SPINACH FRITTERS (PALAK PAKORA)

WHAT IS A PAKORA?

Fritters or Pakora is an unmissable part of Indian culture and food history. Pakora is a crisp deep-fried snack made with anything ranging from vegetables to proteins like chicken, paneer, meat, or fish coated in a spiced gram flour batter. Adults and kids like them alike as they are lipsmackingly delicious and fun to munch on. With their tasty and super crispy texture, they can indeed be addictive!

Indians cannot imagine any festivity without pakoras. Pakoras also feature among the most popular street-foods in India. Pakoras are also the favorite game-day snacks for Indians. They are an indispensable part of Indian weddings and other celebrations. So, basically whether its a family occasion or a festival or a cricket match triumph, any celebration is incomplete without pakoras.

OF FRITTERS AND ME

Fritters are my weakness not just because they are supremely mouth-watering but also because they almost always bring back loads of happy memories. As a child, after the hot and sultry summer, I used to look forward to the rainy days. The water-logged streets of my city, schools being called off and us gleefully sailing our little paper boats in the rainwater or dancing in the rain without a worry in the world and last but not the least, gorging on the delicious fritters made by my mother, made the rainy season my favorite time of the year. Things changed when I grew up, rains were no longer welcome because of the inconvenience they caused. From struggling to reach the workplace to warily walking on the streets to avoid a muddy splatter, the pragmatism of adulthood overshadowed the childhood innocence. What remained intact though, was the crazy love for fritters. 

To this day, in this faraway land, whenever it rains, I look outside my car window or house window and re-live those good old days. The raindrops heal my soul, drowning the pain of  failure, rejection, loss, and bringing back the twinkle in my eyes. I feel a little newer, a little younger every time it rains. Thus continues my love-hate relationship with the rains. Not the one to forget the rainy day ritual though, I still make fritters whenever it rains. Not that I only eat fritters on rainy days but to me, they taste the best when it rains! So, if you are a rain-lover or a sucker for fritters like me, go ahead and make these spinach fritters, the next time it rains.

ABOUT THE RECIPE

Spinach fritters or Palak pakora is a deep-fried snack made with spinach and gram-flour with few more spices and seasoning ingredients. It can be easily prepared with very less effort and common pantry supplies. The texture of the fritters will be crunchy and crispy. Traditionally, pakoras are deep fried in oil and drained on paper towels to soak the excess oil. However, you can also try my Air fryer version which is healthier and has fewer calories.

AIR FRYER PALAK PAKORA

If you are using Air fryer to make these pakoras, add 2 tbsp of oil in the batter and follow these steps:
  • Preheat Air fryer for 5 mins at 350F
  • Line the tray with aluminum foil and grease with a cooking spray.
  • Spoon the batter carefully making sure to keep the individual pakoras a little apart.
  • Air fry for 12 minutes at 350F flipping midway.
  • Lower the temperature to 320F and air fry for another 2 minutes.
  • When the pakoras are golden brown and crispy they are done. Timings vary for different brands but should not be more than 16-18 minutes.
  • Serve hot with chutney of your choice.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How to make Pakoras crispy?

You can add rice flour to the batter to make pakoras extra crispy. Adding cornflour to the batter also helps. The other option is to add a few spoons of hot oil to the batter to make the pakoras crispy.

Why are my Pakoras soggy?

Frying too many pakoras at the same time can make them soggy. It is important to understand that when you put too many pakoras in the oil at the same time, the temperature of the oil comes down. The optimum temperature for frying is 350F to 400F, anything lower than that will lead to sogginess.

Does baking powder make pakoras crispy?

Baking powder is a leavening agent that is usually used in baked goods. When added to pakora batter, it imparts an airy texture to the pakora making it crispy.

Can I make pakoras in advance?

Pakoras are best served hot. However, if you do have to make them ahead of time, make them a day in advance and do not refrigerate them. When you are ready to eat, place the pakoras on a cookie sheet and heat them in an oven at 350F.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Sprinkle some chaat masala on the pakoras before serving for extra flavor. Serve them with tomato ketchup, corriander chutney, mint chutney or tamarind  chutney. You can enjoy pakoras with a cup of hot tea or filter coffee.

The palak pakoras are great to snack on but I prefer them as an accompaniment with my bowl of rice and piping hot 'Tibetan daal'.

Print
Yield: 4
Author: The GradChef
Prep time: 5 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 15 M
Uplift your mood anytime with these delicious crunchy spinach fritters.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of washed and chopped spinach
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 1-2 green chilies finely chopped (depending on how hot you want it)
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3/4 cup gram flour/ chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp rice flour (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Instructions:

  1. Take a large bowl, add the chopped spinach (make sure to wash them thoroughly and drain the water completely beforehand).
  2. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chilies and the spices followed by salt.
  3. Mix everything by applying a little pressure with your hands and keep aside for the spinach to wilt and release water.
  4. Now add the gram flour enough to form a mushy mixture but not too watery.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, drop a spoonful of mixture into the hot oil.
  6. Fry on medium flame till golden brown.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain excess oil on a kitchen towel.
  8. Serve hot with your favorite chutney or ketchup.

Notes:

  • The consistency of the mixture is extremely important in this recipe. Normally there is no need to add water but if you think your mixture is too dense, add very little water, do make sure that it is not too watery.
  • Always fry fritters on medium flame so that they are cooked from inside.
  • If you want to make the fritters crispier, you may add some rice flour.

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The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
fritter, soinach, indian, tasty, quick, crunchy, appetizer, vegetarian, quick, inepensive
indian
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