Aloo Pakora (Indian Potato Fritters)

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Aloo pakora are soft melt-in-the-mouth fried potato fritters coated in a delicious, golden, crispy batter. It is also known as potato bajji and has always been one of my favorite tea-time snacks. Make this awesome vegan potato snack in less than 30 minutes.

closeup shot of aloo pakora arranged on a plate with slices of wheat bread on a square white plate

About This Recipe

Aloo pakora is a popular street food snack served not only in Mumbai but in other parts of India as well. There was a popular vendor who made the tastiest pakoras near my office.

My colleagues and I would often visit her during our lunch breaks to buy hot mouthwatering pakoras sandwiched in Pav (Indian buns), drizzled with green chutney, tamarind chutney, and garlic red chili chutney. Yum!

Aloo pakoda are usually eaten during winters and monsoons. They make for a lovely tea-time snack with some masala chai or ginger chai with family and friends.

The batter for these fritters are made with besan which is flour made from husked chana dal or black chickpeas. Besan is also known as gram flour.

In India, we make most of our fritters with besan. If you do not have besan, than use chickpea flour which also works well in this recipe. Besan can be easily found in Indian or Asian stores outside India and online.

I also add rice flour in the batter as it helps in giving a crispy texture to pakora. Carom seeds (ajwain) is a spice I do not miss. It not only gives a nice thyme like aroma but also helps in digestion.

Generally, aloo pakora is deep fried and I tried many times to make these in the oven and in an air-fryer. Honestly speaking, I did not like the texture of these air-fried and baked aloo pakora.

The deep fried pakora has a better texture as well as taste. Having said that, you can experiment making these fritters in an oven or in an air-fryer.

Below there is a step-by-step method as I know that it can be difficult to get the texture and consistency of pakoras right. Each potato slice should be coated completely with the batter and the aloo pakoras should puff up while frying. This makes the perfect Aloo pakora!

I hope this step-by-step method helps you to make pakoras the right way!

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Aloo Pakora

Make Batter

1. Add 1 cup gram flour (besan), 2 tablespoon rice flour, ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain), ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder, 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing), 2 to 3 pinches of baking soda (optional) and salt as required to a bowl.

Baking soda helps to give a fluffy texture to the batter and the pakoras puff up while frying. You can consider to skip baking soda or use ¼ teaspoon baking powder.

TIP: Swap gram flour with chickpea flour if you do not have gram flour.

dry ingredients for the batter in a bowl

2. Add ⅔ to ¾ cup of water and mix. You should get a medium smooth consistency. Add water in parts, and mix to get the right consistency. The batter should not be very thick. You can choose to have a medium-thick or medium consistency.

The amount of water needed will depend on the texture and quality of your besan. Finely ground gram flour will need less water and a coarsely ground besan will need more water.

TIP: Whisk the batter with a spoon or wired whisk briskly for about 2 minutes. This continuous whisking aerates the batter which makes for a fluffy and soft texture in the pakora.

a mixture of water and dry ingredients for pakora batter

Slice Potato

3. Slice 1 medium to large potato thinly with a knife and set aside. Avoid using a mandolin slicer as the potato slices will be too thin.

Using thin potato slices will cause the pakoras to crisp up while frying and you want the potatoes to be soft and tender when cooked.

Also do not make cut the slices thick as this would make up for undercooked potato after being fried.

thinly sliced potato

Batter Coat Potato Slices

4. Heat oil in a kadai and dip the slice in the batter. Make sure the whole potato slice is covered in batter.

Note that before you begin to batter coat the potatoes, heat oil in a kadai (wok) or a pan on medium to medium-high heat. Let the oil become hot.

potato slice dipped in batter

Deep Fry

5. Gently place the batter coated potato slice in hot oil. The oil should not be too hot or cool. Hold the bowl in your left hand and with your right hand, coat the potatoes with the batter. Gently drip off any extra batter in the bowl. Lift the batter coated potato slice and carefully place it in the hot oil.

Add 5 to 6 or more potato slices in the pan depending on your pan size. Do not overcrowd the pan with a lot of fritters as this would reduce the temperature of oil and will also make up for less crispy pakora.

Checking hotness of oil: Before adding the aloo pakora, add a few drops of the batter from a spoon in the oil. If it comes up too quickly the oil is very hot. It should come up fast yet steadily. If it does not come up or comes up very slowly, the oil is not hot enough.

batter coated potato slice frying in hot oil

6. When one side is light golden or golden, turn over the pakora with a slotted spoon. Allow the second side to be fried until golden. Turn over a couple of times as needed for even cooking. Fry all the aloo pakora like this until they are golden and crisp on both sides.

