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.


  • 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 


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. The bread should float to the top immediately and be surrounded by lots of tiny bubbles.
  5. Drizzle 1 tsp batter over the top of the bread and baste the top with hot oil to set the batter.
  6. Fry for about 5 minutes until golden brown and then carefully flip the bread slice over and fry the other side until golden brown.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.

Suvir Saran

Suvir Saran

Suvir Saran, the Chef-Owner of The House of Celeste in Gurgaon, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for August. A legend in New York’s food circles, Chef Suvir garnered a Michelin star at Devi, a first for Indian cuisine restaurants in North America. He is the chairman of Asian Culinary Studies for the Culinary Institute of America and has written three cookbooks: ‘Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food’, ‘American Masala: 125 New Classics from My Home Kitchen’ and ‘Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country’. His fourth book, ‘Instamatic: A Chef’s Deeper More Thoughful Look into Today’s Instaworld’, released earlier this year. Chef Saran’s approachable style helped demystify Indian cuisine in the US and ultimately formed American Masala, his culinary philosophy that celebrates the best of Indian and American cooking.

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