Bread pakoras are a wonderful breakfast treat. Growing up in India, I was lured on many mornings from my bed by the scent of them frying in our kitchen. Essentially a slice of bread dipped in a spiced chickpea batter and fried, it is one of my favorite things to make for visitors. I have never met anyone who could refuse seconds.
Yields 12 bread pakoras
- 140 gm chickpea flour
- 960 ml canola or vegetable oil (plus more if needed)
- 300 ml lukewarm water (plus more if needed)
- 1 tbsp chaat masala
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp ajwain
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 6 slices white, whole-wheat or multigrain sandwich bread, halved diagonally
- 2 large red onions, very finely chopped
- 2-3 green chillies, very finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, very finely chopped
- Tomato chutney, tamarind chutney or ketchup for serving
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan or medium saucepan (if using a saucepan you’ll only be able to fry one pakora at a time) to between 180°C and 190°C on a digital thermometer over high heat. There should be about 2 inches of oil in the pan; add more as needed.
- While the oil heats, whisk together the chickpea flour, baking soda, onion, green chillies, fresh coriander and spices in a large bowl. While whisking, gradually pour in 300 ml lukewarm water until you have a thick batter.
- Dip a bread triangle into the batter, making sure it is nicely coated on both sides, and carefully slide it into the hot oil. If you’re using a deep frying pan, repeat with another bread slice (take care not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise the pakoras will stick together).
- The bread should float to the top immediately and be surrounded by lots of tiny bubbles.
- Drizzle 1 tsp batter over the top of the bread and baste the top with hot oil to set the batter.
- Fry for about 5 minutes until golden brown and then carefully flip the bread slice over and fry the other side until golden brown.
- Using a kitchen spider or slotted spoon, remove the pakora from the oil and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (You can keep the fried pakoras warm on a baking sheet and in a 120°C/gas 1/2 oven while you wait for the remaining pakoras to fry.)
- Dip and fry the remaining bread slices and serve warm with chutney or ketchup on the side.
Note: Double-Decker Bread Pakoras
My absolute favourite way to serve mashed potatoes is to season them with a pinch of chilli powder, some chaat masala, lime juice, chopped jalapeños or green chillies and chopped fresh coriander, and then spread a few tablespoons between two slices of bread, dip the sandwich in the pakora batter, and then fry it. It’s an amazing snack. If I have mint or tamarind chutney in the house, I’ll sometimes spread some on the bread before layering on the mashed potatoes. You have to try this.