Sweet Corn Pakoda - or "Corn Pakora" is a tasty, quick Indian snack. These savory fried corn fritters work up in just minutes!
Soon after learning that I would have to go gluten free, I happened on to the fact that pakoras - a whole range of Indian fritters - are inherently gluten free.
While the Indian snacks may not always be 100 % safe in restaurants (some cut their batter with wheat flour, and cross contamination can be an issue), the good thing is that they traditionally start as a gluten-free recipe.
I always love it when I can have a regular snack, just as-is, without having to convert anything or do a special, separate version!
Anyway, today I’m sharing my easy corn pakoda recipe.
As “king of the corn freaks”, he did end up inspiring me to write an entire cookbook of sweet corn recipes, after all!
These sweet corn pakoras are packed with flavor, not only from the sweet corn itself, but also from the herbs and spices used in the flavorful batter.
The best part?
This corn pakora recipe works up in just minutes, making crispy corn pakora great as a quick evening snack.
Let’s get to it!
This recipe uses super simple ingredients that should be easy to find at pretty much any grocery store. I have a few notes for you, though:
I like to use fresh corn kernels to make these fritters: 2 cups of whole kernels, or about 3 corn cobs worth of sweet corn kernels.
You can use canned or frozen (thawed first), just drain them really well before measuring and using them. Also - start out with a bit less water in the batter.
I’ll usually use white or yellow onions in this recipe, whatever I happen to have on hand. You can also use red onions, if you prefer.
Sometimes I’ll chop up some spring onions and use those as well.
The nice thing about these kinds of fritters is that they’re pretty customizable!
I use jalapenos in my Indian recipes, as they’re the form of green chilies that are most consistently available to me.
That said, you can use more tradtional green chillies if you prefer - or just leave them out, if you don’t want any heat.
Corn pakoda uses a traditional Chickpea Flour as the base for the batter - also known as besan, besan flour, or Garbanzo Bean Flour.
Along with the bean flour, you’ll use a bit of White Rice Flour, which fries up crispier than the gram flour.
This combination of gluten-free flours is traditional for pakoras, this is an inherently gluten free dish!
Note: Some restaurants will use a bit of all purpose flour. ALWAYS ask, when you’re not making it yourself!
Herbs and Spices
I see this recipe as a base recipe, and I’ll generally add stuff depending on what I’m in the mood for at the time.
At the very least, I use:
Ginger Garlic Paste
Garam Masala Powder
Sometimes I’ll add some chopped fresh coriander leaves - cilantro.
A bit of Turmeric Powder bumps up the yellow color,
Chaat Masala, Tandoori Masala, Carom Seeds, and/or Ground Cumin can be added for a bit more depth of flavor.
If you’re looking to bump the heat up a bit, try a bit of Red Chili Powder, Kashmiri Chili Powder, and/or Cayenne Pepper.
It’s all good!
Oil for Deep Frying
You’ll want to use an oil with a high smoke point for deep frying, as those oils are the ones that can handle the high temperatures you’ll be reaching.
Personally, I use vegetable oil - cheap, readily available, neutral flavor.
Sunflower oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are also good choices for this recipe.
On that note, you’ll need something to fry these corn pakoda in!
Up until we moved home to Canada - and to a house with a tiny kitchen - used a deep fryer for making pakoras.
I liked the convenience of not having to worry about the temperature, as it was automatically controlled by the machine.
Now, I can’t justify the counter space sacrifice, so I just use a deep, heavy bottomed pot.
As this doesn’t come with temperature control - or display - I also use an IR Thermometer.
... a little more hassle, but not at all difficult. As a bonus, the pan is a lot less annoying to wash!
How to Make Crispy Corn Pakoda
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is a walk through with step by step photos.
Start heating your oil to 350F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
When not using an actual deep fryer, I like to start it over medium high, then turn it down to medium heat as the oil temperature gets closer to 350.
In a large bowl, mix corn kernels, onion, jalapeno, and ginger garlic paste.
Add water, stirring well to form a thick batter. Allow batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.
Fry the small balls of batter in the hot oil for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy
Use a metal slotted spoon to transfer fried fritters to a paper towel lined baking sheet to absorb excess oil.
Allow the temperature of the oil to come back up to 350 between batches. Continue frying small portions of corn mixture until it’s all used up.
Serve these corn fritters hot, with cilantro-mint chutney (green chutney / coriander chutney), tamarind chutney, tomato sauce, or even tomato ketchup.
Leftover hot pakodas can be cooled to room temperature before being transferred to an airtight container for storage in the fridge.
They’ll keep for 3-4 days, best reheated in an air fryer.
More Gluten-Free Indian Recipes
Craving some curry, pakoras, and chutney? I’ve got some delicious Indian Recipes for you!
Chicken Shahi Korma
Mango Lassi Popsicles
Mixed Vegetable Pakora
... I even have a few diet friendly adaptations on my low carb blog, Low Carb Hoser:
Keto Butter Chicken
Low Carb Chicken Korma
Keto Chicken Biryani
Low Carb Shrimp Curry
Share the Love!
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- Deep Fryer Or heavy bottomed pot
- Oil for deep frying
- 2 cups Fresh corn kernels 3 ears
- 1 Medium onion chopped
- 1 Jalapeno seeded and minced
- 1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
- ¾ cup Garbanzo chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoon White rice flour
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon Curry powder
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- ½ cup Water
- Start heating your oil to 350F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together corn, onion, jalapeno, and ginger garlic paste. Add flours, spices, and salt, stirring well to coat the vegetables.
- Add water, stirring well to form a thick batter. Allow batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.
- Use two spoons to carefully scoop small amounts (2 tablespoon or less) of batter into the preheated oil.
- Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy
- Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried fritters to paper towels to drain.
- Serve hot, with cilantro-mint chutney.
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