TIP: Keep a bowl of water on the work surface, so that you can quickly rinse your batter-coated fingers in the bowl and then dry them with a kitchen towel. This way your hands will not get too messy while making the potato bajji.

aloo pakora being fried in hot oil

7. Drain them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve aloo pakora hot or warm.

TIP: If you have leftover batter remaining after using up the entire batch of potato slices, then slice more potatoes and use up the remaining batter.

fried aloo pakora on a kitchen paper towels

Serving Suggestions

Choose to serve with any of your favorite Indian dip like Coriander Chutney, Tamarind Chutney, Mint Chutney, Coconut Chutney, or Tomato Ketchup or Dry Garlic Chutney. I served the potato bajji with homemade Whole Wheat Bread and sweet pomegranate chutney.

You can also sprinkle ½ to 1 teaspoon of chaat masala powder or a few pinches of black salt on the potato pakora. Serve as an evening snack with Ginger Chai or Filter Coffee.

Sometimes I also serve these pakoras with the Mexican avocado dip Guacamole. It is truly yum. On occasions I make a pakora wrap filled with either aloo pakora or Onion Pakoda, guacamole and cilantro chutney.

Try making burgers with these potato fritters and I am sure you will love it with some Mayonnaise, lettuce, cheese and ketchup.

Pakora also pairs nicely with a Raita. Make your favorite yogurt raita to serve these crispy pakoras with.

Storage and Leftovers

Pakoras are best eaten hot. After cooling they loose their crispy texture but the taste will still be good. If you have leftover aloo pakoras, place them at room temperature for a few hours in a closed container or a covered bowl and try to eat them the same day.

aloo pakora arranged on a plate with slices of wheat bread on a square plate

Expert Tips

  • Potatoes: Potatoes with a high starch content like Idaho or Russet potatoes are best for this recipe. Do not use potatoes with a gluey gummy texture. Also, avoid using a mandolin to slice the potatoes. This will cause the potatoes to be too thin and then they will crisp up when you fry them. Remember we want soft melt-in-the-mouth potato fritters!
  • Batter: This pakora batter has a medium consistency. Make sure the batter is not too thin, runny, or too thick. Coating the potato slices in a thin batter will cause them to absorb too much oil while coating the potatoes in a thick batter will make the fritters doughy. You can keep the batter medium-thick if you prefer.
  • Herbs and Spices: Bring more flavors in your aloo pakora recipe by including herbs like coriander leaves (cilantro), mint, curry leaves, garlic paste, finely chopped ginger/ginger paste or chopped green chillies.
  • Oil: Choose any neutral oil with a high smoking point to deep fry like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil, canola oil. You can also use peanut oil or mustard oil. With both these oils, the flavors of peanut and mustard will be felt in the pakora.
  • Oil temperature: Make sure that the oil that you use to fry the aloo pakoras is not too hot or cold. To test the temperature of the oil add a few drops of batter to the oil. If it comes up too quickly the oil is very hot and if it does not come up or comes up very slowly, the oil is not hot enough. It should come up steadily and quickly.
  • Baking & air frying: I did not get great results when I baked or air-fried aloo pakora. However, you can bake or air-fry them if you want. To do this preheat an oven or air-fryer for 10 minutes. Bake or air fry aloo pakora at a moderately hot temperature of 180 degrees celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).

FAQs

What is pakora batter made of?

This pakora batter is made from gram flour (besan), rice flour, carom seeds (ajwain), red chili powder, garam masala powder, a pinch of asafoetida (hing), a pinch of baking soda (optional), water, and salt as required.

To make this batter mix all of the dry ingredients together. Then add water and mix the ingredients to make a smooth batter-like consistency.

How do you keep pakora crispy?

Adding 1 teaspoon hot oil to the batter makes for a crispy pakora. You can also fry the pakora twice. First fry them until the batter firms up and looks light golden. Remove and place on paper towels. When warm or cool, gently press them between your palms. Then fry the second time until golden and crisp.

Why are my fritters soggy?

Your fritters may be soggy because the consistency of the batter is too thin and watery. If this is the case then add more gram flour to thicken the consistency of the batter.

What do you eat pakoras with?

You can eat aloo pakora with white bread, buns or dinner rolls, coriander chutney, sweet chutney, raita or tomato ketchup. I served the potato bajji with homemade whole meal bread, pomegranate chutney and sprinkled some chaat masala on top.

More Tasty Pakora Recipes!

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closeup shot of aloo pakora arranged on a plate with slices of wheat bread on a square white plate

Aloo Pakora

Aloo pakora are soft melt-in-the-mouth fried potato fritters coated in a delicious, golden, crispy gram flour batter. Make this awesome vegan potato snack also known as potato bajji in less than 30 minutes.
4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Cuisine Indian
Course Brunch, Snacks
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

  • 1 potato – medium to large sized
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan or chickpea flour)
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • ⅔ to ¾ cup water
  • 2 to 3 pinches baking soda – optional
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chaat masala powder for sprinkling on the pakora
  • salt as required
  • oil as needed for deep frying

Instructions
 

Making batter

  • In a bowl take all the dry ingredients – besan, rice flour, carom seeds, red chili powder, garam masala powder, asafoetida (hing), baking soda (optional) and salt as required.
  • Add water in parts and mix to get a smooth medium consistency. Whisk the batter with a spoon or a wired whisk for about 2 minutes to aerate it.
  • Taste test the batter and add more salt or spices if needed.

