharing Hari

      reply

  • Ray Boden

    Ray Boden

    03 February 2016 at 20:48 |
    Hi Hari,
    I live local to your home town of Wolverhampton West Mids, It's a pleasure to watch and try out the recipes from your videos.The Veg Pakoras went down really well with all the family, only problem was I couln't make them quick enough. I recently purchased your book Garam masala Kitchen absolutely brilliant, the Nariyal Chicken and the Thari wala Chicken was first class. Can't wait to try more!

    reply

    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      04 February 2016 at 23:01 |
      Hi Ray How are things in Wolves? Thank you so much for your comment, I know just what you mean about not being able to make the pakora fast enough! Thanks so much for buying the book, it's so great to hear that you are using it regularly. Do keep in touch and let me know what you try next time. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, its lovely to hear from you. Thanks for sharing your story Chat soon Hari

      reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    24 August 2015 at 13:07 |
    Hi David
    Thanks for your comments - It's a great point wasting food isn't good so do put it out for those who will be grateful for it. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • david

    david

    24 August 2015 at 11:57 |
    I see that some people have burnt their initial batches! It happens to all of us at some time. But dont waste the burnt ones. I usually crush them up, mix with a little cooked rice, add some leftover curry sauce (if you have any) and give it to the dog. My dog absolutely adores them even if they are burnt.
    You could also put them in the garden for any wildlife to have. I have had foxes, badgers hedgehogs and birds eating any burnt offerings that have been put out.

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    26 June 2015 at 11:57 |
    Hi Elaine Yes you can but personally I think they are best fresh out the frier. Once they cool down you loose the crispy crunch, they are still lovely but they do go soft. What you could do is fry them a little in advance and put them in the oven to keep them warm. I hope this helps. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Elaine

    Elaine

    26 June 2015 at 11:45 |
    Hi Hari,

    Can I cook these Pakora in advance and reheat in the oven later without ruining the flavours?

    Thanks
    Elaine

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    22 June 2015 at 14:12 |
    Hi Jim No not for pakora - you don't need to The oil is hot enough to cook them through. Hope you enjoy them. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Jim

    Jim

    20 June 2015 at 15:32 |
    Hari
    Do you boil the potatoes before you grate them ?

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    08 June 2015 at 21:08 |
    Hi Devin Good question - There are many different recipes for these types of dishes because they have usually get passed down through families. For this dish I tend not to use baking powder because it's more about the crispy vegetables then the batter. I do add baking powder in my fish pakora but not in this dish. If you are trying to recreate the dish your grandmother used to make you could make half using this recipe and then add some baking powder to the remaining mixture and see if you prefer a more fluffy batter? I hope this helps, do let me know how you get on. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Devin

    Devin

    08 June 2015 at 20:49 |
    Hi Hari,

    I made some pakoras before looking at your recipes and they did not turn out good. I was missing few items and that is why I am checking for professional advice. You have not mentioned the use of baking powder any where, which I remember my grandmother used to put a pinch so that pakoras come out fluffy. Is that required or you don't feel the need of this at all?
    Thanks.

    reply

  • AJ

    AJ

    30 May 2015 at 11:38 |
    Hi.
    Just made these for lunch and they were lovely.
    Thank you.

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    29 May 2015 at 12:40 |
    Hi Celene No that's fine remember this dish is about the vegetables not about eating batter. It's great that you squeezed the water from the vegetables rather then adding lots of water to it. If ever you feel its too wet you can sprinkle in a tiny bit more flour. Once thing to be aware of though and I do say it on the recipe - once the vegetables are all mixed in the batter you need to cook them pretty quickly to get the best pakora so make sure you oil is heating up gently before you start. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • celene

    celene

    27 May 2015 at 17:32 |
    Think i might have doe something wrong. Found it to b very wet didn't nd to add water . Not much batter but tasted brill. Thank u.

