Pakoras come in all shapes and sizes and can be made with almost anything you can imagine - so let your mind run wild, starting with this Spinach or Palak Pakora recipe!
A couple of days ago, I found myself in a rare moment. I was alone at home, it was pouring cats and dogs outside, and I had my favourite book in hand. The first thought that came to my mind? A cup of steaming hot coffee and some crispy Palak Pakora on the side would seal the deal right there!
Monsoon, or the rainy season in India, is always greeted with open arms alongside copious amounts of chai and pakoras. For me though, tea has never been the caffeine of choice. I'm a java girl all through - so much so, that I've even converted the once tea-loving Hubby Dear who now swears that his morning can't begin without a sip of coffee! But Palak Pakora? Count me in, baby!
Some of the classic types of pakoras include dunking bite-sized veggies like potatoes, cauliflower, chilli peppers, onions and eggplant into a thick batter of chickpea flour and spices. Another street vendor favourite is the stuffed bread pakora that's made by coating a spiced mashed potato sandwich in the batter before deep frying. I've even once, a long time ago, tried some made with chicken - the meat was deliciously tender and delicately seasoned.
Since the past few years, we have an unwritten but understood rule in the kitchen - no deep fried foods except for very, very special occasions. Like Samosas and Puris on Diwali. Or Gobi Manchurian on Hubby Dear's birthday week. And pakoras, when I just can't stop thinking about them! We love pakoras of any kind, but are definitely much more partial to the ones with spinach and onions. These babies are best enjoyed piping hot dunked into some Green Chutney or just good ol' tomato ketchup.
Palak Pakoda (Indian-style Crispy Spinach Fritters)
- 2 cups finely chopped fresh spinach
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon chaat masala
- salt to taste
- 1 cup chickpea flour, also known as besan
- water as needed
- light cooking oil for deep frying
- Mix everything except the water and oil in a large bowl until well incorporated. Slowly add in water to form a thick, pancake-like batter.
- Heat enough oil in a deep wok for deep frying. Gently add in a tablespoon of the batter to make the fritters. Try and not crowd the wok by adding too many at a time.
- Deep fry for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, turning them over to ensure that they brown and cook on all sides. Once the fritters are golden brown and crisp, remove them on paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Serve hot with some Green Chutney or ketchup on the side!
This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been recently updated.
If you enjoyed this recipe, then you will surely love my Onion Pakora (Onion Fritters) recipe as well.
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