How to: Pakoras

Pakistani food isn’t typically known for being easy to cook, but I’m here to debunk that mentality. Most people tend to go for multicultural snack foods, so making pakora (spicy balls of dough) seemed like the most logical idea. They’re quick to assemble, they’re basically bite-sized and, best of all, they’re fried.

I’ve been eating pakoras for as long as I can remember. When I told my mom that I was going to make some for school, she got really excited. As we were pulling out ingredients, I asked her for measurements but all I got in return was a blank stare. Typically, she knows how much spice she needs just by eyeing a dish, but for the sake of the recipe, I had her come up with some rough measurements.

I started off with a base of chickpea flour to which I added water, coriander seeds, red chili powder, green chilies, mint leaves, cilantro, onions and salt. Next, I mixed everything together, which formed a batter that I fried. That was pretty much the whole prep and cooking process. Easy, right?

Although pakoras are small, as you can tell from the ingredient list, they’re jam packed with flavor. If you’re not really into spicy food, just leave out the green chilies. Traditionally, pakoras are served with a mint chutney but Americanized Pakistanis, like me, prefer to eat them with ketchup.

Overall, pakoras are a great dish for parties or gatherings because they’re the ultimate finger food. Next time you have guests over, surprise them by stepping out of your comfort zone and making pakoras. You’re likely to be the only one of the group who knows what they are, so you can entertain appetites and minds at the same time.