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Chilli Bites (Bhaji).jpg
Alternative namesPakoda, Pikora, bhajiya, pakodi, ponako, pakura, fakkura, phulauri
CourseAppetizer or snack
Place of originSouth Asia[1][2][3]
Region or stateSouth Asia
Associated national cuisine
Main ingredients
  • Vegetables
  • Gram Flour
  • Spices
  • potato
  • onion
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • mixed vegetables
  • paneer
  • chicken
Similar dishesKyet thun kyaw

Pakora (pronounced [pəˈkɔːɽa]) is a spiced fritter originating from the Indian subcontinent,[1][2] sold by street vendors and served in restaurants in South Asia and worldwide.[4] It consists of items, often vegetables such as potatoes and onions, coated in spiced gram flour and deep fried.

The pakora is known also under other spellings including pikora, pakoda, pakodi and regional names such as bhaji and bhajiya.


Pakoras are created with main ingredients, usually but not exclusively vegetables, dipped in a batter made from gram flour (chickpea/garbanzo bean flour) with spices, then deep fried.

Common varieties of pakora use onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, plantain, paneer, cauliflower, tomato, or chili pepper,[5] but other foodstuffs can be made into pakoras such as meat or fish. There is no standard recipe, so the spices used are up to the cook and may be chosen due to local tradition or availability; often these include fresh and dried spices such as chilli, fenugreek and coriander. There are pakora variants that use other flours, such as buckwheat flour.

Pakoras are eaten as a snack or appetiser, often accompanied with tamarind sauce, chutney or raita. They are also offered with masala chai to guests at Indian wedding ceremonies.

Pakora in Jaipur

Regional names[edit]

A gram flour fritter is known in Gujarat as bhajia, in Maharashtra as bhaji, in Andhra Pradesh/Telangana and Karnataka as bajji. Pakoda may be interpreted in these states as deep fried balls of finely chopped onions, green chilis, and spices mixed in gram flour.


The word pakoṛā is derived from Sanskrit पक्ववट pakvavaṭa,[6] a compound of pakva ('cooked') and vaṭa ('a small lump') or its derivative vaṭaka, 'a round cake made of pulse fried in oil or ghee'.[7]

Some divergence of transliteration may be noted in the third consonant in the word. The sound is a hard 'da' in the Telugu language and the 'ra' sound would be an incorrect pronunciation. The sound is the retroflex flap [ɽ], which is written in Hindi with the Devanagari letter ड़, and in Urdu with letter ڑ.

However, in the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration, the Hindi letter ड़ is transliterated as <>, popular or non-standard 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.


See also[edit]

Related Indian food
  • Batata vada – Indian vegetarian fast food from Maharashtra
  • Bonda
  • Bread pakora – An Indian fried snack
  • Chutney – Condiments associated with South Asian cuisine made from a highly variable mixture of spices, vegetables, or fruit
  • Gulgula – U.P. traditional sweet doughnut
  • Masala chai – Flavoured tea beverage made with aromatic spices and herbs
  • Samosa – Fried or baked pastry with a savory filling
  • Vada – Category of savoury fried snacks from India
Other similar food
  • Burmese fritters – Battered and deep fried savory fritters of vegetables or seafood
  • Abura-age – Deep-fried tofu slices
  • Corn fritter – Fried cakes of maize dough
  • Croquette – small breadcrumbed fried food roll
  • Crab cake – American crab dish
  • Falafel – Traditional Egyptian food: deep-fried balls of ground chickpeas or fava beans.
  • Fritter – Fried pastry usually consisting of a portion of batter with a filling
  • Ganmodoki – Tofu fritter made with vegetables
  • Haggis pakora – Scottish snack food of haggis ingredients prepared as pakoras
  • Hushpuppy – Deep-fried savory food made from cornmeal batter
  • Korokke – Japanese croquette
  • Pholourie – Fried, spiced dough balls
  • Tater tots – Cylindrical pieces of deep-fried grated potatoes
  • Tempura – Japanese dish of battered deep-fried fish or vegetables
  • Veggie burger – Hamburger-like patty made from non-meat protein


  1. ^ a b "Pakora - food". Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b Bloom, Leora Y. (10 May 2016). "Pakoras are tasty, versatile treats from India that work well as appetizers, snacks or meals". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  3. ^ Sanghvi, Vir (18 April 2015). "Take pride in the bonda or pakora. It is our gift to the world". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Siddiqi, Kamran. "Mom's Onion Pakora Recipe". Sophisticated Gourmet. Sophisticated Gourmet. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  6. ^ R. S. McGregor, ed. (1997). The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 588. ISBN 978-0-19-864339-5.
  7. ^ Monier-Williams, Monier (1995). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 914. ISBN 81-208-0065-6. Retrieved 30 June 2010.