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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Paneer and Potato Pakoras (Fritters)

Pakora or bhajiyā is a fried snack (fritter) found across South Asia.

Pakoras are created by taking one or two ingredients such as onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, cauliflower, tomato, chili peppers, or occasionally bread and dipping them in a batter of gram flour and then deep-frying them.

Pakoras are usually served as snacks or appetizers. The word pakoṛā is derived from Sanskrit पक्ववट pakvavaṭa-, a compound of pakva 'cooked' and vaṭa 'a small lump' or its derivative vaṭaka 'a round cake made of pulse fried in ghee'.

The most popular varieties are palak pakora, made from spinach, paneer pakora, made from paneer (soft cheese), pyaz pakora, made from onion, and aloo pakora, made from potato.


2 and 1/2 cup Besan (Chick peas Flour)

1/4 cup Rice Flour

1/4 cup corn starch

½ tsp Cayenne pepper Powder or to taste

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Baking soda

Pinch of Asfoetida

Salt to taste

3 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup lime juice or 1 table spoon Mango powder

2 teaspoons roasted cumin powder

5 cloves of finely chopped garlic

2-3 inches of grated ginger

1 tablespoon of ground fresh green chili

1/4 cup finely chopped Cilantro

2 potatoes

1 slab of paneer (14 0z)

1 and 1/2 cup water


* Mix Besan, corn starch, rice flour, salt, baking soda and all dry spices.

* Add water, mix well until the batter is smooth with no lumps.

* Flour has a tendency to be very clumpy, so you should add water slowly with constant stirring.

* Add garlic, ginger, lemon juice, cilantro, ground chili and sugar.

* Mix well.

* Peel potatoes and slice them in to thin round slices, soak them in water so they don't turn brown and set aside.

* Cut Paneer in long thick strips or for bite size in to 1 and 1/2 - 2" cubes, set aside.

* Heat oil in deep fryer at 375 degrees.

* When oil is hot dip the paneer strips one by one and coat them with batter and dunk them in hot oil one by one 3-4 at at time so they don't stick together.

* When one side turns light brown, flip it gently and carefully with skewer and cook the other side until both sides are evenly crispy light brown.

* Take them out of oil and drain them over newspaper or thick layers of paper towels.

* Once finish making all the paneer pakaro, you may slightly dilute the batter with little water if desired.

* At this point test one slice of potato in the batter.

* There should just be a thin coat of batter on each slice. Batter should not be too dilute.

* Dip the potato slices in the batter and dunk them in hot oil one by one fry them till they are golden brown.

* Make sure not to over crowd the frying pan.

* Remove them from the oil and set them on a paper towel for a minute to soak up the excess oil.

* Serve both the Pakoras with ketchup, Hot chili Garlic sauce, sweet and sour pepper sauce or Cilantro Mint chutney (recipe on this blog)


* Variations: With this batter you can make any veggies pakoras (fritters): like mushrooms, sliced sweet potatoes, cauliflower florets, spinach large leaves, zucchini slices, green tomatoes slices, tender eggplant slices, small chili peppers stuffed with chat masala and believe it or not thick Bananas slices (yes ! ripe bananas :).

* You can make onion rings with this batter too, but I like the Onion pakoras more crispy and there is another recipe on this blog for Onion fritter which make very crispy and tasty Onion fritters. You may want to check it out.

* You you desire, you may slit the Paneer bites and fill it with chat masala or spicy coriander chutney before dipping in to batter and frying them so the panner bite is not plain.

Pakora description source:

Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.

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