Hands up who loves pakora? OK hands up who wants baked pakora?
Pakora is a traditional Indian fritter made with vegetables that are coated with a crispy batter. Usually deep-fried, they are also known as pakoda, pakodi and bhaji and are served as a snack or appetizer along with a dipping sauce or chutney. Enjoying them as part of your main meal can also be fun too, especially when serving a different medley of things on a curry night.
Pakora is naturally vegan and gluten-free. We are talking veggies, and spices coated with chickpea flour. Easy!
I made a short little video from my tiny cabin (where I was located when making these a while back) to show you how easy they are to make. Please do check out my video here for a quick visual guide…
OK, so who wouldn’t mind a SUPER HEALTHY alternative to the deep-fried version? Now we’re talkin’!
When you crave pakora but want healthy food…
I was out on my daily walk a while back and randomly started craving pakora. Pakora, pakora, pakora. That crispy bit of coated vegetable all wrapped up as one delightful fritter – I just could not stop thinking about it. Actually, that’s how recipes begin with me, they sort of ‘create themselves’ in my mind without me even thinking, and they won’t give me any peace until I make them!
Just to see what the fuss was all about, I couldn’t resist making a deep-fried version. Curiosity and all. Blimey, that super hot sizzling fat is scary stuff, when you aren’t used to it! Being a kitchen alchemist, I adore playing, so I just HAD TO give it a whirl. De-e-e-elicious! However, since my daily cuisine is normally quite healthy, the saturated fat did not sit too well in my stomach. Whilst they were indeed tasty, I abandoned the deep-fried efforts after one attempt lol!
So make baked pakora instead
Still determined to create pakora, it immediately inspired me to create a BAKED alternative. I had no idea whatsoever if it would even work, although I’ve used chickpea flour to successfully create baked farinata before so I became rather excited about the possibility of a super healthy pakora version. And then it happened! Baked Pakora quickly became a thing in my kitchen (well, when I say ‘kitchen’, at the time of writing, my kitchen being actually the tiniest cabin in the mountains with a little mini electric oven by my front door).
Baked pakora is a super healthy but delicious alternative to the deep-fried stuff…
Baking your pakora is never going to be the same as the deep-fried ‘drenched-in-oil’ version. Yet it is still delicious and I love it. The tradeoff is that you get a super healthy alternative.
Pakora also makes a healthy lunch box or picnic snack, serving well with chutney, sauce or any dip you fancy. If you want to heat it up the next day, just pop it under the grill (broiler in the USA) for a few minutes.
It’s quick and easy to make. You start off by grating the vegetables (in this recipe I am using carrot and potato) and putting them into a mixing bowl along with some finely grated ginger and other spices.
Chickpea flour for Baked Pakora
Chickpea flour often has lumps in it, so in order to avoid this clumping (which is common with chickpea flour) then sift it in.
Give the sieve a shake and then help it through by pushing down with the back of a spoon.
Mixing everything together
Then mix everything together. It’s difficult with a spoon, so best to get your hands in there and enjoy the experience. You need to mix together and then start squidging with your hands (check out my video for a visual on the whole process) until everything is evenly combined.
There should be enough moisture in the carrot and potato to ensure that you do not need to add any liquid. If however, it seems a bit dry (check the image below and video for the consistency that you are looking for), then you can add water. In the case that you need to add water just add one tablespoon at a time. When extra liquid is needed, therefore you will need very little.
It’s fun, so you will enjoy the process
Next, you will need to line a baking tray with parchment paper. Scoop the mixture on a dessert spoon and create dollops. Press them down a little if you want them more like patties. These can go straight into a hot oven (250C or 480F) and bake for about 25 minutes.
And there you have it!
I recommend that you serve them with chutney. For the recipe video, I whipped up a beetroot chutney. Mango chutney is also awesome and everyone adores it. Check out my mango chutney here: Fresh Mango & Ginger Chutney Recipe
At the time of writing this, I am staying up in a remote location in the middle of nowhere without a proper kitchen. I have been baking these in a little electric oven that I bought, however, I can’t wait to make them in a massive batch when I get myself into a bigger kitchen again.
