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Pakora —also known as pakoda, pikora, bhajiya, among other names — are one of our favorite food groups. These golden, lacy, crispity-crunchity fritters are bound by a highly spiced chickpea flour batter and can be made with an assortment of vegetables, meat, or seafood. This recipe highlights the former — think of it as a roadmap for pakora using the vegetable of your choice.
The trick to getting the most shatteringly crisp pakora is two-fold. The first step is controlling the water in the batter. Since vegetables hold a decent amount of water, toss the veggies, onions, and herbs with all the dry ingredients, omitting the water, and let that sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Then, massage the mixture, coaxing out any residual water, before adding a little bit of water at a time until you reach the right batter consistency. Secondly, instead of just besan, or chickpea flour, a bit of rice flour helps the pakora retain their crunch, post-frying.
Need some veggie inspo? We're partial to karela (bitter melon), sweet potatoes, spinach, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, or a mix of alliums, like leeks, onions, and green garlic. But, the world is your own choose-your-own-pakora adventure. (These are a great way to use up odds and ends from your CSA box.)