Call them a day time street food or a quick homemade snack, Pakodas, also known as Bhajiya or Fritters are very popular as appetizers. This deep-fried goodness is best relished piping hot with some freshly made chutney and a cup of Chai.
There are quite a lot of different kinds of fritters. Some are very sought after whereas some are relatively less known. Here are the Top 15 Types of Pakodas that’ll make you crave some right now!
1. Kaanda Bhajiya (Onion Fritters)
Easily found on every other street in Mumbai, and really simple to prepare at home as well. Kaanda Bhajiya or Onion fritters are prepared by coating thinly sliced half onions into gram flour batter. And then deep-frying them in hot oil until golden brown. Pretty basic to prepare, but really tasty to eat. A compulsive monsoon treat for every foodie, with a hot cup of tea.
2. Aloo Bhajiya (Potato Fritters)
Potato fritters are made with raw potatoes that are peeled, washed and are thinly sliced circularly. Coating these thin slices in salt and red chilly powder is the next step. Dipping in the gram flour batter, all set to deep fry and enjoy! Potato fritters’ simplicity is its strength, as there’s a whole lot of flavor behind such a hassle-free cook.
3. Mirchi Pakoda (Green Chilli Fritters)
These are made with a different kind of green chilly, that is light green in color, bigger in size and less spicy than the regular green chilly. These chilies are slit open in the middle, deseeded a little bit. Then it’s about coating them in the batter after adding some salt. The frying is done as usual. Mildly spicy, and extremely delicious. Also, a good option to add to an authentic Thali meal.
4. Paneer Pakoda (Cottage Cheese Fritters)
Cottage Cheese is cut in thick slices and put straight into marination with some basic spices, a bit of ginger garlic paste, chaat masala etc. for some time. The batter is made as usual, the only difference being the addition of rice flour for extra crispiness. Another style of cooking Paneer fritters is the sandwich one, wherein green chutney is applied to Paneer slices first. Then, it’s the usual process of coating in the batter for frying.
5. Bread Pakoda
There can be 2 kinds of Bread Pakodas. One are plain, in which a slice of bread is cut in 4 squares or 2 triangles. The next step is coating in the batter and frying. The other type has a potato filling between two slices of bread. That sandwich undergoes coating in the batter and is ready to fry. It is a stuffed bread pakoda, very filling and delicious.
6. Palak Pakoda
There are 2 variants of Palak Pakodas as well. One has to have washed, chopped spinach leaves, a bit of sliced onion, a spoonful of rice flour for crispiness, basic spices & garam masala, carom seeds, and Besan. All of this is mixed and after adding a little water, the mix ready to get into the frying pan. The other variant of Palak Pakoda is the one which has whole spinach leaves separately getting a dip in the batter before frying. Both are equally delicious and super crunchy.
7. Moong Dal Pakoda
Moong dal pakodas are made with the batter of soaked moong dal itself, instead of gram flour. Moong dal is washed, soaked, drained and then blended into a smooth paste with some whole dry red chilies. Then, sufficient spices, ginger garlic paste, onions, chilies, etc are added. Adding some rice flour and baking soda, it’s all set to fry out and relish super hot with some Pudiney Ki Chutney.
8. Urad Dal Pakoda
These ones are so delicious, that one cannot resist the temptation to have _ just a few more (repeatedly). Urad dal is washed, soaked, drained and then blended in a paste that is neither too runny nor too coarse. This serves as the pakoda batter. Jeera, salt and finely cut green chilies, baking soda are added. Finally, this batter is whisked really well so as it make it light and airy. These fritters are the ones used in the renowned Dahi Bhallas, and also like Medu Wadas served with authentic Sambhar and coconut chutney.
9. Vegetable Pakoda
Vegetable Pakoda is like putting together a Pakoda Platter into one dish. It can have various different kind of shredded veggies such as carrots, capsicum, onions, fresh beans, cabbage, a few finely chopped leafy ones like spinach or methi, etc. The water content is kept minimum, as the veggies already contain water. Also, some ginger garlic paste and garam masala elevate the flavor beautifully.
10. Cheese Pakoda
This one is more like a party appetizer. A kind of twist to escape the monotony of regular fritters. These are made with refrigerated mozzarella or processed cheese cubes cut into 2 halves, and dipped in the gram flour batter. The cheese gets melted whilst the fritters are in the frying pan, on a medium to high flame. Ideally served with a chili or schezwan sauce to give a hit along with the cheesy saltiness of the fritters.
11. Rice Pakoda
Rice fritters are usually made with leftover rice. The starch content in the rice can be a good binding for the gram flour batter; along with onions, chilies, ginger, and a few spices. These are quite crunchy and flavourful. They also serve as a really nice way to put leftover rice in the fridge to good use instead of getting wasted.
12. Methi Pakoda (Fenugreek Fritters)
Fenugreek (Methi) leaves are washed nicely and then finely sliced onions, salt, turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder, carom seeds, some oil and baking soda is mixed. This batter is ready to prepare the fritters that are pretty different in terms of taste due to the subtle bitterness of the Methi. Having ’em with a sweet & sour sauce does the trick to balance out the flavors.
13. Cabbage Pakoda
Cabbage or Pattagobi fritters are exceedingly crispy and scrumptious. Cabbage leaves are shredded and mixed with gram flour, rice flour, chopped onions, green chili paste, dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi), other Pakoda staples & spices. Best served as an evening snack with a cilantro mint chutney, on a cozy winter evening.
14. Capsicum Pakoda
Capsicum or bell peppers (Shimla Mirch) are cut in long strips, after deseeding them from the top. These long slices are then coated in medium consistency batter made of gram flour, rice flour, salt, basic spices and asafoetida (Hing). Deep-fried in hot oil until crisp and golden brown on the outside. Appetizing in looks, and quite delectable on the palate as well.
15. Tomato Pakoda
2 ways to prepare these ones as well. One has to have sliced tomatoes that are first deseeded with a spoon. After that, some green chutney is spread on those slices. They are kept under refrigeration before dipping in the batter and frying as usual. The other way is to add a large finely cut tomato to the mix of a batter made with finely chopped onions and the other ingredients. Deep-fried in hot oil until golden, and they’re ready to binge on! These are slightly sweet, so they taste best with a spicy dip or chutney.
The basic recipe for making Indian style fritters or bhajiya remains the same. It’s mainly about acing the gram flour batter that is the core for most pakoda recipes. A generous amount of gram flour, some rice or corn flour for crispiness, some hing or ajwain to look after better digestion, a little baking soda and whisking the batter in the right way (to make it lump-free) so that the fritters are not dense, but light and airy on the inside. Salt, chili powder, turmeric, ginger-garlic, green chilies, etc. depending on the type of the respective core ingredient.
The type of pakoda also determines the kind of dip that’ll taste best with it. Some of the choices for dips could be anything from a green coriander chutney to chili sauce, tomato ketchup, mint chutney, sweet & sour sauce, coconut chutney or tamarind chutney.