Baked Pakora - Vegan Indian Food
A delicious baked pakora recipe, veggies coated with a chickpea flour batter. Naturally gluten-free and vegan. A great alternative to the deep-fried version of pakora/pakoda/bhaji.
- 1 large carrot
- 1 small potato
- An inch cubed of ginger (2.5cm cubed)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Twist black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder (or garam masala)
- A handful of chopped parsley (or coriander leaves)
- 75g chickpea flour (garbanzo bean or gram flour) ¾ of a cup approx
- Grate the carrot and potato (buy organic and leave the skins on).
- Grate the ginger using a fine grater.
- Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl (except the chickpea flour)
- Sift the chickpea flour (to avoid lumps) on top of the ingredients in the bowl.
- Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. This is easiest using your hands. Once everything starts to combine then 'squidge' and compress with your hands (see video) until everything is wonderfully melded together.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Spoon dessert sized spoon dollops onto the baking tray. Compress down slightly if you want them to be more like patties.
- Bake in a preheated oven (between 200C/240C or 400F/465F) for about 25 minutes. All ovens are not the same, so use the temperature that works best for your oven. Basically, you want them baking really hot in order to cook through and crisp a little on the edges (but not to burn).
- Enjoy with chutney right away as a starter, snack, or as part of a curry might medley.
- They work nicely cold the next day in a lunch box. Alternatively, reheat under a grill (broiler) for a few minutes.
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More easy recipes to make on your vegan curry night…
I can’t WAIT to try these, even if it is just to ‘squidge’. 🙂 I wonder if they can be made in a giant batch and frozen for a crowd later?
Love your little kitchen. xo
I can’t wait to make a giant batch either!
Haven’t frozen (no fridge or freezer currently lol!) – maybe you can try that and let me know Jan?
Big Love xx
Hi These look fabulous and I can’t wait to make a batch. As a non-nightshade vegan would substituting the regular potato for sweet potato be alright?
They are fabulous with sweet potato as an alternative, so absolutely!
I’d like to post up more baked pakora recipe alternatives before long too.
Try substituting rutabaga, or turnip for the potato! I was told by my naturopath sweet potatoes are still part of the nightshade family
Naturopath is wrong – sweet potatoes are not nightshade family (they are morning glory family)
Wow, sehen die lecker aus, die einfachen Rezepte sind doch oft die besten!
Schön wäre auch wenn sie vielleicht auch gram Angaben machen könnten bei ihren Rezepten.
Viele Grüße sendet,
Jesse-Gabriel aus Berlin
OMG!!! These look and sound heavenly! Can’t wait to make them. Such a cute little kitchen and you look so healthy and comfy there, Anastasia. Thanks so much for all the lovely recipes you share.
It’s a sweet place although I do miss having a proper kitchen haha (and a fridge). It’s been awesome in so many ways.
I cant wait to try these. Thank you so much Anastasia for sharing your scrumptious recipes and your transformational journey with us…You are one amazing. powerful lady. Blessings Lyn
You are so welcome. Enjoy!
Made these last evening and they were yummy! I used sweet potato instead of potato. Next time I would cook them for longer on a slightly cooler oven as they started to burn on the edges quite quickly. Definitely a winner, will be making them lots 😊
Yay! Delighted to hear it Susannah.
Thanks also for the feedback on the temperature. I know I purposefully crank up the heat to try and mimic the intense heat of the deep frying… but I do wonder about it varying in different ovens. I will keep an eye on that when using different ovens and I might adjust the instructions slightly to accommodate.
Love these! Thank you for the recipe.
Hi Anastatia. I just made these and they are delicious. Going to try the beetroot chutney to go with it. Many thanks.
