Brinjal Pakora (Eggplant Fritters)

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Brinjal pakora is an easy and tasty snack of fried, crisp fritters made with gram flour (besan), brinjals (eggplant), herbs, and spices. These vegan fritters are also known as brinjal bajji in South Indian languages and baingan pakoda in Hindi.

brinjal pakora or brinjal bajji on a white plate with a side of chutney at the side

About this recipe

Pakora are basically fritters made primarily with gram flour, spices and any vegetables.

In Indian cuisine, you will find pakora made from a variety of vegetables like potato, spinach, onion, capsicum, spring onions, cauliflower, fenugreek leaves, etc. This is one such delicious variation of vegan fritters made with small eggplants.

These brinjal pakora have a lovely soft, mildly sweet taste from the inside and the outside texture is crisp.

I suggest using small to medium-sized variety of brinjal. If you use larger sized brinjal then chop them into bite-sized slices.

There are occasions when I make pakora. For the last few days, we had sudden unseasonal rains and I did make pakora in the dull cold weather.

Rains and pakora are a never-fail combination. Not to forget the masala chai that is served with the pakoda.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Brinjal Pakora

Making batter

1. In a mixing bowl take the dry ingredients – 1 cup besan (gram flour), ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ¼ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp cumin powder, a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) and salt as required. Also add 1 pinch of baking soda.

ingredients to make batter

2. Add ⅔ cup water or as required.

water added to bowl

3. Whisk to a smooth batter without lumps. Add water as required to make a medium consistency batter.

batter mixed with a wired whisk

Slicing and batter coating

4. Rinse and slice the brinjals (baingan) into thin slices. I used small brinjals. You can also use medium-sized eggplants. If using large eggplant, chop them into bite-sized slices.

sliced brinjals in a squared steel plate

5. Dip the brinjal slices in the batter evenly.

brinjal slices dipped in batter

Making brinjal pakora

6. In a kadai or pan heat oil. When the oil becomes medium hot then gently place them in medium hot oil for frying. You can use sunflower oil or peanut oil or any neutral oil with a high smoking temperature.

frying brinjal slices in hot oil in a kadai to make brinjal bajji

7. Turn over when one side is cooked partly.

frying brinjal bajji in oil

8. After a minute or so, flip again and fry them until crisp and evenly golden.

frying brinjal bajji in hot oil in a kadai

9. With a slotted spoon remove the brinjal bajji and drain as much oil as possible.

removing fried brinjal pakora With a slotted spoon

10. Place them on a paper kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Fry the brinjal pakora in batches this way.

fried brinjal pakoda on a paper kitchen towel

11. Serve the brinjal pakora hot or warm with any chutney of your liking. I also love to have a cup of hot ginger chai when I make veggie fritters.

brinjal pakora served on a plate with a side of chutney in a bowl

Serving Suggestions

Serve the brinjal bajji hot or warm with mint coriander chutney or tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup.

You can also have them with roti or bread. Sometimes I just use some leftover vegetables like brinjal, cauliflower, capsicum, spinach and make a pakora platter. Then I serve them with roti for lunch or dinner.

You can also wrap them in a roti and add some green chutney and Guacamole and make a pakora wrap. This way also they taste equally delicious. You can even stuff them in bread slices to make sandwiches or as stuffing for burgers.

Tips

FAQs

How to remove bitterness from eggplant?

Sometimes some eggplants can be bitter. So it is a good practice to soak the eggplant slices in salted water for 15 to 20 minutes before making any recipe. Then drain all the water, pat dry and use them in the recipe.

At what temperature to fry pakora?

When frying pakora, the oil has to be moderately hot – the temperature being 180 degrees to 190 degrees Celsius (360 degrees to 375 degrees Fahrenheit). You can either use a candy or deep fry thermometer to check the temperature of oil.

Alternatively, add some droplets of the batter in the oil. If they rise to the surface gradually and start bubbling, the oil is ready. If they rise slowly or are submerged inside, the oil is not hot enough. If they rise too quickly and rapidly, the oil is very hot.

Why pakora are soggy and oily?

Frying at the right temperature and hotness of oil will ensure that you do not end up with soggy pakora or burnt pakora. If the oil is not hot, the batter will absorb more oil and the pakoda will become soggy. A thin batter will also make the pakora absorb plenty of oil.

If the oil is very hot, the pakora will become more browned or can get burnt leaving the insides undercooked.

More Tasty Pakoda Recipes

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brinjal pakoda recipe, brinjal bajji recipe, baingan pakora recipe

Brinjal Pakoda | Brinjal Bajji

4.75 from 4 votes
Brinjal pakoda or brinjal bajji are fried crisp vegan fritters made with eggplant, gram flour (besan), herbs and spices.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Course: Snacks
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 brinjal (small sized) – eggplant or aubergine
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • cup water or add as required
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
  • 1 pinch baking soda – optional
  • salt as required
  • oil for deep frying, as required

Instructions

Making batter

  • In a mixing bowl take the dry ingredients – gram flour, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing). Also add baking soda and salt as required.
  • Add ⅔ cup of water or as required.
  • Whisk to a smooth batter without lumps. Add water as required to make a medium consistency batter.

Frying

  • Rinse and slice the brinjals thinly.
  • Dip the brinjal slices in the batter evenly.
  • In a kadai or pan heat the oil. You can use any neutral oil with a high smoking point like sunflower oil or peanut oil. Once the oil becomes medium hot, gently place them in the medium hot oil for frying.
  • Turn over when one side is cooked partly.
  • After a minute or so, flip again and fry the pakora till crisp and evenly golden.
  • With a slotted spoon remove the pakora and drain as much oil as possible.
  • Place the pakora on a paper kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Fry the pakoras in batches this way.
  • Serve the brinjal pakora hot or warm with coriander chutney or tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup. Sometimes we also have them with roti or bread. They can also be stuffed inside bread to make sandwich.

Notes

  • Scaling: The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • Gluten-free version: If you want to make the recipe gluten-free then skip adding asafoetida (hing) or use gluten-free asafoetida.
  • Bitter brinjals: Sometimes some brinjals can have some bitter taste. Soaking the sliced eggplants in salted water for 15 to 20 minutes helps to remove the bitterness from them.
  • Frying temperature: Fry the pakora in medium-hot oil or on medium to medium-high heat. 
  • Oily pakora: If the oil is not hot, the pakora will absorb oil and become soggy. A thin batter will also make the pakora absorb plenty of oil.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Brinjal Pakoda | Brinjal Bajji
Amount Per Serving
Calories 396 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 520mg23%
Potassium 2007mg57%
Carbohydrates 63g21%
Fiber 26g108%
Sugar 30g33%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 225IU5%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 5mg25%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 27µg26%
Calcium 70mg7%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 168µg42%
Iron 10mg56%
Magnesium 107mg27%
Phosphorus 183mg18%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This recipe post from the archives (March 2015) has been republished and updated on 19 December 2020.

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Meet Dassana

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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6 Comments

  1. Just love your Recipes and love your site, going to try the recipes one by one….love the step by step photos of recipes, its of great help for beginners….. thanks for the recipes, keep up the great work….. 🙂

    1. welcome radhika. glad to know this. thanks for sharing positive feedback.

  2. love your recipes! Just tried this and the Keralan Biryani. Will definitely be trying more.