vegetable pakora

Vegetable Pakora Recipe

By Swasthi on February 16, 2024, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Vegetable Pakora recipe made with mixed vegetables, spices, herbs and gram flour. Chai Pakora is a match made in the heaven & we love the crunchy pakora all-round the year, with our Chai. Chai Pakora is an emotion for the Indians! We treasure the moments spent with our near and dear ones enjoying those hot pakoras. Whether you are hungry mid-afternoon or guests arrive home unexpectedly or you meet a friend on the street, the first thing strikes to the mind is to enjoy the time with some pakora & a hot cup of chai.

Pakora Recipe with vegetables

In this post I share with you how to make the best crunchy vegetable pakora at home with step-by-step pictures.

About Pakora

Pakora are crispy fritters made with vegetables like onions, potatoes, gram flour, spices and herbs. Also known as pikora or pakura, it is a popular snack and street food from the Indian sub-continent. You will find many kinds of pakoras made in the homes, restaurants and street stalls.

Some popular ones are the Onion Pakoda, vegetable pakora, Cauliflower Pakoda, Cabbage Pakoda, Sweet Corn Pakoda and Chicken pakora.

There are mainly 2 kinds of pakoras, one is made with a batter and the other with a dough like these vegetable pakoras. When you want to make pakora with a sliced ingredient, like a slice of potato, eggplant, bread or paneer, we make the batter. These slices are dipped in the batter and straight away fried.

To make pakoras with fine cut ingredients like shredded veggies, thin slices of onions etc, we coat the ingredients with dry flour and mix to form a dough like pakora mixture. Small portions of this is deep fried until crisp, aromatic and golden.

Perfectly made pakora will fill your home with an invigorating aroma & am sure you won’t stop eating just a plate full of these! They are addictive & simply delicious!

Often a lot of people confuse pakora to be Indian style patties but they are not. Our patties are known as tikki and I have shared an Aloo Tikki Recipe here.

Pakoras are light fritters, not dense & are not shaped anytime. Small portions of dough is gently left into the hot oil which forms asymmetrical shaped fritters.

My Vegetable Pakora Recipe

My recipe is easy enough to make any time with left over veggies in your fridge. Also a few readers have successfully made these with store bought coleslaw mix. Here is what you need to make the recipe

Gram flour is not to be confused with chickpea flour. Gram flour is known as besan and these days it is either labelled as simply ‘gram flour’, ‘chana dal gram flour’ or ‘gram flour from kala chana’. Chickpea flour is made from white chickpea (garbanzo beans) also known as chana. But gram flour is made from skinned and split kala chana, which is nothing but chana dal.

In a pinch you may use chickpea flour but unfortunately it won’t give you the same flavor and taste as gram flour (besan). If you love pakora, I insist you source it from an Indian stores or from an Asian grocery stores. It is easily available. Also look for a fresher stock as old stock of lentil flours often taste bitter.

If you are allergic to gram flour, you may use wheat flour. But the texture will be very different.

Rice flour is more commonly used in South India for pakora. It gives a great crunch and helps to reduce the pakora from soaking up oil. The street side shops use cornstarch as the starch gives crispier vegetable pakoras. So feel free to substitute rice flour with corn starch. I also have a detailed recipe post to make a small batch of Rice Flour at home. You can also use yellow corn flour as a substitute.

Spices & herbs

Spices – Ajwain known as carom seeds are the main spice used in pakora. These help in digestion and also add a layer of flavor and heat to these fritters. You may simply skip them if they are not available. Garam Masala is a spice blend which is not commonly used but my vegetable pakora recipe uses it.

Herbs – In South Indian, curry leaves are abundantly available so a lot of people use them. They also help in digestion and impart a great aroma. In some North Indian pakora recipes, coriander leaves are added. However my mom always added mint leaves known as pudina. You are free to add what you like here.

Vegetables: For this recipe I use a mix of onions, cabbage, French beans, bell peppers & carrots. These are basically small portions of the left over veggies in the fridge during the weekend. Always use quick cook veggies here. Avoid veggies like potato or sweet potato as the cook time is different from the other veggies. I have experimented and they won’t cook well. If you want you can also add some leafy greens like spinach or methi.

How to Make Vegetable Pakora (Stepwise photos)

Preparation

1. Wash the veggies thoroughly. I have used 1 cup shredded cabbage, 1 medium onion sliced, ¼ cup capsicum, 1 medium carrot, 4 to 5 french beans julienned. Make sure you remove or chop off the bean inside the french beans. They may burst while frying.

