Crispy and crunchy from the outside with perfectly cooked moist chicken, chicken pakora is delicious and easy to make. They are perfect with a cup of masala chai and great party appetizers. Gluten-free, freezer-friendly, and ready in 20 minutes.
What is chicken pakora?
Chicken pakora, or chicken fritters, is a popular Indian snack or appetizer made from marinated chicken coated in a spiced chickpea flour (gram flour) batter and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. It is a flavorful and crunchy dish commonly served in restaurants, at street food stalls, and during special occasions.
Chicken pakora is enjoyed as a snack with various dipping sauces, such as mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or even ketchup. It is a popular choice for parties, gatherings and a delicious treat to enjoy with friends and family.
Pakoras, in general, are a popular Indian snack and are often enjoyed with masala chai, especially during the rainy season and winter. There are many types of pakoras made with different vegetables and lentils. One of the most popular varieties is onion pakora, made using red onions. Other popular varieties include paneer pakoda and okra pakora.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Flavorful marination and crispy coating: This chicken pakora recipe starts with flavorful marination, which helps the chicken absorb delicious flavors and become tender. When deep-fried, the spiced chickpea flour batter creates a crispy and textured outer layer.
- Balanced spices: My chicken pakoda recipe has a balanced flavor profile without overwhelming the dish with heat.
- Texture contrast: The contrast between the tender chicken inside and the crispy outer coating is delicious.
- Versatile: Crunchy chicken pakoras can be served as a snack, appetizer, or main course. It can also be enjoyed with a variety of chutneys and sauces.
Chicken: Use skinless, boneless chicken breast pieces to make pakoda. Cut them into 1-1.5 inch pieces.
Flour: Besan (chickpea flour) is the main ingredient here. A small amount of rice flour is added to increase the crispy texture. Rice flour can be substituted with corn flour.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, boneless chicken pieces, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, cilantro, kasoori methi, and salt. Mix well, making sure the chicken is well coated. Set it aside for 5-10 minutes (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Add the besan flour and rice flour to the chicken. Mix everything well to make a thick batter. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water, as needed, to get the proper consistency (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Place oil in a deep pan on medium heat. Let the oil heat. Fry the chicken pakora in hot oil in small batches until they are golden and crispy.
Alternate cooking methods
Baking: You can bake chicken pakoras in the oven for a healthier version. After marinating and coating the chicken, place the coated chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush the chicken with oil. Bake in a preheated oven at around 375 F (190 C) for 15-18 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the coating is crispy and golden brown.
Air Frying: Air frying is another healthier option that helps achieve a crispy exterior. Coat the marinated chicken and arrange it in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Lightly spray the chicken with oil. Cook at about 375 F (190 C) for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy. Flipping the chicken halfway through for even cooking.
Use boneless, skinless chicken breast to make the best chicken pakora. Chicken thigh pieces can also be used; however, they will take slightly longer to cook. Cut the chicken into even-sized pieces. This will help the chicken cook evenly.
Do not make the batter too runny or thick. A runny batter will not coat the chicken evenly, and a thick batter will be difficult to fry.
Adding cilantro to the chicken pakoda is optional and can be skipped. Other herbs that can be used are curry leaves and mint leaves. You can also add green chillies or black pepper to increase the spice level of the chicken pakoda.
Heat the oil to the right temperature. The oil should be between 350 F and 375 F. If the oil is too hot, the pakoras will brown too quickly on the outside and not cook through on the inside. If the oil is too cold, the pakoras will be oily and not crispy.
Check if the oil is ready. Take a drop of the batter and add it to the oil. If it immediately floats to the top, the oil is ready.
Fry the pakoras in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan, or the pakoras will not cook evenly. Drain the pakoras on paper towels after frying. This will help to remove excess oil.
What to serve with chicken pakora?
Masala chai: This is the classic combination and my favorite, particularly on a rainy day. The aromatic and masala tea complements the flavors of the pakoras and enhances the overall snacking experience.
Chutneys: Mint coriander chutney and tamarind chutney are popular choices to serve with chicken pakoda. Green chutney adds a refreshing and tangy flavor, while tamarind chutney provides a sweet and tangy taste. Sprinkle chaat masala powder and drizzle lemon juice on the pakoras before serving.
Dips: You can serve chicken pakoda with tomato ketchup, spicy tomato dip, schezwan sauce, or any other favorite dip you choose.
Yogurt sauce: A cool and creamy yogurt sauce, such as raita, can be a refreshing accompaniment.
To store chicken pakoras, allow them to cool to room temperature, then place them in an airtight container lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze them on a baking sheet until firm, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. Reheat in an oven or air fryer for best results, maintaining their crispy texture.
To achieve crispy pakoras, ensure a thick batter consistency that coats the chicken evenly without being too heavy. Ensure the oil for frying is hot enough (around 350-375 F or 175-190 C) before adding the chicken. Fry the pakoras in batches, avoiding overcrowding, and maintain a steady oil temperature throughout cooking.
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Crispy Chicken Pakora
- 1 lb chicken breast (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- ¼ cup yogurt (whisked)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (Use Kashmiri chili powder for milder version)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (use store-bought or homemade garam masala)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon kasoori methi (crushed)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped)
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
- ¾ cup besan (gram flour/chickpea flour)
- 2 tablespoon rice flour
- 2-3 tablespoon cold water (use as needed)
- Oil for deep frying
Make the pakora batter:
- Pat dry the chicken breast using a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Cut them into approximately 1 inch pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, chicken pieces, ginger garlic paste, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, cilantro, kasoori methi, and salt.
- Mix well, making sure the chicken is well coated. Set it aside for 5 minutes.
- Add the besan and rice flour to the chicken. Mix everything well to make a thick batter. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water as needed,
- Take oil in a medium saucepan and place it on medium heat. Let the oil heat.
- Fry the chicken pakora in batches until they are golden and crispy.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Top with chaat masala and serve with mint chutney.