Pakora is delicious chicken nuggets that are wrapped in a mixture of flours, spices, and herbs and then fried in deep oil: crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, they are a real delicacy! Pakora is the name of a traditional preparation very widespread in India, where it is also a characteristic street food: in addition to chicken, croquettes can be prepared with onions or other vegetables, with typical cheese (paneer), with bread and potatoes; as always in these cases, there are different versions depending on the area, with small variations in the basic ingredients. I tasted chicken pakora for the first time in an Indian restaurant and I fell in love with it: I then did some research, researching the web and asking some friends, and I prepared this recipe that was immediately a great success.
Chicken Pakora, Indian recipe
Ingredients for about 20 medium-sized pieces
- chicken meat without skin or bones (I used the breast), 300 grams
- chickpea flour, 6 heaped tablespoons
- rice or cornflour (used to give crunchiness), 3 heaped tablespoons
- a small onion
- grated fresh ginger, 3/4 of a teaspoon of tea
- garlic, a clove
- garam masala, one teaspoon
- turmeric, the tip of a teaspoon
- ground red pepper, half a teaspoon
- fresh mint (or coriander), a handful of leaves
- a sweet green pepper ( optional )
- an albumen
- Salt to taste
- water, about one or two tablespoons
- oil for frying to taste
Among the traditional ingredients would be present the curry leaves (which have nothing to do with curry, it is instead the leaves of a tree native to southern India and Sri Lanka, similar to the trees of the citrus family, whose botanical name is Murraya Koenig): I have not added them because they are not easy to find and can be effectively replaced with mint or coriander leaves … but they are still worth looking for because they give a very particular scent.
- Cut the chicken into small or medium-sized pieces. Alternatively, especially if you want to prepare pakora as finger food, cut it into strips.
- Pour the chickpea flour, rice (or corn) flour, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt into a bowl of the appropriate size. Mix well and if it is considered appropriate add more salt (test the flavor by tasting a pinch ).
- Finely grate the onion, ginger, and garlic, grate the mint leaves (or coriander) and green chili and add to the prepared mix in the bowl.
- Add the chicken and egg white as well. If necessary, add a little water and mix well, so that the chicken pieces are well covered: the mixture must be thick and dry, absolutely not as soft as a batter.
- Bring the oil to the right temperature (it is also fine to use the deep fryer), which should not be too high, so that the pakora can cook well internally without getting too dark. Dip the pakora in the oil a few at a time: they must have enough space to “move” surrounded by the oil.
- Serve the pakora hot and crunchy. If you want to reheat them, just put them on a grill in a hot oven for a few minutes.