Gobi pakora - deep fried cauliflower fritters - are an easy and TASTY Indian snack food. This recipe uses both a flavorful batter & marinade.
I figure it’s about time to update my collection of posted pakora & pakoda recipes. I’ve had 3 posted for a decade, then kind of dropped the ball on posting the rest of
Whether you know this as cauliflower pakora, cauliflower pakoda, gobhi ke pakode, gobi pakoda, or even just cauliflower fritters, these crispy gobi pakoras are super easy recipe to make.
My gobi pakora recipe involves pre-cooking caulflower florets with a mix of spices, basically marinating them as they cook.
From there, it’s a quick dunk in an easy, flavourful batter (naturally gluten-free!), then fried up into crispy fritters - perfect with a bit of green chutney to dip them in.
Let’s get to it!
If you do any Indian cooking, these are really basic ingredients that you likely have on hand. If not, they should be easy to find in most grocery stores.
I have a few notes on some of the main ingredients:
Cauliflower - or Gobi - is the base of this recipe. Personally, I like to use fresh cauliflower florets - gobi florets - rather than frozen.
I just find that frozen cauliflower tends to be a bit more mushy after cooking, and I prefer the texture of the fresh.
That said, if you’re looking to use up some frozen cauliflower florets, just thaw and drain them well before using. I’d also cut the first round of cooking time in half.
If you normally do any gluten free baking, you’ll likely already have the white rice flour, and have probably have come across the bean flour.
Both should be available from larger grocery stores, in the gluten free section.
The garbanzo flour is also readily available from Indian / South Asian grocery stores, where it’s known as Besan flour.
Herbs, Spices, etc
I use a fairly basic mix of seasonings to punch up the flavour in this gobi pakora, as a base recipe:
... But I tend to see pakora batter as a free-form thing, and will add other seasonings depending on what I’m feeling like at the time.
If I want a really bright, cheerful yellow batter, I’ll add some Turmeric Powder.
If I’ve in the mood for spicy, I’ll add some extra cayenne, or use Red Chili Powder. Sometimes I’ll finely - very finely! - mince up some green chilies.
Really, as long as you end up in the range of “right” texture, you can flavor the batter however you like!
Note: You’ll also need salt and baking powder.
Oil for Deep Frying
I recommend using vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or peanut oil for frying your cauliflower pakora.
They all have a high smoke point, and are great for deep frying in general.
As these are generally deep fried, you’ll need something to do THAT in.
I used to use a deep fryer for making pakoras, but then I moved to a house with a very small kitchen.
No longer able to justify the use of counter space, I sold the fryer and now just use a heavy bottomed pot.
The nice thing about using an actual deep fryer is that they generally have built in temperature control, so you can really set it and forget it.
This is definitely not the case when using a pot, so I use a IR Thermometer to keep track of what temperature the oil is.
A candy or deep frying thermometer also works.
How to Make Gobi Pakora
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, this is the pictorial walk through, with step by step photos.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, cilantro, spices, salt, and baking powder.
Add water and ginger-garlic paste to the dry ingredients, stir well to form a thick, smooth batter, set this gram flour batter aside to soften.
Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces of cauliflower, place into a microwave safe dish.
Toss these small florets with curry powder, cayenne powder, coriander powder, and salt. Cover with plastic and microwave on high for 4 minutes.
Drain well, transfer to paper towels, and allow to cool to room temperature.
When I’m using a pot - rather than a deep fryer - I’ll usually start it on medium high heat, then bring it down to medium heat as it gets closer to the right temperature.
Dip cooled cauliflower in the thick batter and carefully transfer them to the preheated oil, cooking in small batches.
Note: If your batter is too thick, add a little water. You want to use just enough water to make it the consistency of pancake batter.
Fry in hot oil for a few minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown.
Allow oil to come back up to temperature, repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Serve hot, with green coriander chutney (cilantro chutney / mint chutney), tamarind chutney, tomato sauce, or even tomato ketchup.
To Cook in an Air Fryer
Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
Follow the recipe up to the dipping stage. Once you let the batter drip off, place the dipped cauliflower pieces on your prepared baking sheets.
Once all cauliflower is dipped, freeze for a few hours, until frozen through.
Once frozen, you can either air fry them immediately, or transfer to a freezer bag for longer term storage.
To air fry, preheat air fryer to 400 F
Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray, arrange battered cauliflower pieces in the basket, leaving a bit of room between each. Spray with pan spray.
Air fry for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
Leftover gobi pakora can be cooled to room temperature before being transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge.
Will keep for a few days, best when reheated in an air fryer.
More Gluten-Free Indian Food 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:
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Gobi Pakora [Cauliflower Pakoda]
- Deep Fryer or heavy bottomed pot
- 1 ¼ cups Garbanzo bean flour
- ¼ cup White rice flour
- 2 tablespoon Finely chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon Curry powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Carom seeds optional
- ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne more, if you lke
- 1 cup Warm water
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic paste
- 1 head Cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon Curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne powder
- ¼ teaspoon Coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Oil for deep frying
- In a large bowl, combine flours, cilantro, spices, salt, and baking powder. Add water and ginger-garlic paste, stir well to form a thick batter, set aside to soften.
- Cut cauliflower into bite sized cauliflower pieces, place into a microwave safe dish.
- Toss with curry powder, cayenne powder, coriander powder, and salt. Cover with plastic and microwave on high for 4 minutes.
- Drain well, transfer to paper towels, and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Start heating your oil to 350F – you’ll want at least 2-3″ of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
- Dip cooled cauliflower in the batter and carefully transfer them to the preheated oil, cooking in small batches.
- Fry for a few minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown.
- Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried pakora to paper towels. Allow oil to come back up to temperature, repeat with remaining cauliflower.
- Serve hot, with cilantro-mint chutney.