June 8, 2022

Pakora – The hot served rainy season dish

In India, the rainy or the monsoon season lasts from June till September. This season brings the most happening people together. In these situations, most Indians like hot savory snacks with a hot tea or coffee cup. Pakoras are the most famous for being the best Chai Companion on your rainy days. Some people also associate pakoras with their happiness while associating rainy days with their hardships.

Pakora – The hot served rainy season dish

Pakoras are like Fritters, sure, but they have significant differences. Fitters are made with batter, breaded, or dough coating, but Pakoras are not so. Pakoras are made of Gram flour mixture containing various kinds of veggies or meat, Indian spices, salt, and green chilies. The unique part about pakoras is that they are a hot savory Indian snack, but the addition of ‘jeera’ or ‘ajwain’ makes it easily digestible. The most famously eaten Pakoras in India are Shallot Pakora, Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Pakora, Palak (Spinach) Pakora, Cauliflower Pakora, Eggplant Pakora, Bread Pakora, Daal Pakora, and Mixed Pakora. Baking powder also adds to its softer interior while it stays Crispy from the outside. It is a fun Indian Snack, but this Indian Dish is an excellent way to make children eat a good amount of veggies in the form of homemade junk food. Its versatility also allows it to be eaten as an appetizer!


This Indian Street Food, sold in the Indian Subcontinent as a spicy fritter, was invented by an Indian in the Peshawar Restaurant in the year the 1930s. At that time, there were no fried snacks on the menu of the Peshawar Restaurant, which urged him to make a batter-fried chicken and serve it as chicken Pakora. He had originally used Tandoor spice marinated chicken to create this Indian Food invention. But the only Non-Vegetarian Pakora in the Indian Cuisine mostly accepted by the Indians is the Moti Mahal Chicken Pakora, invented in the 20th century.

Pakoras: The Irresistible Indian Snack with Surprising Health Benefits

Indian cuisine is renowned for its rich and diverse array of flavors, and among its beloved snacks, pakoras stand out as a crispy and delicious favorite. Often enjoyed with a cup of masala chai, these deep-fried fritters are not only a delightful treat for your taste buds but also offer some surprising health benefits when consumed in moderation.

The Pakora Story:

Pakoras are a popular snack in India, available in a variety of forms to suit different palates. The most common type of pakora is made by dipping slices of vegetables, such as potatoes, onions, and spinach leaves, in a spiced gram flour (besan) batter and deep-frying until they achieve a golden, crispy perfection.

Health Benefits of Pakoras:

While pakoras are indeed a fried snack and should be enjoyed in moderation, they do provide several health benefits, especially when prepared with care:

1. Nutrient-Rich Vegetables:

  • Pakoras are an excellent way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. They are often made with a variety of vegetables, each contributing its unique set of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

2. Rich in Fiber:

  • Gram flour (besan), a key ingredient in pakoras, is a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber aids digestion, promotes a feeling of fullness, and can help regulate blood sugar levels.

3. Plant-Based Protein:

  • Besan is also a source of plant-based protein, making pakoras a suitable snack for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is essential for muscle repair and overall body function.

4. Essential Vitamins and Minerals:

  • The vegetables used in pakoras provide essential vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, and various B vitamins. These vitamins support immune function, eye health, and overall well-being.

5. Antioxidant Properties:

  • Many of the spices used in pakora batter, such as turmeric and ajwain (carom seeds), have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect the body’s cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.

6. Spices for Health:

  • The spices used in pakoras not only enhance flavor but also offer potential health benefits. For example, turmeric contains curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Satiety and Portion Control:

  • The combination of vegetables, gram flour, and spices in pakoras can help increase satiety. Enjoying a moderate serving of pakoras may prevent overindulgence in less healthy snacks.

8. Dietary Variety:

  • Pakoras allow you to experiment with different vegetables and even protein sources like paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or tofu. This variety can help diversify your diet, ensuring you get a range of nutrients.

9. Boosting Immunity:

  • Some spices commonly used in pakoras, such as ajwain (carom seeds) and hing (asafoetida), are believed to have immune-boosting properties. These spices can help strengthen your body’s defense mechanisms.

10. Mindful Eating: – When enjoying pakoras, practice mindful eating. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and aromas. Eating mindfully can help you savor the snack more fully and prevent overeating.

11. Social and Cultural Connection: – Pakoras often have cultural and social significance. Sharing pakoras with friends and family can strengthen bonds and create memorable moments. The enjoyment of food goes beyond its nutritional value.

