|Type||Appetizer or snack|
|Place of origin||India|
|Region or state||South Asia|
|Main ingredient(s)||Chickpea batter|
|Variations||Potato, onion, cauliflower, spinach|
|This article is part of the series|
Pakora (Hindi: पकोड़ा pakoṛā; Urdu: پکوڑا pakodā; Punjabi: ਪਕੌੜਾ pakɒṛā; Bengali: পাকোড়া pakoṛā; Nepali: पकौडा pakauṛā; Kannada: ಪಕೋಡ pakodā; Tamil: பஜ்ஜி bajji pakkoda or pakkora; Telugu: పకోడీ pakōḍī) is a fried snack (fritter). With its origins in Uttar Pradesh, it is found across South Asia.
Etymology and spelling
Some divergence of transliteration may be noted in the third consonant in the word. The sound is the retroflex flap [ɽ], which is written in Hindi with the Devanagari letter ड़, and in Urdu with the Perso-Arabic letter ڑ.
In International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration, however, the Hindi letter ड़ is transliterated as <ṛ>, popular or nonstandard transliterations of Hindi use <d> for this sound, because etymologically it derives from ड /ɖ/. The occurrence of this consonant in the word pakora has given rise to two common alternative spellings in English: pakoda, which reflects its etymology, and pakora, which reflects its phonology.
In southern states of India, such preparations are known as bajji rather than pakora. Usually the name of the vegetable that is deep fried is suffixed with bajji. For instance, potato bajji is sliced potato wrapped in batter and deep fried. In such states, pakoda is taken to mean a mix of finely cut onions, green chillies and spices mixed in gram flour. This is rolled into small balls or sprinkled straight in hot oil and fried. These pakodas are very crisp on the outside and medium soft to crisp inside. There is also a variety that is softer overall, usually termed medhu pakoda in restaurants, that is made of any other ingredients, such as potatoes.
Pakoras are popular across Pakistan, where they generally resemble those found in India. They are sometimes served in a yoghurt based curry (salan), as a main dish, pakora kari, rather than as separate snacks. In this case the pakoras are generally doughier and are made of chopped potato, onion and chili mixed into the batter, instead of individual fried vegetable slices.
Pakoras are also encountered in Afghan cuisine. In China, they are called pakoda.
Pakoras are created by taking one or two ingredients such as onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, plantain, paneer, cauliflower, tomato, chili pepper, or occasionally bread or chicken and dipping them in a batter of gram flour and then deep-frying them. The most popular varieties are palak pakora, made from spinach, paneer pakora, made from paneer (soft cheese), pyaz pakora, made from onion, and aloo pakora, made from potato. When onions, on their own, are prepared in the same way, they are known as onion bhajji. A version of pakora made with wheat flour, salt, and tiny bits of potato or onion (optional) is called noon bariya (nūn=salt) (Hindi: नूनबरिया), typically found in eastern Uttar Pradesh in India.
Pakoras are usually served as snacks or appetizers. In Britain, pakoras are popular as a fast food snack, available in Indian and Pakistani restaurants to take-out as an alternative to French fries or kebabs.
Media related to Pakora at Wikimedia Commons
- "10 Best Recipes From Uttar Pradesh". NDTV. October 25, 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- Devi, Yamuna (1999). Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian cooking. New York: E. P. Dutton. pp. 447–466, Pakoras: Vegetable Fritters. ISBN 0-525-24564-2.
- R. S. McGregor, ed. (1997). The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 588. ISBN 978-0-19-864339-5.
- Monier-Williams, Monier (1995). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 914. ISBN 81-208-0065-6. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- Arora, Ritu (2002). Healthy Kitchen: More Than 350 Oil Free Recipes. New Delhi, India: B. Jain publishers (P) Ltd. pp. 186, Bread Pakora. ISBN 81-8056-208-5.