This chicken pakora recipe is here to save you.
Save you from what, you ask?
It’s here to save you from the horror of what you’ve been conned into thinking a chicken pakora is like.
You’re looking at me all confused. Let me explain.
Up until last year, I was led to believe a chicken pakora is a bland, boiled piece of chicken stuffed inside of a huge, puffy pakora with the consistency of a cotton ball.
Would you like to eat a piece of bland chicken wrapped in a cotton ball?
I didn’t think so.
So, up until last year, I thought I didn’t like chicken pakoras.
Then one day, last Ramadan, my husband and I walked into Tehzeeb Bakery to “pick up a few things.”
Nobody walks into Tehzeeb Bakers to pick up a few things. You walk into Tehzeeb intending on buying a loaf of bread, you come out with a loaf of bread, two dozen cookies, a box of baaker khaani, a mini pizza, and a rotisserie chicken under your arm.
(By the way, does Tehzeeb even serve rotisserie chicken? Whatever, I’m sure they will by the time this post comes out, they seem to add a new item every five seconds.)
I like to call Tehzeeb Bakery the “Just-Take-My-Money Bakery.” Oh wait, sorry, it’s the “Please-Just-Take-My-Money Bakery.” You know, because it’s “Tehzeeb” (the Urdu word for “manners”). Har Har. Okay, I’ll stop now.
So, anyway, we walk into Tehzeeb last Ramadan and, of course, because we’re shopping while fasting, we end up spending half my husband’s paycheck and grab, among other things, some chicken pakora because my husband says he hears that they’re good.
I’m fasting and so high on all the wonderful smells of frying food that, at this point, I can barely remember how to spell my own name, let alone the fact that I’m supposed to dislike chicken pakora.
Anyway, when we all break our fasts, we taste the chicken pakora and they are GOOD. Crunchy, spicy, flavorful and not cotton-y at all. And, since it’s my life’s mission to recreate everything from Tehzeeb Bakery at home (okay, maybe not my life’s ONLY mission, but it’s like, a footnote on the list) I decide to start recreating the recipe. The very next day.
I didn’t make them exactly like the ones from Tehzeeb because I’m
stubborn genetically incapable of following a recipe exactly
a uniquely creative individual who likes to do her own thing. 😀
I draw heavily on my (almost) famous Pakistani Pakora recipe, which is hands down, one of the most popular recipes on my blog. It’s like going to Lahore, you aren’t BORN until you’ve tried my Pakistani Pakora recipe.
All bragging aside, this Chicken Pakora recipe is a surefire crowd-pleaser. I can say this with authority because it’s managed to win over three of the toughest food critics I know.
The first is a very sweet, but also bluntly honest aunty who only really likes her own cooking (you guys all probably have one of these in your life.) She liked it so much she asked to eat the little crumbly pieces that got left behind when the serving plate was empty.
I kid you not, guys. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I think the Earth might have wobbled off its axis for a second (or maybe that was just me trying not to faint from shock.)
Did I make more the next day?
Of course I…DIDN’T.
What? You know if I made it every day I’d run out of luck and they’d stop eating them. We parents of picky eaters know we have to RATION the favorite foods.
You’ve got the approval of Aunty “So-You-Think-You-Can-Cook?” and two of the pickiest eaters on the planet. So, is that proof enough for you to make these? If not, maybe this will convince you:
whjghjwgdhjgwhjgj. Oh. Sorry. That was me drooling all over my keyboard.
I really need to stop looking at pictures of food while fasting…
Two Essential Elements of this Chicken Pakora Recipe
There are two ingredients that you absolutely MUST use. I know, I know, I barely even follow recipes exactly, but these are what I feel make or break the taste of this dish.
The most important ingredient is the FRESHLY ROASTED and ground cumin seeds (zeera). You guys, don’t be lazy. Don’t you dare pick up that container of pre-roasted, pre-ground zeera. I am literally glaring at you through my computer screen. (And I’m a nikaabi, so that looks very scary!)
world’s fate flavor of this dish depends on it.
The second is the lemon juice. Technically, you can substitute vinegar for this, but I really, REALLY don’t want you to. The lemon lends such a lovely flavor to this and really enhances the flavor of the spices.
And that’s all for the Chicken Pakora recipe! If you try it, please leave a rating and let me know what you think in the comments below.
I really hope you love it, and if you enjoyed this, you might like some of the other tea-time recipes I have such as my chilli cheese toast with garlic and olives and my sweet and spicy chicken sticky fingers.
Chicken Pakora (Chicken Gram Flour Fritters)
Crunchy, spicy, flavorful and super easy to make. Better make two batches, this Chicken Pakora recipe is a crowd pleaser and a hit with kids!
- 250 g boneless chicken cut into bite-sized chunks
- 70 g (1 small) onion, chopped
- 2 small green chillies chopped
- handful coriander leaves
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp (heaped) coriander seeds roughly crushed
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder (freshly dry roasted and ground)
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp khatai powder (amchoor)
- oil (as needed for deep frying)
- 1 tbsp corn flour (corn starch)
- 1/2 cup gram flour (besan)
In a bowl, put chicken pieces and all ingredients up to khatai powder. Mix well and allow to marinate for half an hour.
Towards the end of the marination period, heat oil for deep frying in wok (karahi) over medium heat.
Add corn flour and gram flour to chicken and mix well.
When the oil is hot, add the chicken chunks one at a time to the oil, making sure not to crowd them. Deep fry until golden brown and crispy.
Remove from oil using a spider spoon and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve hot.
You don't need to use only white meat for the Chicken Pakora. I ask my butcher to cut a whole chicken into boneless chunks so there's a mix of the juicier portions of the chicken along with some of the leaner bits.