Pakoda or pakora are a fried Indian tea-time snack. In South India, they are most commonly known as bajjis. Just about anything can be made into bajjis or pakoda. Most commonly potatoes, cauliflower florets, onions, paneer, etc are used.
Back home, my mom makes a mean cabbage and onion pakoda. These are my most favorite kind and super easy to prepare.I have no idea how pakoda came into being. Maybe a smart mom came up with these to feed picky eaters. Who knows!
Pakodas are very common all over India and can be found in homes, restaurants and road-side eateries. We have a soft corner for anything covered in batter, fried and crunchy, I guess! To make these Indian fritters, a goopy batter is made using chickpeas flour and water. The vegetables are sliced, dunked in the batter and deep-fried in oil.
Cabbage pakoda is slightly different. The chopped cabbage is mixed with the batter itself and then fried. This means the batter has to be fairly dry and so the resulting pakodas have a mind of their own shape-wise. My son calls them ‘spider crunchies’. Eww… boys!!!
You will need:
- Thinly chopped cabbage – 2 cups (tightly packed)
- Onion – 1 smallish, thinly sliced
- Chickpeas flour (besan) – 3/4 – 1 cup (use the super fine variety for best results)
- Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
- Baking soda – 1/4 tsp
- Oil – for deep-frying
- Thinly slice the cabbage leaves and slice thin half-moons from the onions. Be careful not to use any of the thick white parts of the cabbage. Combine and season the vegetables with 1/2 teaspoon salt and keep aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the besan or chickpeas flour, red chili powder, remaining salt and baking soda. Add a little water to it and mix with a fork. You need just enough water to make the dry ingredients come together. The vegetables will let out some water, so the batter has to be fairly dry initially.
- Add the cabbage and onion to the batter. Mix thoroughly with a fork or use your hands for best results. If the mixture seems too wet, add more flour.
- Heat oil in a wok or deep pan. When it is nice and hot, drop a couple of small handfuls of the pakoda batter in it. Reduce the heat to medium-high and fry them till golden brown on all sides.
- Remove and place on paper towels for a few minutes before serving. Serve them as such (our favorite), with tomato ketchup or some mint-coriander chutney. Don’t forget a piping hot cup of chai or coffee to go with it!
Notes: Experienced cooks (read ‘moms‘) will have no trouble scooping and dropping the batter into the hot oil with their fingers. If you are squeamish about this step (like me), take a large forkful of the batter, and drop into the oil with another fork. Take care to slightly spread this pakoda batter while dropping into the oil, otherwise the edges will be burned easily and the center will not be properly cooked. Like Boy said, you are really looking to make them wiggly-shaped!
Make these for tea time or on a cold, rainy evening and watch your family gobble these down faster than you can say ‘pakoda‘!
Tell me, do you have a favorite kind of pakoda? Have you tried cabbage pakoda? Do try this recipe and let me know how it goes.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- The Dedicated House
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Better With Age
- Home Stories A To Z
- My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- House On The Way
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- Not Just A Housewife
- 52 Mantels
- Domestic Superhero
- Living Well Spending Less
- Reasons To Skip The Housework
- Design Dining and Diapers
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
- Common Ground
- My Romantic Home
- The Charm of Home
- Thirty Handmade Days
- Crafts a la Mode
- Love of Family and Home
- Tatertots and Jello
- DIY Show Off
- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn