The perfectly spiced Homemade Pakora Mix to simplify your life! Pakoras are a classic Ramadan Recipe (and rainy season too!). Prepping a big batch of the mix means you can fry a few whenever the urge strikes! Details on How to Make Pakoras in the post and for Ramadan Prep ideas and tips look here and for Iftar Recipes look here.
I have said it before and I will say it again - Mama Jafri is a practical lady and a force to be reckoned with. At some point she realized that spending so much time making pakora mix daily in Ramadan was quite ridiculous and started making huge batches of a dry pakora mix. Then at iftar time she would add a little water and whatever she was in the mood for.
Table of Contents
- Three Reasons to Make Pakora Mix
- On Besan and Spices
- How to Make and Use the Mix
- Ideas for Pakora Mix Ins
- Genius Pakora Tip
Three Reasons to Make Pakora Mix
1.) You can fry as many (or as few) pakoras as you like - my general philosophy is the more I fry the more I eat so being able to easily portion control is a win!
2.) Saves you time during the month of Ramadan and that last 30 minutes of Iftar prep.
3.) Commercial mixes don't taste as good and have all kinds of preservatives. No thanks.
On Besan and Spices
In Pakistan the only Besan I ever saw came from chickpeas and it was only when I came to Canada that I realized you can buy Besan made from Chickpeas and Chana daal. Either variety work for this Pakora Mix.
What makes a Pakora delicious is the interplay between flavour and texture.
Salt, Chilli powder, Coriander Powder - they add flavour. Cumin seeds, Chilli flakes, Ajwain - these add a flavour and a texture. The Baking Soda and Cornstarch meanwhile combine to create a texture that is crisp and appropriately airy.
How to Make and Use the Mix
For your easy Pakora mix simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well. Store in an airtight jar for up to six months.
When you are ready to use it then for a regular/ plain pakora simply add ¾ cup of water to 1 cup of mix.
For onion pakoras (or any vegetable) you want a slightly less wet mix so here I use ½ cup water for 1 cup mix. Then drop your pakora in hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until deeply golden. Cool on a wire rack for optimal crispiness.
Tip: If you set your onions and the dry mix (no water) aside a few hours ahead of time then the onion will release it's own water and you will end up with a delicious crispy pakora.
Ideas for Pakora Mix Ins
While you can make pakoras as is, you can also mix in the following veggie combos for delicious results.
- thinly sliced potatoes
- spinach leaves
- a mix of julienne onions, chilies and potatoes
- green chilies - batter mild ones
- corn - drain corn kernels well and mix them in along with some scallions!
My favourite pakora: sliced boiled eggs. It sounds weird, but that is literally my favourite pakora. Green chutney not optional.
Genius Pakora Tip
I recently got a really good pakora tip from a friend, Freda uses carbonated water for her pakoras to get airy delicious crisp beauties. Another tip is to sprinkle the "sweeter" Pakoras like onion ones with a little Chaat Masala before serving - so good!
Pakoras without chutney are more than a little lonely, don't forget to make this amazing green chutney for your pakoras!
Notes (Added May 19th 2018) - Thanks for all the love on this recipe! I just wanted to share a few quick things. If you want softer pakoras, skip the cornstarch, that adds a little crunch. Also with baking soda if you put too much it will give you an after taste. Besan also does not keep well indefinitely so try to use a bag you bought within the last 6 months 🙂
Pakora Mix & How to Make Pakoras
- 4 cups besan
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp ajwain (optional)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a clean air tight jar, they will easily last two weeks or more.
- To make pakoras - take out some of the dry mix.For plain pakoras put ¾ the amount of water to the dry mix and fry on medium heat till golden and for vegetable ones start with half a cup water to 1 cup mix and adjust if needed.
- Tip: Draining your pakoras on a wire rack (versus paper towel) will lead to a crispier pakora!