Thank you for this brilliant recipe. I always avoid recipes with grated veg as they usually involve wrapping things in tea towels to dry and making an awful mess but this was so simple and delicious. I didn’t have any ginger but it still came out great. I did a little extra virgin olive oil spray before baking and lowered the oven halfway since my oven is quite fierce. I covered in foil for the last 10 mins. Perfect. Served with some beetroot sauerkraut which complemented perfectly. Off to investigate more of your recipes now!
Yay – happy to hear it. And definitely into fuss-free, when possible here.
Made this last night, had to substitute the potato for cauliflower because of the diet I’m following. Favour was excellent but I guess because of the cauliflower they burned more than I expected. I want to make them again but I would lower the heat.
Is there an alternative to chickpea flour that one could use to make these?
Other flour like pea flour or lentil can work in similar way.
Just made these.
They are different, but in a good way. Healthy pakoras! Taste fab. Had oven on max, no issues (except the kitchen being hotter than the surface of the sun ☀️ 😂)
Haha – a hot kitchen then 😉
WOW these are delicious! Usually I make a new recipe a few times with tweeks until I find what is right for me. I have to say I’ve made these once and feel no need for any tweeks. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
I tried these tonight and they were great and easy to make! I lowered the temp to 425, baked for 20mins and we were happy with the results.
Question – has anyone tried to freeze them? If so, how did you reheat them? I’m looking to make a big batch to keep in the freezer for the winter 🙂
These sound amazing can’t wait to try making them but was wondering if you could use plain flour instead if you can get hold of chickpea flour?
Hiya – I have never tried with wheat flour before, but I do guess that the results might be a little different. So I can’t honestly say.
You can likely order chickpea flour online if that helps.
I was determined to get these right, because we both love pakora but I’ve always been scared of hot oil. 😳 Made them three times over this weekend – they stuck to the greaseproof paper, the first time, but worked well thereafter, on a slightly oiled surface. So tasty – thank you!
Glad that you enjoyed these Kathryn.
I’m making these for dinner. I can’t wait to “squidge” and bake and serve and partake these delightful looking bites.
It is fun isn’t it haha!
Made these in my Air fryer tonight so good!
I just made these, and they are AWESOME!!! I do not digest oils well so I was thrilled to see this recipe for vegan BAKED pakoras! A little tamarind chutney and WOW! SO GOOD!
Wonderful – I’m happy to hear that you loved the baked pakoras Diane… a really fabulous alternative IMO 🙂
Do you think I could throw in other veggies too? Maybe some onion or some spinach?
Spinach works fine if you chop small. Onions usually need to be cooked first. Other grated veggies work a treat too.
Have you tried adding onion? Mum used to add that.. She used to slice aubergines as, well.. Hmm what else.. How about slicing the potato first into potato chip shapes but bit thicker.. and then boiling them for say 20 minutes? Maybe not even that long just so they’re partly softened but don’t fall apart when handled.. Then let them cool and throw into the mix..?
I’ll try your recipe first to get an idea of the standard am looking for and then will try the potato discs and let you know..
BTW thanks for the idea! 😊
Hi, many thanks for this and the very helpful video, I always love a good moving visual, really helps to get an idea whether on the right track. I wondered a few times if possible to bake instead of fry – whoop!
I decided to add grated cauli and thinly slice red onion as well as chop a green chilli. Because I’m lucky enough to have my mums home blend of garam masala I swapped that out for the pepper and curry powder, oh and added a bit of tumeric for the health benefits, why not hey!
You were totally right, no water needed, sometimes in pakora I add yogurt instead of water but didn’t risk it for baked in case become too wet.
Decided to serve with rocket, beetroot, tomatoes and squeeze of lemon – because that’s all I had in the fridge 😉
Many thanks for sharing, it’s going to be my new addiction. Was DELISH. My only regret……I didn’t make more!!
These are the best Pakora’s ever. No fat but super delicious. I often change the ingredients up too when i have excess of something in the garden.. Just fabulous. Thanks Anna
ahhhhw very happy to hear that Marion