Go North, South, East or West- anywhere in India and you will find this popular fried snack. From one state to the other the seasoning of the batter may vary slightly but the basic pakoda remains the same. This is an easy to make snack and ideally should be complemented with nice, tasty chutney of your choice. Pakodas are made with a variety of vegetables like potato, onion, cauliflower, green chili or raw banana. Also cashewnut, paneer/ cottage cheese and bread are often preferred in pakodas. If you know to make the basic batter, everything else falls into place.
1. Cashew nut Pakodas
Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl adding some water to get a thick batter. Combine well. In a pan, pour some oil and heat for frying. Spoon in the batter, one teaspoon at a time. If the batter is well heated the pakodas will rise to the top. Fry till golden brown, drain and place onto an absorbent paper placed in a plate. Repeat process till all the batter is used up.
Serve hot with chutney or tomato sauce.
2. Paneer Pakodas
Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes
Keep the paneer pieces aside. Mix the rest of the ingredients well to form a thick batter. Heat oil in a pan. Take each piece of paneer and dip it in the batter and the drop it into the hot oil for frying. Fry 3-4 pieces together at a time. Ensure that the paneer is well coated. Fry light brown drain and remove.
PS. Some like to sprinkle a bit of Chaat Masala powder over the pakodas.
3. Stuffed Bread Pakodas
This is a heavy snack and is often served at breakfast
Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
First prepare the stuffing. For this mix salt, chopped onions and chili powder with the mashed potato. Set aside. Take a piece of the bread and spread the potato mixture thickly over it. Press another piece of bread over it to form a sandwich. Repeat with the other two pieces also. Set aside.
Mix the gram flour with ajwain, salt and water to make a thick batter. Combine well. Heat oil in a pan. Dip each of the potato sandwiches in the batter covering it fully and then fry in the oil. Turn it over and fry golden brown. Drain and remove.
Delicious with chutney / tomato sauce.