Chicken pakora, also known as chicken pakoda, is probably the equivalent of boneless crispy chicken fritters. Like the ones you get from those takeouts or fast food restaurants.
They are basically boneless chicken pieces dipped in batter and deep-fried until golden and crunchy on the outside.
The difference between them is that chicken pakora, like other fritters from the Indian subcontinent such as vegetable pakora, aloo pakora, etc – uses gram flour for the batter. Unlike the western chicken fritters that mostly use wheat flour.
As you might know, gram flour which is made of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) has more flavor to it. It makes the savory items taste even better.
And this chicken pakoda is no exception. It’s the truest lip-smacking fried chicken, in my opinion.
Popular as street food in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc, these South Asian chicken fritters are often served as appetizers for the food spread at weddings, gatherings, and other special occasions.
They are also one of the most made food items for breaking the fast during Ramadan.
Once you have tried, you’ll know why.
However, I won’t encourage you to make this fried chicken too often. Even if they are so good, they may not be health-friendly if you consume them too often or too much. Because they are deep-fried.
Just make them every now and then when you need to treat yourself or your loved ones with some naughty yet tasty chicken bites.
How to enjoy
Just like eating any fritters, you want to have something to dip this chicken pakora in to enjoy its deliciousness at the next level.
But you can always go for any sauces and dips you like. I’d say tomato ketchup, barbecue sauce, sriracha sauce, hot pepper sauce, or chili sauce can be your options.
Serve the chicken among your favorite appetizers, or you can have it as a snack for lunch. Plate up the chicken with some salad, or wrap it in tortilla or chapati with some salad.
You need about ten items to make this yummy fried chicken in gram flour batter.
Boneless chicken, lemon, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, gram flour, minced garlic, ground turmeric powder, salt, water, and cooking oil.
Most of the ingredients are self-explanatory. But I want to note a few things.
When it comes to chicken, I prefer boneless chicken thighs as I find them more flavorsome than chicken breast. And it doesn’t go dry easily. However, you choose whichever boneless chicken you like. No problemo.
You can substitute cayenne pepper with red chili pepper powder or Kashmiri red chili powder. I personally like the latter one, as it has a more vibrant color with a flavorful spiciness.
And as for cooking oil, you can choose any neutral cooking oil for deep-frying. Vegetable oil or sunflower oil are the ones I use most of the time.
How to make these crispy chicken fritters
In short, there are two main things we need to do to make these mouthwatering chicken pakora.
Firstly, we need to marinate the chicken in lemon juice, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. I would prick the chicken all over with a skewer or a fork. This will help the spices and salt develop flavor in the chicken.
If possible, leave the chicken to marinade for at least an hour.
When you are ready to fry the chicken, get the batter ready by mixing the gram flour and all other ingredients for the coating.
Use a fork or spoon to stir and whisk the batter until it is smooth and has no lumps. If you want, you can use a hand blender to speed things up.
Preheat the oil in a wok or a deep frying pan at medium-high heat. Test the oil by frying a tiny drop of batter. If it fries steadily and quickly, your oil is ready.
Dip the chicken pieces into the batter and slide them carefully into the oil. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.
Take them out of the oil and leave them to rest on a plate lined with kitchen paper so the oil will be absorbed.
Top tips for the best chicken pakora
- Clean and cut the chicken into a similar size. I usually do it into big strips of ½-inch thickness. Then rinse and pat them dry before marinating them in lemon juice and spices.
- Make sure the batter is not too thick or too thin. As a guide, you can aim to get it at the consistency of cream.
- Take care not to fry at too high heat. We don’t want the pakoras to get burned on the outside but still raw on the inside.
How to store the leftover chicken
Keep the leftover chicken in a tight-lid food container and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze the chicken for up to 6 weeks.
More appetizer recipes
Thank you for checking this chicken pakora recipe. I hope you are now trying it out. When you do, don’t forget to share what you think about the recipe in the comments below. I really appreciate it.
Before you go, you can also check my other appetizer recipes that you may like.
Take care and all the best.
Chicken Pakora Recipe
- Chopping board
- Kitchen knife
- Mixing bowls.
- Frying pan
- Slotted spoon
- 1.3 pounds boneless skinless chicken see the note
- ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder see the note
- ¾ teaspoon salt
For the coating
- 2 cups gram flour/ besan flour
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder see the note
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1½ cups or less water
- Cooking oil I use either sunflower oil or vegetable oil
- Cut and slice the chicken into big strips about ½-inch thick.
- Squeeze the lemon over the chicken and add the ground cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper powder.
- Stir the chicken until all pieces are well coated with the spices. You can also prick the pieces with a skewer to help the chicken absorb the spices. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, place the gram flour, minced garlic, ground turmeric powder, cayenne pepper powder, ground cumin, and salt.
- Pour the water into the gram flour mixture little by little as you stir it with a fork or a spoon. You want to get a batter with a consistency that is slightly thicker than a heavy cream/ double cream. Therefore you may not need to put all the water.
- Heat the cooking oil in a deep frying pan or a wok at medium-high heat. You can test the oil temperature by frying a tiny drop of batter. If it fries steadily right away, the oil is ready.
- Take the chicken pieces and put them in the gram flour mixture. Make sure the pieces are coated with the batter.
- Slide the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil and deep fry at medium heat until golden brown. You will have to turn the chicken after about 5-6 minutes and cook further for another 5-6 minutes.
- Take the cooked chicken pakoras out of the oil, and place them on a kitchen towel. Serve them with chutney, chili sauce, and/ or lemon juice.
- You can use Kashmiri red chili powder or red chili pepper powder in replace of cayenne pepper.
Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.