Clichéd as it sounds, nothing matches up to the joy of enjoying a plateful of crisp and warm pakoras with masala chai as you admire the gentle pitter patter, seated by a windowsill. Quick, filling and easy to make, pakoras are not just befitting for the monsoon, but also a veritable snack, that employ simple and easily available ingredients – making them the champion of a quarantined kitchen. This monsoon, we invite you to stretch your imagination and look beyond the regular onion-aloo variety.
Here are 15 delectable and unusual finds from across India to give your chai-pe-charcha sesh a cool, regional upgrade.
1. Dill Leaves Pakoda
Fresh dill leaves, raw mango powder and red chilli powder combine with refined flour to make this irresistible snack, best enjoyed with a sweet-tangy tamarind chutney. Follow chef Gautam Mehrishi’s recipe and whip up a bowlful today!
2. Methi Pakoda
Sneak in millets in your family’s snack time with this methi pakoda recipe. Small bunches of fenugreek leaves are covered in a pearl millet batter, coated with a dry mixture of gram flour, coriander seeds, black pepper and carom seeds and then, deep fried to perfection.
3. Moong Dal Pakodi
Crisp, golden brown on the outside and spongy inside – these are no ordinary fritters. Moong dal pakodi aka ram laddu is a popular street snack from Delhi. Paired perfectly with coriander-mint chutney and grated white radish, this is one helluva crowd pleaser.
4. Mixed Pakode
6. Posh Bada and Mirchi ke Tipore
Posh bada or paush vada, another Rajasthani snack, is prevalent in Jaipur city, during the eponymous festival that takes place between December and January. Apart from the festival day, this is enjoyed as a winter snack and is prepared with split green gram and husked green gram. On Northern Flavours – season 2, chef Ajay Chopra serves posh bada with an instant green chilli pickle called mirchi ke tipore.
7. Arbi Pakoda
Soft colocassia roots are batter-fried and served alongside an easy, slightly spicy hung curd dip. The arbi pakoda is similar to the Sindhi arbi tuk, except the latter is coated with chaat masala and powdered spices such as red chilli, turmeric and coriander after being deep/shallow fried.
8. Banana Pakoda
Got a couple of raw bananas in the pantry? Slice and dip them into a basic pakora batter - besan, water, hing, turmeric, red chilli and cumin seeds – and fry to perfection. This pakora recipe won’t take more than 20 minutes to prep and cook, so bookmark it for times when you are craving fried food but don’t have the time to spend an hour in the kitchen.
9. Pumpkin Pakora
The combination of deep-fried pumpkin with chef Brar’s lip-smacking pear and mint chutney is simply divine. If you want to further elevate the dish’s flavour, spruce it up with a squeeze of lime.
10. Goli Bhajji
Semolina, rice flour and all-purpose flour are combined with curd and spices to make Mangalore’s popular street snack, goli bhajji. These crisp yet fluffy fried goodies are known as maida bonda in Chennai. Traditionally, the batter for these fritters is fermented overnight, but this particular recipe helps you make instant goli bhajji at home.
12. Koldil Bora
Bring a little of Assam to your plate with these baked kol dil boras (banana blossom fritter). The traditional recipe involves baking boiled banana florets coated in a batter of gram flour and rice. You can serve it with a side of homemade coriander chutney.
13. Maddur Vada
You may have relished this iconic vada, while crossing the Bangalore-Mysore rail route. It’s an iconic train food. And in case you’ve haven’t, then all the more reason to give this century-old recipe a shot. All you need is a mix of rice flour, semolina and all-purpose flour for the base, and onion, green chilli, coriander, curry leaves, salt and a pinch of asafoetida for flavour.
14. Signature Bhajia
Didn’t find an interesting recipe yet? Chef Brar’s innovative signature bhajia is what you need. Made using a variety of flower petals, such as, gulmohar and hibiscus, combined with juliennes of raw mango and onion, this innovative recipe can be prepared within half an hour.
15. Urad Dal ke Pakode with Til Chutney
Love fried food? Bookmark your favourites from our list and if you have an equally interesting recipe, don’t forget to share it with us here.