You can use other veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, bhindi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, brinjal etc. Make sure all the veggies are almost of uniform size, thin and long. This helps in even frying. You will need about 2.5 to 3 cups for this recipe

thin strips of mixed veggies for pakora

2. You can also add chopped spinach, methi, coriander, dill or pudina/ mint leaves. I used a handful of mint leaves, they add a great aroma. Also add 1 to 2 chopped green chilies, 1 teaspoon crushed ginger garlic or paste, ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala and half teaspoon salt.

spices to make pakora

3. Mix all these and squeeze the veggies a bit to let out moisture from them. The mixture begins to smell very good. Set aside for about 10 mins.

preparing veggies

4. Add ½ cup gram flour (besan) , ½ teaspoon ajwain and ¼ cup rice flour or 2 to 3 tablespoons corn starch.

addition of flour to make pakora recipe

5. Mix everything well to make a dough. If the mixture is too dry, sprinkle little water. Make sure not to pour a lot of water. We want a stiff dough here. I did not use any water, moisture from veggies was sufficient to make a dough. Taste test and more salt, garam masala and green chilies if required. If you feel the dough has less flour, you can also add more flour and all other ingredients proportionately.

making dough

Fry Vegetable Pakora

6. Heat oil in a pan on a medium heat. Test by dropping a small portion of dough, it should sizzle and come up without turning brown. This indicates the right temperature, adjust the flame to medium. Take small portions of this dough to your fingers, slightly flatten to 1½ inch portions. Don’t shape them to patties. Drop in hot oil. I have a video of similar onion pakoda here. You may check that. You can alternately use a fork and a spoon to do this. Remember not to drop the dough in lumps, you will get lumpy, undercooked and soft pakoras. Do not disturb them for 1 to 2 mins, then stir and fry them.

deep frying dough for pakora

7. Fry until lightly golden. Transfer to a steel rack, colander or kitchen tissue. Make sure the oil is hot enough but not smoking hot. This way fry the entire dough in batches until you finish the dough.

golden fried crunchy pakora

Serve vegetable pakora hot with Coriander Chutney, Mint Chutney or Green Chutney & Chai.

Pakora recipe with vegetables

Pro Tips

1. The key to making best crisp pakoras is not to add too much water while making the dough. Veggies tend to release moisture when set aside. So add accordingly.

2. Fry the vegetable pakoras on a medium flame until crisp. Too low flame with make the pakoras soak up lot of oil. Too high flame will brown the pakoras without cooking the dough well from inside.

3. Always taste the gram flour before using it as it has a very short shelf life. It tends to turn bitter with in a few months of processing it.

Serving suggestions

We usually enjoy our pakoras with a cup of hot Masala chai or Ginger Milk Tea. In the restaurants these are served with Cilantro Chutney, Mint Chutney, Green chutney or Schezwan sauce/ Chutney.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

Pakora Recipe first published in March 2016. Updated & Republished in May 2022.

pakora recipe with vegetables

Pakora Recipe | Vegetable Pakora

Mixed Vegetable pakora are veggie fritters made in South Indian style. They are addictive, aromatic, crunchy and a delicious snack. Serve them with cup of tea or coriander chutney or mint chutney.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings4
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ cup besan (gram flour, more if needed)
  • ¼ cup rice flour (or 2 tablespoons corn starch, use more if needed proportionally with besan)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 green chili peppers chopped or ½ to 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves or coriander leaves or dill leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or crushed ginger
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoons carom seeds (ajwain, optional)
  • oil for deep frying as needed

Mixed veggies julienned 2.5 to 3 cups

  • 1 medium carrot (¾ cup julienned)
  • ¼ cup capsicum (bell peppers)
  • 1 cup cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 6 french beans (julienned)
  • 1 cup spinach chopped (optional)


Instructions

Preparation

  • Wash the veggies and cut to thin 2 inch long strips. Check the pictures in the post.
  • Add them to a bowl along with ginger garlic, green chilies (or chilli flakes), salt, garam masala, mint or other herbs. Mix well & squeeze them gently to release moisture. Keep aside for 10 mins.
  • Add the gram flour, rice flour (or corn starch) along with ajwain (optional). Mix well to a slightly sticky dough. If the dough is too dry, sprinkle a few tablespoons of water and mix. It must be of a sticky dough consistency and not batter consistency.
  • Taste test and add more salt, garam masala or green chilies.