Slicing potatoes

  • Rinse, peel and slice the potatoes thinly into rounds. Do not cut the potato slices too thin or transparent or thick.
  • Using very thin potato slices will cause the pakoras to crisp up while frying and you want the potatoes to be soft and tender when cooked. Thick slices would make up for undercooked potato after being fried.

Deep Frying

  • Heat oil for frying in a kadai (wok) or pan on medium heat. The oil has to be medium-hot before you begin to fry.
  • Dip each potato slice in the batter. Coat it evenly with the batter. Place the batter coated potato slice gently and carefully in the medium-hot oil.
  • Batter coat 5 to 6 potato slices or more depending on the size of your pan and place them in the hot oil.
  • When one side is light golden or golden, turn over the pakora with a slotted spoon. Fry the second side until crisp and golden. Turn over as needed a few times for even frying.
  • Fry until golden and crispy. Using a slotted spoon remove them from oil and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Fry the potato fritters in batches this way until golden and crisp. If you have leftover batter after frying all the potato slices, then slice more potatoes to use up the remaining batter.
  • Serve aloo pakora hot or warm.

Serving Suggestions

  • Enjoy aloo pakora with any of your favorite Indian dips like Coriander Chutney, Tamarind Chutney, Mint Chutney, Coconut Chutney, or Tomato Ketchup or Dry Garlic Chutney.
  • For a bright tangy flavor, sprinkle ½ to 1 teaspoon of chaat masala powder or a few pinches of black salt on the pakora.
  • Serve these potato bajji as an evening snack with Ginger Chai or Filter Coffee.
  • I also serve these pakoras with the Mexican avocado dip Guacamole and it is so yum. On occasions I make a pakora wrap filled with either aloo pakora or Onion Pakoda, guacamole and cilantro chutney.
  • You could make making burgers or sliders with these potato fritters. I am sure you will love it with some Mayonnaise, lettuce, cheese and ketchup.
  • Pakora also pairs nicely with a Raita. Make your favorite yogurt raita to serve these crispy fritters with.

Storage and Leftovers

  • Pakoras are best eaten hot. After cooling they loose their crispy texture but the taste will be good.
  • If you have leftover aloo pakoras, place them at room temperature for a few hours in a closed container or a covered bowl and try to eat them the same day.

Notes

  • Potatoes: Potatoes with a high starch content like Idaho or Russet potatoes are best for this recipe. Do not use potatoes with a gluey gummy texture. Also, avoid using a mandolin to slice the potatoes. This will cause the potatoes to be too thin and then they will crisp up when you fry them. Remember we want soft melt-in-the-mouth potato fritters!
  • Batter: This pakora batter has a medium consistency. Make sure the batter is not too thin, runny, or too thick. Coating the potato slices in a thin batter will cause them to absorb too much oil while coating the potatoes in a thick batter will make the fritters doughy. You can keep the batter medium-thick if you prefer.
  • Herbs and Spices: Choose to bring more flavors in your pakora by adding herbs like coriander leaves (cilantro), mint, curry leaves, garlic paste, finely chopped ginger/ginger paste or chopped green chillies. 
  • Oil: Choose any neutral oil with a high smoking point to deep fry like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil, canola oil. You can also use peanut oil or mustard oil. With both these oils, the flavors of peanut and mustard will be felt in the pakora.
  • Oil temperature: Make sure that the oil that you use to fry the aloo pakoras is not too hot or cold. To test the temperature of the oil add a few drops of batter to the oil. If it comes up too quickly the oil is very hot and if it does not come up or comes up very slowly, the oil is not hot enough. It should come up steadily and quickly.
  • Baking & air frying: I did not get great results when I baked or air-fried aloo pakora. However, you can bake or air-fry them if you want. To do this preheat an oven or air-fryer for 10 minutes. Bake or air fry aloo pakora at a moderately hot temperature of 180 degrees celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Gluten free version: If you have gluten intolerance, then avoid adding asafeotida (hing) in the batter as the ground ones have traces of wheat.
  • Scaling: You can easily scale this recipe to make a large batch of aloo pakora for small get togethers or parties. 

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Aloo Pakora
Amount Per Serving
Calories 309 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 517mg22%
Potassium 269mg8%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 51IU1%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin E 8mg53%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 7mg1%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 1µg0%
Iron 15mg83%
Magnesium 3mg1%
Phosphorus 6mg1%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This aloo pakora recipe from the blog archives (February 2013) has been republished and updated on 16 May 2021.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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36 Comments

  1. What if you don’t have rice flour? I am going to the Indian store later to see if I can find it.

  2. Thank you so much, I have made several of your recipes and all have turned out fabulous!5 stars

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