Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Pakora is a fried snack found across South Asia. Pakoras are created by taking one or two ingredients, such as chicken, onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, cauliflower, tomato or chilli, dipping them in a batter of gram flour and then deep-frying them. 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 . When onions, on their own, are prepared in the same way, they are known as onion bhujia or bhaji.

Pakoras are usually served as snacks or appetizers. In the UK, pakoras are popular as a fast food snack, available in Indian and Pakistani takeaways as an alternative to chips or kebabs.

Among the Muslim Cape Malays of South Africa, pakoras are known as dhaltjies, and are usually eaten as an appetizer during Iftar, or as appetizers for weddings, births, or similar occasions.

In southern India, Pakoras as described above are known as Bajji rather than Pakoda. For it to be a Pakoda (note the spelling), a mix of finely cut onions, green chillies for flavour and gram flour is fried rather than dipping the onions in a batter and frying them. Unlike the pakoras of the north, this onion pakoda is very crispy outside and medium soft to crispy inside. There is also a variety that is softer overall, usually termed Medhu Pakoda in restaurants. If it is relatively softer (like the pakoras) and made of any other ingredients such as potatoes etc. dipped in a gram flour batter and fried, then it will be usually called Bajji with the name of the vegetable/ingredient optionally prefixed to it.

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