Chicken pakora – Delicious, flavorful & crunchy chicken appetizer that just takes 25 minutes. Chicken pakora is a crisp fried appetizer made with chicken, gram flour, ginger garlic, spice powders & herbs. These addictively delicious & crunchy chicken bites are not only flavor packed but are also tender & juicy.
Most of these are often found on the Indian restaurant menus & are also a street food.
These chicken pakora make an amazing snack for your weekend evenings, parties or even when you have friends home. Chicken pakora can also be served as an appetizer with your weekend meal.
There are different ways of making these spicy fried chicken bites. The recipe shared here is the way my mom used to make for us. So it is a typical Andhra style spicy chicken pakora.
My mom never added egg to make these but the street stalls do add it to the marinade.
These chicken pakora are so good on their own and don’t need any accompaniment. A cup of hot masala tea is what we all love with these. My kids go with a generous sprinkle of chaat masala.
You can just go ahead and serve these plain just like the way we do. I am sure you will enjoy every bit of them.
Tips to make chicken pakora
Chicken: Chop the chicken to bite sized pieces – one by ¾ inch size. Keep them as uniform as possible. This helps to fry the chicken evenly.
Flour: Rice flour or corn flour is the key to make these chicken pakora crisp. Do not skip it. If you do not use both then just go ahead using millet flour.
This recipe will give you crisp pakora, altering the ratio of besan to rice flour or corn flour may not give the same texture.
Herbs: We love these chicken pakora with lots of curry leaves & pudina. Both these flavor up the chicken pakora a lot. If you do not have both then use coriander leaves.
Ginger garlic onion: We usually crush ginger, garlic, onions and green chilies coarsely and use. I usually have the ginger garlic paste so I used it. You can also just grate or crush them and use.
Egg white: I have used an egg white which helps to lock the chicken juices. It prevents the chicken from turning dry, hard & chewy. However you can skip the egg if using brined chicken or young chicken.
Egg substitute: Just add 3 tablespoons of yogurt to ¾ cup of water and whisk it. Add the chicken bites to it and allow to rest for 2 hours in the fridge. Drain the chicken completely and use in the recipe.
Other substitute to egg is to just add 3 tablespoons of yogurt to the pakora mixture.
Moisture: Egg white and water are used to bind the dry ingredients with chicken. Please note that too much of moisture can make your chicken pakora soft and not crunchy.
By any chance if the mixture turns soggy then add little flour and fix it. Do not fry the soggy mixture as the pakora may turn too soft.
Frying: Always fry chicken pakora in moderately hot oil on a medium flame.
Frying them in extremely hot or smoking oil will brown them too quickly from outside without cooking inside. Next frying them on a low flame will make the chicken pakora hard, chewy and rubbery.
If you follow all these tips, I am sure you will make the best chicken pakora.
Chicken pakora recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for chicken pakora
- 250 grams chicken (½ lb) strips or cubes
- 1 medium onion (optional) crushed or sliced
- 1 to 2 green chilies chopped (optional)
- ¾ tablespoon ginger garlic paste or crushed
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon red chili powder (reduce for kids)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric or haldi
- 1/3 teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
- 2 sprigs curry leaves or 2 tbsps mint leaves or coriander leaves chopped
- 6 tablespoon besan or gram flour (¼ cup + 2 tbsps)
- 3 tablespoon rice flour or corn flour
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoon water (you may need more)
- Oil to deep fry
How to make the recipe
Preparation for chicken pakoda
- Add besan, rice flour, salt, turmeric, chilli powder & garam masala to a bowl.
- Mix well and taste it. Add more salt if needed.
- Next add ginger garlic, onions, curry leaves & green chilies.
- Cut chicken to thin strips or cubes of 1 by ¾ inch.
- Add them to the bowl along with egg white.
- Mix everything well adding water only as needed to make a thick stiff mixture.
- The mixture must be thick and not loose like batter.
Making chicken pakora
- Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying.
- Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of dough.
- It has to rise slowly without browning. Regulate the flame to medium.
- Slide the chicken pieces to the hot oil one after the other.
- Do not crowd the pan as the chicken needs enough space to swim and get cooked.
- After 1 to 2 mins begin to stir and fry the chicken pakora until golden and crisp.
- Remove to a colander. Fry the rest of the chicken in batches.
- Serve crispy chicken pakora as a appetizer with green chutney or masala tea.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
1.Add besan, rice flour, salt, turmeric, chilli powder & garam masala to a mixing bowl. Mix everything well and then taste it. Add more salt as needed. The mixture has to be slightly salty. I used about 1/3 tsp of pink salt.
2. Then add ginger garlic paste, curry leaves, onions and green chilies.
3. Chop the chicken to uniform bite sized pieces. Add it here. After a good rinse I drained the water completely and added it.
4. Pour egg white.
5. Begin to mix adding water only as needed. I added about 3 tbsps water. This may vary depending on the chicken and the size of egg.
6. Towards the end of this step, chicken should be well coated with the pakora mixture. The mixture has to be stiff – dough like and not like batter.
Too mush moisture in the pakora mixture can make your chicken pakora soft and not crunchy.
Fix : You can add few tablespoons of flour to fix the excess moisture.
How to make chicken pakora
7. Heat oil in a kadai. Check if the temperature is right by sliding in little dough. It has to rise without browning quickly. This is the right temperature.
Slide the chicken bites gently to the hot oil one after the other. Regulate the flame to medium to medium high.
It is very normal for the chicken pieces to stick up to each other in the mixing bowl. Just remove each piece of chicken and coat it well with the pakora mixture and slide them to the oil.
8. After a minute or 2, stir and fry them until golden and crisp.
9. Once done remove the chicken pakora to a colander. Fry the entire chicken in batches following the same method. Ensure the oil is hot enough before adding a new batch of chicken
Each piece of chicken takes a different time to fry. So it is best to monitor each one of them and remove when they are done.
Serve chicken pakora hot with a cup of masala chai. Sprinkle some chaat masala if you like.