Desi Pakora

Pakora,or onion fritters are a Pakistani / Indian appetizer made with sliced onion and coriander coated with a spicy chickpea flour batter and deep-fried till crispy.

 Course Iftari, Snack, 
 Cuisine Pakistani
 Prep Time 10 minutes
 Cook Time 20 minutes
 Resting Time 30 minutes
 Total Time 30 minutes
 Servings 6 people
 Calories 200 kcal


  • ½ cup besan / chickpea flour
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  •  teaspoon turmeric
  • salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds crushed (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon pomegranate seeds anaar dana (optional)
  • 2 medium onion sliced
  • ½ cup coriander leaves chopped
  • 2 green chili sliced (seeds removed)
  • Water to make the batter
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda optional
  • Oil for frying


  1. Place the besan / chickpea flour in a bowl. Add red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and coriander seeds or pomegranate seeds if using. Mix well with a fork.
  2. Add water (1/4 cup at a time) to create a batter, and add baking soda. Set it aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Add onion, coriander leaves and green chilies. Mix well adding more besan / chickpea flour or water as required. Consistency should be such that the batter can be dropped into spoonfuls in the hot oil.
  4. Heat oil in a wok or karahi. A frying pan can be used but make sure it is deep otherwise the pakoras will be flat and not fluffy.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the batter in the hot oil, and fry till golden brown on both sides.

Recipe Notes

If you prefer even crispier pakoras, reduce the amount of water used in the batter. The batter should just barely coat the vegetables, and deep fry till golden and crispy. 
If making a variety of vegetable pakoras one by one, it’s always a good idea to make a base batter in one bowl on the thicker side, and then mix the vegetables with a few tablespoons of the batter in another bowl. That way you can adjust the batter if it gets too thick or too thin, and if any batter is remaining it can be stored in the fridge to use the next day. In Ramadan, I would make a base batter and then use it over 2 - 3 days.
If you are making a variety of pakoras it’s best to end with the onion pakoras or mixed vegetables one in the end. That way all the batter gets used up with none of it being wasted.
Spices used can vary based on personal preference; most common are coriander, red chili powder and turmeric but pomegranate seeds and coriander seeds can be used to add a bit of tartness. Red chili flakes can be used for extra heat.

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