These Mixed Vegetable Pakora fritters are easy to make, and bursting with flavour. Customize them with your choice of veggies!
Note: This recipe was first posted on my original blog, Celebration Generation, on November 2, 2012. It was transferred over to this blog - existing comments and all - on 9/29/2022
Yeah. I kinda dropped the ball on that, having gotten overloaded with all sorts of other work to focus on... Anyway, I'm back on it now!
These crispy vegetable pakoras were my absolute favorite from that evening, a gluten-free mixed veggie pakora patty recipe.
Like many of my recipes, this works up quickly and easily, producing a highly addictive end product.
Expect a "pakora coma" after snarfing these babies.. which go great with my cilantro-mint chutney.
This vegetable pakora recipe uses really simple ingredients that should be easy to find at almost any large grocery store.
I do have some notes on the main ingredients, though:
In general, veggie pakora is a great way to use up leftover vegetables in your fridge - Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
Basically anything that's tasty and kind of sturdy. (Ie: don't use tomatoes!).
For this mix veg pakoras recipe, I decided to specify amounts - I'd created this to have a great balance in flavors, color, and texture.
I use a mix of onions (usually about 1 medium onion), broccoli, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and finely chopped jalapenos.
I’ll usually run chopped jalapenos through my mini food processor first, then rough chopped onion next. I cut everything else by hand, so I tend to get lazy where can!
Want to try something different, or happen to have other veggies to use up?
Try using your favorite vegetables in place of some of the veggies I call for.
Chop up some bell pepper, green beans - or French beans... you can even use leafy greens (chopped, pre-cooked a bit, and well drained, ideally!).
Lke all my pakora recipes - and traditional pakoras in general - this recipe uses a mix of Chickpea Flour / Garbanzo Bean Flour, and White Rice Flour to make the chickpea flour batter - it’s an inherently gluten free recipe*!
If you’re shopping in an Indian or South Asian grocery store, the bean flour is likely to be called besan flour, besan, or gram flour. They’re all the same thing - flour made from garbanzo beans!
* When dining in restaurants, always check with the restaurant to make sure that their pakoras are gluten free, if you need them to be. While it’s not tradtional, some do add wheat flour / all purpose flour to their batter.
Herbs and Spices
As written, this recipe is exactly how started making it, well over a decade ago. I don’t dare change the base recipe, as that tends to anger readers, LOL!
So, know that we’ve since started looking at this as a base recipe. When we make vegetable pakoras, we’ll do at least what’s listed:
Fresh cilantro / fresh coriander
It’s a nice start, and really lets the mix of vegetables take center stage.
That said, there are a number of different ways - and a variety of spices you can use - to add some extra flavor to the batter ingredients.
Try adding 1-2+ Tablespoons of fresh Ginger Garlic Paste, or wear some gloves and use a box grater to shred some green chilies into the mix.
Some chopped fresh mint leaves are another great option, in terms of fresh, bright flavours.
In terms of dry spices...
Carom Seeds, Fennel Seeds, and Cumin Seeds add flavour AND texture.
Chaat Masala, Garam Masala, Ground Coriander, Tandoori Masala, and Turmeric Powder are all great ways to bring warmth and a depth of flavour to the mix.
Want a spicier pakora?
Add some Cayenne Pepper, Kashmiri Chili Powder, and/or Red Chilli Powder.
Oil for Frying
When it comes to deep frying, you want to use a oil with a fairly neutral flavour and a high smoke point.
Vegetable oil is my go-to for deep frying, but canola oil, sunflower oil, and peanut oil are other great options.
You’ll need a way to cook these - ideally deep frying.
If you have a deep fryer, great!
If not, a heavy bottomed pan will work as well - you’ll just need a way to keep track of the oil temperature - a built in functionality when it comes to actual fryers.
I like to use an IR Thermometer, personally... but candy thermometers and deep frying thermometers are other good options.
How to Make Veggie Pakora
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, this is a walk through with easy step by step instructions, photos, and extra tips.
Start heating your vegetable oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
Note: I usually start it out at medium-high heat, then turn it down to medium as the oil comes close to the right temperature.
In a medium bowl, mix the pakora batter: combine flours, salt, spices, and baking powder.
Add water, stir well to form a thick batter. Allow batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.
Chop everything into small pieces - the hot peppers should be seeded and finely minced, combine in a large bowl.
Add the batter to the prepared vegetables, stirring until everything is evenly coated with the batter.
Use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to carefully scoop small spoonfuls of the batter (¼ cup or less) of batter into the hot oil.
Use a metal slotted spoon to transfer hot pakoras to paper towels, blot the excess oil off.
Note: I totally forgot to take process photos after this point, whoops!
Allow the oil temperature to come back to 375 between batches.
Serve hot, with your favourite chutney. I like cilantro mint chutney (green chutney), my husband prefers tamarind chutney.
I heat that tomato ketchup goes well with these vegetable fritters, I haven’t tried it!
Air Fryer Veggie Pakora
Deep frying not your thing? Using an air fryer, you can make these without as much oil!
To make air fryer pakora, scoop your batter onto parchment lined baking sheets, freeze until solid.
To air fry, preheat air fryer to 400 F
Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray, arrange frozen vegetable pakora pieces in the basket, leaving a bit of room between each. Spray with pan spray.
Air fry for 12 - 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
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
... 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
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Mixed Vegetable Pakora
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1 ¼ cup garbanzo flour
- ¼ cup white rice flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoon hot curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
- 1 cup peeled finely chopped yam or sweet potato
- 1 cup finely chopped zucchini
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1-2 finely chopped jalapenos
- ½ cup cilantro
- Cilantro Mint Chutney
- Start heating your vegetable oil to 375F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
- In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, spices, and baking powder. Add water, stir well to form a thick batter. Allow batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.
- Mix in remaining ingredients, making sure that everything is evenly coated with the batter.
- Use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to carefully scoop small amounts (¼ cup or less) of batter into the preheated oil.
- Fry for a few minutes on each side, until patties are golden brown.
- Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer cooked patties to paper towels.
- Serve hot, with with cilantro-mint chutney.
These veggie pakoras look incredible, Marie. I can't believe that they're also egg-free & dairy-free. Thanks!
These were really good but we had to add a lot of additional flour to get them to bind together.
I'm thinking maybe it's because we blended our own chickpea flour so it was a little more granular but we ended up using almost double the recommended amount and went with tapioca since it's such a fine grain. The largest piece of vegetable was a corn kernel.
The flavor was fantastic and also used the mint chutney recipe from your page as well.
Any changes to flour in gluten-free recipes are likely to throw off the liquid needed, as different flours / grinds of flours will retain moisture at different rates. This recipe works well with commercially available chickpea flour.
I wouldn't recommend tapioca in this recipe, for texture and moisture retention reasons.
I only have Bob's Red Mill Baking Flour on hand. Will that work? It's a blend of: Sweet White Rice Flour, Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Whole Grain Sweet White Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour, Xanthan Gum.
Without knowing the ratios of ingredients, I can't be sure. It'll probably work out in general, but the flavour and texture may be very different.
Is there a way to cook this in an airfryer rather than oil?
I'd probably freeze the patties first.