12. Homemade Goodness: – Making pakoras at home allows you to control the ingredients and cooking methods. You can use healthier oils and adjust the level of spiciness to suit your preferences.

13. Balanced Meal Planning: – Consider incorporating pakoras as a part of a balanced meal. Pair them with a salad or a side of yogurt to create a more well-rounded eating experience.

14. Enjoying Seasonal Ingredients: – Take advantage of seasonal vegetables when making pakoras. Seasonal produce tends to be fresher, more flavorful, and possibly more nutrient-rich.

15. Portion Awareness: – Be mindful of portion sizes. Even though pakoras can be nutritious, excessive consumption can lead to an overload of calories from frying.

16. Hydration: – Drinking water or a refreshing beverage like masala chai alongside pakoras can help with digestion and prevent thirst due to the spiciness of some pakoras.

17. Homemade Chutneys: – Pair pakoras with homemade chutneys, such as mint-coriander chutney or tamarind chutney. These chutneys can add flavor and freshness while providing some additional nutrients.

18. Occasional Indulgence:

  • Pakoras are an excellent example of how you can indulge in your favorite treats on occasion without derailing your overall healthy eating habits. They are a reminder that balance is key to a sustainable and enjoyable diet.

19. Homemade Spice Blends:

  • Experiment with creating your spice blends for the pakora batter. This allows you to control the sodium content and customize the flavors to your liking.

20. Fresh Ingredients:

  • Use fresh ingredients when making pakoras. Fresh vegetables and spices can enhance both the taste and nutritional value of your pakoras.

21. Gluten-Free Options:

  • If you have gluten sensitivities, you can explore gluten-free flours like chickpea flour (besan) or rice flour for the batter to make gluten-free pakoras.

22. Dietary Restrictions:

  • Pakoras can be adapted to various dietary restrictions. For example, for a vegan version, use plant-based milk in the batter, and substitute vegetables for any dairy-based fillings.

23. Mindful Cooking Techniques:

  • When deep-frying pakoras, maintain the oil at the right temperature to prevent excessive absorption, resulting in less oily pakoras.

24. Pairing with Healthy Sides:

  • Enjoy pakoras with side dishes that add nutritional value, such as a mixed salad with leafy greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

25. Moderation and Balance:

  • The key to enjoying pakoras while maintaining a healthy diet is moderation and balance. Incorporate them into your meals sensibly, and balance them with other nutrient-dense foods.

26. Cultural Appreciation:

  • Pakoras are a wonderful way to appreciate the diverse and flavorful cuisines of India. Exploring different regional variations can be an enjoyable culinary journey.

27. Homemade Sauces:

  • Experiment with homemade sauces and dips to complement your pakoras. Yogurt-based raita or a tangy tomato chutney can enhance your pakora experience.

28. Sensory Experience:

  • Savor the sensory experience of pakoras – the sound of sizzling in the hot oil, the aroma of spices, the crunch as you bite into one, and the burst of flavors.

In summary, while pakoras are a delicious and culturally significant snack, it’s important to enjoy them mindfully and as part of a balanced diet. When prepared with fresh ingredients, cooked with care, and consumed in moderation, pakoras can be a flavorful and occasionally indulgent addition to your culinary repertoire. Embrace the pleasure of savoring this beloved Indian snack while maintaining your commitment to overall well-being.

Remember that while pakoras offer health benefits, they are still a treat and should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. A diverse diet that includes a wide range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, is essential for overall health and well-being. When enjoyed in moderation and as part of a diverse and balanced diet, pakoras can be a delicious and culturally significant addition to your culinary repertoire.

Tips for Healthier Pakoras:

To maximize the health benefits of pakoras, consider these tips:

  • Use minimal oil for frying by shallow frying or baking instead of deep-frying.
  • Choose a variety of colorful vegetables to increase nutrient diversity.
  • Experiment with whole wheat flour or chickpea flour for a healthier batter.
  • Pair pakoras with a mint-coriander chutney for added freshness and nutrients.

Enjoying Pakoras Mindfully:

While pakoras can be a part of a balanced diet, it’s essential to consume them in moderation. Overindulgence in fried foods can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Pakoras are best enjoyed as an occasional treat or during special occasions when celebrating Indian culture and cuisine.

In conclusion, pakoras are a flavorful and satisfying snack that can offer some unexpected health benefits when prepared thoughtfully. By incorporating a variety of vegetables and using wholesome ingredients, you can savor this classic Indian snack guilt-free while relishing the taste of India’s diverse culinary heritage.