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    18 May 2015 at 09:08 |
    Hi Chloe
    That's a shame that you don't enjoy eating Indian food. What is it that you are not keen on and maybe I can make some suggestions? I have to say I am super impressed that you are still managing to cooking it for your 2 year old though. There isn't anything that you can really substitute Fenugreek for, if you don't have any I would just miss it out. If you email me through the website with your address I will pop some in the post to you. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Chloe

    Chloe

    16 May 2015 at 16:32 |
    Hi Hari,

    After a bit of searching ive found gram flour at a large Asda to make these for my spice loving 2 year old. God knows where she gets it from as I myself really hate the taste of curry lol but she'll eat even the hottest ones! Strangely I had a short period where I craved infisn food when oregnant, even though I've always hated it, must have been what she wanted lol anyway my question is I can't find fenugreek leaves anywhere and unfortunately where I live there aren't any Asian supermarkets around, is there anything I can substitute it for? Or would it affect the taste much if I left it out all together?

    Thanks x

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    08 May 2015 at 12:56 |
    Hi Patrick
    So glad I could help (even though you did burn the first batch - I won't tell anyone). I hope your team were suitably impressed with your efforts. Sounds like I missed out! Do let me know what else you choose to cook. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Patrick

    Patrick

    08 May 2015 at 10:55 |
    Thanks for your advice about the oil temperature, it never even dawned on me that cooking the pakoras would lower the temperature of the oil, and I'd have to raise the heat to make make up for it. I managed to burn the first batch (whoops) but every subsequent one came out perfectly!

    I made an 8 person version of your Bhuna for my team in work and they went perfectly with it!

    Thanks again.

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    07 May 2015 at 15:13 |
    Hi Yes I do it should just mush away into the masala. Enjoy!

    reply

  • James

    James

    07 May 2015 at 14:46 |
    Haha trying to! Yeah think I might try them thanks. with the karahi do you leave the garlic and ginger in with the meat when you put it into the masala?
    Thanks
    James

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    07 May 2015 at 13:14 |
    Hi James You sound like you are cooking up a storm and yes they would have made a great starter. You could try the plain aloo tikki as a starter instead this time?

    reply

  • James

    James

    07 May 2015 at 13:11 |
    Hari
    That is very generous of you I will check at an Indian grocers that's a couple of towns away first then I might have to take you up on the offer because the pakoras sound amazing!
    I'm currently making your Lamb karahi and roti recipes for tonight and thought they would have gone perfectly as a starter.
    Thanks
    James

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    07 May 2015 at 12:12 |
    Hi James
    It's really difficult to substitute gram flour in this recipe because you just won't get the same results. You could try buckwheat flour but again i'm not convinced. If you email me through the website with your address I will send some to you. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • James

    James

    07 May 2015 at 11:21 |
    Hi Hari
    I was planning on making these but can't find gram flour in my local supermarkets or grocery shops, could I use plain or wholemeal flower instead and just add some extra spices to give them a boost or will the texture be all wrong?
    Thanks
    James

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    28 April 2015 at 07:58 |
    Hi Patrick This can be tricky and you have to be mindful that if you add more pakora the oil will cool down and you may need to increase the temperature then reduce it again once the temperature has come up again. You need to start heating your oil when you start to cook to give it time to heat up evenly. I put mine on a medium heat and just keep an eye on it. The way I test the oil is to drop in a small drop of the batter - It should sink to the bottom then rise gently to the top sizzling away. Or you could drop in a cube of bread this should toast and crisp up in a few seconds. An ideal size for the pakora is about a heaped tablespoon of the mixture. They should take about 5-6 minutes to crisp up and turn golden brown and cook all the way through. I really hope this helps - do let me know how you get on.

    reply

  • Patrick

    Patrick

    28 April 2015 at 07:42 |
    Hey Hari!

    We've made these pakoras a good few times and they're always fantastic. One thing I find hard though is getting the temperature of the oil right. Some of them either end up burnt, or appear to be golden and crispy on the outside, but still a bit doughy on the inside. I probably need to make them a bit smaller, but is there a good way to test the temperature of the oil? I don't have a thermometer!

    Thanks

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    20 April 2015 at 11:02 |
    Hi Paul
    Yum - they look delicious. I'm so pleased you enjoyed them and thanks for sharing the picture - making me hungry!
    What will you try next?
    Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    20 April 2015 at 10:59 |
    Hi Pam
    I know it can be really stressful when you are looking for one great recipe. Everyone makes their pakora mix differently because every family dose it differently. A traditional pakora is vegetarian and in India that also means no eggs so a traditional pakora would never be made with an egg batter. This recipe is a basic recipe that you can then tweak to make your own by adding cauliflower, spinach, fenugreek leaves or aubergine. Give it a go it's a really simple one but they do taste fantastic. I hope this helps , let me know how yo get on. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Paul

    Paul

    20 April 2015 at 10:19 |
    Hi Hari, here's a shareable link to a pic of my pakora, they were asdelicious as they look!
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UDEQxfw3KziocH8auoNX9hLtGJB7Yd34-g/view?usp=sharing

    reply

  • pam hall

    pam hall

    19 April 2015 at 16:09 |
    Hi every pakora batter mix I see is totally different , why,?I also tnought you use eggs , some receipes have eggs some dont totally confused!!!!

    reply

  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    08 April 2015 at 08:04 |
    Hi Paul That's very satisfying to hear!! Are you on social media twitter or FB at all? you can post an image for me to see on there if you like and follow me? Your raita sounds delicious - I might have top try it! Whats next on your list? Hari

    reply

  • Paul

    Paul

    07 April 2015 at 18:11 |
    Hi Hari, I'm happy to say the pakoras were a triumph! The person I cooked for had never eaten them before and said "oh my God, how long has this been going on? They're fantastic!". Very pleasing. I loved the recipe, it tasted exactly like the pakoras of my youth. I tweaked the recipe a little by adding half a teaspoon of your madras spice mix (from the Lamb Madras recipe) and a little more Kasoori Methi. I used fresh rapeseed/canola oil and waited 'til a piece of batter coated onion floated to the top and bubbled before dropping in the pakora mixture. Served with a raita made with 250g yogurt, salt, ground black pepper, half teaspoons of ground cumin, turmeric, chili powder, ground coriander, chopped fresh coriander, a pinch of dried fenugreek leaves and the juice of two lemons, mixed well and left in the fridge fr 30 mins for the flavours to mingle. Fantastic. I took a picture, but can't work out how to post to the site.

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    01 April 2015 at 21:45 |
    Hi Paul
    Thank you so much for your comment, it was just fantastic to read. I am really pleased to hear that you have tried so many of the recipes from the site and that you are enjoying cooking them. It's great that the recipes remind you of growing up for me that is what cooking is all about.
    I'd love to hear you got on with the pakora. Keep cooking and please do post pictures of your dishes too.
    Thanks so much Hari

    reply

  • Paul

    Paul

    01 April 2015 at 19:52 |
    Hi Hari, Congrats on a good-looking and easy-to-use site, and for the great recipes. I grew up in the North of England in a town with a large Pakistani/Kashmiri population. I had lots of British Asian classmates and friends and spent lots of my time enjoying family life and great food with them - even now, the smell of onions frying in spiced ghee makes me homesick! Sadly, I moved away to a city without much Asian culture and really missed proper Indian cooking to the point where I started making my own. I can honestly say that the recipes here are some of the best on the Internet and taste exactly like the great food I grew up with. Your Madras spice mix is amazing (I use it in lots of my dishes) and the range of dishes here showcases the huge variety of Indian/Asian/Pakistani cuisine brilliantly. I've made your lamb madras, bhuna, pork vindaloo and several others and they were all gorgeous. I got myself some gram flour today and am going to try out this pakora recipe. Crunchy bites of loveliness with a hot chili raita to dip them in... Yum.

