Spicy, healthy, and fried? Pakoras


Leek, spinach, zucchini, and cilantro pakoras with rhubarb chutney and cilantro & green chili chutney.

Are there times when you crave a spicy fried snack, but think to yourself “Ugh, too much trouble…and it’s so unhealthy.”  Don’t despair my friend, make pakoras. Pakoras are vegetable fritters made with chickpea/garbanzo flour (besan/gram/chana dal), and are ridiculously easy to make, as long as you have the besan, which you can find at Indian and middle eastern markets. A couple of weeks ago I bought a bag at the Global Foods Market in St. Louis (which is an amazing grocery store). Pakoras are awesome because you can use pretty much any minced or chopped vegetable you have available, which is a great way of using up all the odds and ends of stuff in the crisper, and bits of leftovers. And pakoras are gluten-free and the flour is high protein and high fiber.

  • 1 cup besan flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt (or less)
  • 1 tsp curry powder, garam masala, or other spice mix
  • cooking oil, about 1 cup
  • chopped, shredded, or minced vegetables

Heat the oil in a skillet (about 1/2 inch deep). Mix together the other ingredients and drop by the spoonful into the hot oil. Fry until starting to brown, then flip and cook other side. Drain on paper towel and put into a warm oven or toaster until all the batter is cooked. Serve with chutney or curry ketchup.


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