Spinach Leaves Pakora (Palak pakora)

As a new year resolution, I have made deal with myself that I will stay away from fried foods until I reach my new year goals. While organizing kitchen, I stared at a 5 lb bag of chickpea flour sitting in my pantry. It cried to be opened. I immediately closed the cabinet, walked away, and within seconds, I ran back into our kitchen, and opened the bag. But ahem, the food blogger in me was urging me to share my all-time favorite Spinach Pakora recipe with you all! Have you ever had a pakora? If not, you are missing out!

Palak Pakora. Think crispy, golden, battered, and pan-fried vegetables with big curry flavors.  These pakoras remind me of my childhood and monsoon season. My mom used to make these for snacks afterschool on weekday or as an appetizer for parties. In general, Pakoras are all time favorite junk food in my home! My husband can easily eat varieties of Pakora for dinner instead of actual meal. Then again, who wouldn’t love a plate of hot Pakora with masala chai. It is truly one of the comforting foods on this plant in monsoon / cool winter evenings. Pakora can be made with almost anything. You can mix any types of vegetables, paneer or even chicken. Truly, options are endless. You can make the basic batter and dip choice of veggies, cheese or meat. Deep fry and pair it with ketchup or chutney along with masala chai! My mouth is already watering typing up the recipe… now let’s quickly get to the recipe!

Serves 3

Per serving Calories 300, Fat 30g, Carbs 20g, Fiber 5g, Protein 8g

Ingredients

15-20 spinach leaves

½ cup chickpea flour (besan)

1 tbsp rice flour

¼ tsp carom seeds

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp red chili powder

½ tsp coriander powder

1 tsp asafoetida

pinch of baking powder

Salt to taste

½ cup of water (add slowly while mixing, if needed more add 1 tbsp at a time)

Canola oil for deep frying

Method

Rinse spinach leaves thoroughly, pat them dry. Remove thick hard stalks. After patting them dry leave spinach leaves aside, open to air. Fill medium deep pan with oil and heat over medium heat. While oil is heating up, let’s make the batter. In a big bowl, add chickpea flour, rice flour, carom seeds, and all the seasonings besides baking powder. Mix thoroughly with whisk. Slowly start to add water and keep mixing the batter.  The batter consistency should be slightly thinner than pancake batter. Make sure to whisk it thoroughly removing any lumps in the batter. Add 1 tbsp of water at time if needed to make the batter the right consistency. Lastly, add pinch of baking powder and whisk thoroughly.

Make sure the oil is hot. If hot, then start dipping the spinach leaves in the batter making sure all the sides are coated evenly. Gently slide the batter coated spinach leaves in the hot oil. Flip the leaves on both sides making sure its cooked evenly. Using slotted spatula, drain the excess oil and remove them on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle some chat masala and serve hot with ketchup or chutney along with cup of hot masala chai.

Tips– If you don’t like eating them plain, you can also make chat with it. Use these Palak Pakora as your base layer/chips. Lay them on the bottom, add finely chopped tomatoes, onions, green chilies. Drizzle with different sweet or spicy chutneys, yogurt and sprinkle some chat masala along with fine sev, and pomegranate seeds! Its quite delicious and perfect for parties or even last snack!

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