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    20 March 2015 at 11:50 |
    Hi Andrea
    These will be so much better - you can increase the seasoning to suit your taste (more or less chilli) and add spinach if you like too. When you fry them you don't want them too big so they are doughy inside fry a few, taste them and adjust if you need to. Have a look at the video too that will help. Please let me know how you get on and what you think. Good luck. Thanks Hari

    reply

  • Andrea

    Andrea

    20 March 2015 at 11:46 |
    Hi there Hari! My husband and I recently had a really - and I mean REALLY poor experience of pakora in an "authentic" Indian restaurant...so I decided to try to surprise him by making my own - I will let you know how I get on!!! Andrea

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    26 February 2015 at 14:43 |
    Hi Aaron
    That's great - thank you so much for your support and help in spreading the word (I need all the help I can get in getting the site out there). Enjoy the dhal and don't forget to let me know how it goes! Happy eating Hari.

    reply

  • Aaron

    Aaron

    26 February 2015 at 14:19 |
    Hari,

    Thanks for your generous offer, but I think I can find them locally, when I made these we had just had a pretty heavy snowfall so I was limited to just my local grocer. Now that things have thawed I can make it out to an Indian grocer, we have a few in my area. I'll probably be making your Red Lentil Dhal recipe next as I have all of those ingredients in my pantry. Thanks again and keep up the good work. I love your recipes and videos!

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    26 February 2015 at 08:47 |
    Hi Aaron
    Now that is dedication making your own gram flour! Well done you and thank you for trying and enjoying the recipe. Fenugreek leaves are also called Kasoori Methi and you can find this in all Indian grocery shops - It has a real earthy aromatic which I think adds that 'curry' feel to dishes. Its also great with lamb. The seeds are much stronger and have a real bitterness to them so you did well only using a little. If you struggle to find it let me know and I will pop some in the post to you.
    Would love to hear what else you try. Tanks Hari

    reply

  • Aaron

    Aaron

    25 February 2015 at 14:36 |
    These are amazing! I had to make my own gram flour, albeit time consuming, was worth it. Making my own flour was four times cheaper than buying it. I couldn't find fenugreek leaves, do you know of a good substitute for that? I ground a small amount of fenugreek seeds and it tasted pretty nice. Also, what is the sauce/relish in the picture? Thanks for this, I will be trying many of your recipes in the future!

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    24 February 2015 at 10:53 |
    Hi MylesI So pleased to hear from you down in Auz and I'm even more thrilled that the pakora are going down so well. Enjoy your beer and let me know what else you try - Wish I was sat in the sunshine down in Australia! Thanks for commenting Hari

    reply

  • Myles

    Myles

    24 February 2015 at 10:43 |
    Just made these ,better than any pakora I've purchased ..having them right now with a beer in the Australian tropics :-)

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    01 February 2015 at 11:48 |
    Well I am hoping I can help satisfy your pregnancy cravings for homemade Indian food. There is lots to choose from and I hope its as good as your mums. Make sure you tell me how you get on - I hope the baby enjoys the food!

    reply

  • Vee

    Vee

    31 January 2015 at 14:48 |
    I'll be trying the samosas next. I'm pregnant and got really bad cravings for indian food - miss my mums cooking!! Will be trying most of your recipes over next few months, will let you know how I get on. Thanks again for posting such easy to follow recipes.

    reply

  • Hari

    Hari

    31 January 2015 at 14:38 |
    That's fantastic to hear! Thanks for letting me know so glad you enjoyed them - what are you cooking next?

    reply

  • Vee

    Vee

    31 January 2015 at 14:32 |
    Just tried this, they were amazing! Your instructions were so simple and clear to follow. Thanks xx

    reply

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Hari Ghotra