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Chilli Bites (Bhaji).jpg
South Indian Chilli Pakoras
Alternative namesPakoda, pikora, bhajiya, pakodi, ponako, pakura, fakkura, phulauri, bora, chop
CourseAppetizer or snack
Place of originSouth Asia[1][2][3]
Region or stateSouth Asia
Associated national cuisine
Main ingredients
  • Vegetables
  • Gram Flour
  • Spices
  • Potato
  • Eggplant
  • 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 UK.[5] It consists of items, often vegetables such as potatoes and onions, coated in seasoned gram flour batter and deep fried.

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


Pakoras are made by coating ingredients, usually vegetables, in a spiced batter, then deep frying them.

Common varieties of pakora use onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, plantain, paneer, bread, cauliflower, mint, tomato, or chili pepper.[6]

The batter is most commonly made with gram flour but variants can use other flours, such as buckwheat flour. The spices used in the batter 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.


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.

Regional names[edit]

A gram flour fritter is known in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka as Pakoda or bajji, Gujarat as bhajia, in Maharashtra as bhaji, in Andhra Pradesh/Telangana and Karnataka as bajji or "Pakodi". In Bengali it may be called bora (বড়া) or chop (চপ) depending on how and when it is eaten. 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,[7] 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'.[8]

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]

  • Bhaji – Deep fried fritters served as fast food in India, Pakistan and the Caribbean
  • Bread pakora – Indian and Pakistani fried snack
  • Haggis pakora – Scottish snack food of haggis ingredients prepared as pakoras
  • Pholourie – Fried, spiced dough balls
  • Samosa – Fried or baked pastry with a savory filling
  • Vada – Category of savoury fried snacks from India


  1. ^ a b "Pakora - food". Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b Bloom, Leora Y. (10 May 2016). "Pakoras are tasty, versatile treats from Pakistan 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. ^ "Hot Pink Puris and Onion Pakoras - the Brightest Snack You've Ever Seen?". 29 August 2013.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Siddiqi, Kamran (19 May 2016). "Mom's Onion Pakora Recipe". Sophisticated Gourmet. Sophisticated Gourmet. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  7. ^ R. S. McGregor, ed. (1997). The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 588. ISBN 978-0-19-864339-5.
  8. ^ Monier-Williams, Monier (1995). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 914. ISBN 81-208-0065-6. Retrieved 30 June 2010.