How to make potato and onion pakoras (fritters)

Apologies for being so cruel.  I have been busy telling you all about the amazing food in India and yet while there are certainly rather a lot of people in India (1,170,938,000 and counting) I know a lot of you are not in India at all.  So to try and make it up to you I am going to post a few Indian recipes that I have learnt during this trip.  The first is one of my favourites, pakoras.

The finished pakora – perfect with some mango chutney

Served piping hot and just the right side of crispy, the Indian snack of pakora is incredibly moreish.  Teamed with chutney pakoras combine both salty and sweet and I have learned from experience, they also makes the perfect accompaniment to a chilled beer or a cold glass of white wine.  This recipe is based on one I learnt from Sashi who runs cooking classes in the idyllic Rajasthan city of  Udaipur (more to come on Sashi in a later post).  This recipe uses potatoes and onions but you could use whichever vegetables you want like cauliflower, spinach or cubes of paneer.

Mixing all the dry ingredients together

4 cups oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp ginger
1 cup of chickpea (gram) flour
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 small bunches of fresh coriander, chopped (including stalks)
1 pinch anise
1 pinch oregano seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch garam masala powder
1/2 cup water
2 onions, peeled and cut into 1cm thick rings
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced 1cm thick

Coating the sliced potato and onion
1.  Heat the 4 cups of oil in a frying pan.

2.  Grind the garlic and ginger together in a mortar and pestle until they form a paste.

3.  Put the chickpea flour in a bowl and add the dry herb ingredients then the coriander.

4.  Add the water slowly tot he flour and herb mix, mixing as you go using your hands to add air.  The final consistency should be a slightly runny paste.

5.  Add the potatoes and onions to the wet mixture and combine so they are completely coated.

6.  Add 2 tbsp of hot oil from the frying pan into the mixture.  This is Sashi’s trick to make the pakora soft.

7.  Check that the oil in the frying pan is hot enough by putting a drop of the pakora mixture into the frying pan and checking if it floats to the top
8.  Take one slice of potato and one slice of the onion and drop them in the hot oil together to make one pakora.  Cook as many as possible at once in the oil.

9.  After 30 seconds turn the pakora using a slotted spoon, turning until both sides are brown.   Fish them out and drain on paper towel then serve immediately.

Cooking the pakora

Makes about 20 pakoras which would serve six people as an pre dinner nibble or just as a snack.  


  1. Dangerously good stuff.

  2. I love Indian food and this dish looks amazing and is making me hungry. Can’t wait for your next post!

  3. love indian food~~ these are dead easy to make oh no ill probably be able to finish it all of myself haha.. thanks for sharing!!

  4. Tori – Yes a bit too dangerous!

    Hotly Spiced – Indian food is great isn’t it?

    Betty – I could probably finish them myself as well to be honest…

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