We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Pakoras?

M.C. Huguelet
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pakoras are small, savory fried snacks which are a central part of South Asian cuisine. They typically consist of chopped or shredded vegetables, cheese, or poultry coated in a batter made from chickpea flour and then deep-fried. Beyond this basic definition, there are a great many varieties of pakora, and some regions of India and other South Asian countries have their own pakora specialties. While pakoras originated in South Asia, they have gained some popularity in parts of the United States and Europe as well.

Perhaps the unifying feature of all pakoras is their deep-fried coating, made from chickpea flour, which is usually referred to in South Asian cooking as gram flour. This type of flour is made by slow-baking, cooling, and then finely grinding chickpeas. To prepare pakora batter, gram flour is blended with water and, in some cases, seasonings such as cumin and salt. Often, this batter is mixed rapidly for several minutes, resulting in a coating that is light and fluffy.

The fillings used in pakoras vary widely. Occasionally poultry such as chicken is used, but as vegetarianism is widespread in South Asia, vegetables and cheese are perhaps the most popular fillings. Commonly used vegetables include potatoes, onions, cauliflower, tomatoes, and spinach. In many cases these ingredients are used in combination with each other. When preparing pakoras, the chosen fillings are finely chopped or shredded and then mixed with seasonings or chilies.

Once the filling has been prepared, it is tossed with the gram flour batter mixture and then added in spoonfuls to a preheated deep fryer. When each spoonful hits the hot oil, its exterior becomes crisp and golden. Depending on the frying time, its inside may remain crunchy, or may soften slightly.

Some regions of India claim their own pakora specialties. For instance, Rajasthan, a state in India’s northwest, is known for its spicy mirchi bada pakoras, which consist of deep-fried potato-stuffed chilies. Residents of Tamil Nadu, on the country’s southern coast, enjoy pakoras filled with banana.

The popularity of the pakora stretches far beyond South Asia. As South Asian peoples have immigrated to countries such as England, Scotland, and the United States, they have introduced Westerners to the specialties of their native cuisine, and these crispy snacks are commonly found on menus at Indian and fusion restaurants abroad. In the UK, pakoras are even sometimes sold at fast-food restaurants alongside more familiar side dishes, such as French fries.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including DelightedCooking. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By pleonasm — On Aug 04, 2013

@pastanaga - Fried food doesn't have to be unhealthy if you make it properly. We have a lovely local curry place that serves pakoras as an appetizer and they are very well cooked and drained, so that they aren't greasy at all. I suspect they are also handmade since they are quite delicious and taste very fresh. I actually want to ask them for their chicken pakora recipe, since it's really one of the best I've ever had.

On the other hand, I've gone to restaurants that served pakoras that were tasteless and very greasy and I suspect that they were quite bad for your health as well.

It's all in the way they treat the food in the kitchen. If you take your time with it and cook it to a good recipe, you won't go too far wrong.

By pastanaga — On Aug 04, 2013

@umbra21 - Chickpeas are actually very good for you as well. I mean, in pakoras you are using a more refined flour and getting a bit of cooking oil along with it, so it's not as healthy as eating plain chickpeas, but I'm sure you're still getting some benefits.

Apparently they are one of the oldest known cultivated plants, which I think is quite cool. If you combine the chickpea flour with a variety of different vegetable fillings, then you will end up with a fairly healthy fried snack. As tasty as chips, but not quite so void of nutrition.

By umbra21 — On Aug 03, 2013

I used to be kind of against chickpeas, because I associated them with bland cooking and thought they were generally just not very nice tasting.

That was until one of my friends convinced me to have some that had been roasted with some spices. They are actually quite delicious.

I'm always looking for new things to cook and I have some gram flour in my cupboard so I think I'll find a pakora recipe and give them a try.

M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide...
Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.