How to Make Pakora

  • Heat oil in a deep pan on a medium heat. Test by dropping a small portion of dough, it must sizzle and come up but not brown. This is the right temperature.
  • Take small portions of dough and flatten with your fingers to 1½ inch size portions and gently slide to the hot oil. You won't shape it or drop it in lumps.
  • Regulate the flame to medium. Do not disturb for a minute or 2 until they firm up a bit. Then stir them and fry until golden, crisp and aromatic.
  • Remove the vegetable pakoras to a cooling rack or steel colander. To make the next batch, ensure the oil is hot enough but not smoking hot. Fry in batches until you finish all of the prepared dough.
  • Serve vegetable pakora hot with a cup of masala tea, Coriander chutney or green chutney.
  • To keep them crispy for longer, place them on a wired rack in a low oven setting. You can also reheat them in air fryer.


Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Pakora Recipe | Vegetable Pakora
Amount Per Serving
Calories 293 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 33mg1%
Potassium 353mg10%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 3810IU76%
Vitamin C 28.3mg34%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Vegetable Pakora Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Hi Swasthi,
I love to make this recipe can I replace gram flour with chickpea flour or potato starch? Can’t find gram flour in our nearby stores.

Did someone say pakora in AIR FRYER? LOL!! Thank you for not including the air fryer option because pakora are best deep fried and not air fried. I am a diehard fan of fried pakoras and tried air frying but they never turned out like the real ones. These vegetable pakora taste amazingly delicious and have been using this recipe to use up the refrigerator leftovers. Thank you and I am going to try your palak paneer soon.

5 stars
I was doing grocery shopping last year and met an Indian lady who told me about how fantastic pakoras taste. I decided to try out this recipe and really surprised with the outcome. These are my favorite anytime now and I make these often.

5 stars
These pakora are SO good and my husband is after me every weekend for those lovely bites. They did indeed come out super crispy and taste better than what I have tried from other online recipes. Our local Indian restaurant used cashews so I use a handful of them and a little shrimp paste. Thank you and keep up the great work.

5 stars
Holy moly! Made these pakora tonight along with your mint chutney and rice pulao. Amazing! Great recipes for excellent results.

Can you freeze this recipe? Either before or after cooking?

5 stars
I have made your Pakoras several times and I love them! Now I’m on making them to share with my family but is it possible to make them ahead of time and them just reheat them in the oven for example?

5 stars
I just made these, again, to accompany your chicken tikka recipe (my personal favourite, so far), Absolute perfection! Family love y
them so much! Thank you for sharing

5 stars
Of the many kinds of pakoras, I definitely love these vegetable pakora. So easy to make with coleslaw mix and they turn out delicious. We have also tried to make in the air fryer. But the batter does not cook well. Wondering why have you not warned people to avoid the air fryer or oven for this recipe.

5 stars
I use sorghum flour to make pakoras and they taste delicious. Everyone should try out.

5 stars
Oh my stars, these Indian pakora look amazing. Pakora is one of our go to appetizer when we eat out in restaurants. I love Portobello mushrooms but not sure if I can add them here to the batter.

Nice pakora recipe! Is gram flour the same as chickpea flour?

Not the same or as good but I’ve used plain flour mixed with cornflour and chucked in an egg. Worked beautifully! Besan is better though

5 stars
Never much enjoyed these from restaurants but your recipe is delicious! I cooked them entirely in the air fryer on baking paper with oil and they turned out great, crispy and lightly browned. Also made your tamarind chutney to go with them, yummy combo! New favourite recipe website!

5 stars
Our pakora turned out beautifully and my family is loving them

5 stars
I made these pakora last evening for a small party, and OMG, they were SO GOOD!!! Thank you for this pakora recipe! Everyone raves about them! I’ve tried your other Indian recipes too and you’ve never let me down. I always recommend your recipes to my family and friends.

They’re so great for a party!

My son got me a kadai/ Indian wok last month and we have been using it this week to make different kinds of Indian foods. Tonight was the basmati rice, pakora and kadhi! 10 people commented on how good the meal was. Next time I would add eggplants to this.

5 stars
Turned out awesome the first time. I will be making this recipe again.

5 stars
Did as per recipe, with mint leaves. Simply amazing. Used tamarind sauce as dip, will make again!

5 stars
Fabulous Pakora recipe. Tried it and my friends said they are the best.

5 stars
Just what I was looking for!

I don’t have besan flour though. Is it ok to use channa dal and blend it into a paste?

I’m planning to make some onion, Brinjal and potato pakoras. Each one separately. But you say potato comes soggy. What if I fried or roasted it a bit first?

5 stars
I particularly love how you let us know that gram flour is different from chickpea flour. Tried this recipe last night and they were gone under 10 mins. Thank you, good work!

5 stars
These were amazing, just made and put on rack, gone in 10 min, do you have a recipe for chicken pakora? Made a few of your recipes, not been let down once x