Pakodas are an essential during rains. India is a nation of fritters often known by different names like Bhaji, Pakoda, Bonda etc. While the batter used in Pakodas are usually made of Chickpea flour, the variety stems from different kinds of veggies that are used in this preparation. Some of the common ones are Onion Pakoda, Potato Pakoda, Mirchi Pakoda and Palak or Spinach Pakodas.
This July has been one of the wettest month for India in many years. In Pune and Mumbai, we have been witnessing significant downpour to the extent that Mumbai had come to standstill for few hours on more than one occasion. Now, if India’s economic capital comes to an abrupt stoppage for few hours its speaks a volume about two aspects of the city-one, about the huge downpour that has caused this disaster and two of the dismal and pathetic standards of drainage system of the city.
Moving on, let’s head back to our discussion on fritters. Rains and Pakodas is a such a favored combination for us Indians and Pune is no exception. Several hundred tea stalls that dot this city immediately alter their menus at the first drizzle of monsoon. Different kinds of Pakodas or Bhajis as it is more popularly known as, starts featuring on their menu. Chai and Pakoda could easily be two of the most popular food items consumed during the rains. Deep fried, spicy Pakodas served with a piquant Chutney on the sides and a cup of hot Chai– that’s what a monsoon lover would dream of.
With that thought, we have been posting recipes of Pakodas on our YouTube Channel.
Check out our recipe of Bread Pakora.
As part of the ongoing monsoon series, today we share recipe for Palak Pakoda or as known in Mumbai parlance Palak Bhaji! We are preparing this Pakoda in two distinct ways.
In first method we have cut the spinach in chiffonade way. This is the basic culinary technique in classic French cuisine where the green leafy veggies are cut into thin strips. The cut Spinach leaves are mixed with the chickpea flour, along with rice flour and semolina for added crunch and crispiness. It’s then seasoned with some basic spices and kept aside for few mins. This resting period ensures that spinach leaves release its own moisture which is then used to knead Pakoda batter. These fritters are then deep fried in hot oil on low-medium heat until it turns light brown in color.
For the other method, carefully select tender and small sized spinach leaves. A slightly thicker gram flour batter that is of spoon coating consistency is made and is seasoned with spices. These spinach leaves are then dipped in the batter and deep fried in hot oil on low-medium heat until it turns golden brown in color.
Both the Pakodas are easy to make and make a perfect starter for your parties. You can make either of them based on your personal preference or you could decide to spoil your guests by making both.
Remember to share your feedback with us next time you make these Pakodas. We are excited to hear about your experiences.
- Palak Pakoda method 1: -
- 1 Cup=100gms Gram Flour
- 1 Cup=70gms Spinach leaves-washed and cleaned, chopped
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tbsp Semolina (Rava/Suji)
- 1 tbsp Rice Flour
- 1 tsp Carom Seeds
- 1 tsp White Sesame seeds
- 4-5 Green Chilies-finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Coriander leaves-finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Palak Pakoda method 2: -
- 12-15 (40 gms) Spinach leaves-small sized, with stem
- 1 Cup=100gms Gram Flour
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ¼th tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Carom Seeds
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 2 Green Chilies-finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Other Ingredients: -
- Oil for deep frying
- Water as needed
- We will make batter for method 1. In a bowl, put chopped leaves. Add roasted Gram flour (lightly roasted). Roasted Gram flour adds to the flavor and aroma of the dish. Add Turmeric Powder, White Sesame Seeds, Carom Seeds, chopped green chilies. It can be replaced with 1 tsp red chili powder. Add chopped Coriander leaves. Add Rice Flour (Rice flour makes the Pakoda crispy). Add Semolina- provides crunch to the fritters. Add Salt to taste. Add 2 tbsp Hot Oil
- Mix well. Do not add any water in the batter. Cover and keep aside for 15-20 mins
- Spinach leaves has large moisture content- so never add water and keep the batter. Add 1 tsp water and start kneading the mixture into a dough. As you squeeze the leaves, its moisture content will come out and will get used for kneading the dough. Fritter dough is now ready. We can make small balls from this dough. Do not add too much water (I have used 1 tsp water). Meanwhile, we have put Oil for deep frying on heat. Let's start frying the fritters.
- Let's check if Oil is hot enough. Put in a small portion of batter in Oil. If the fritter rises up immediately, then Oil is perfectly hot. If it sinks in the bottom, then Oil is not sufficiently hot and you must wait.
- Put small balls of batter in hot Oil (fry on medium heat). Fry on medium heat until fritters become golden brown in color. We have fried fritters for 2½ mins.
- Remove from Oil. Similarly, we will fry remaining fritters in batches. Spinach fritters are now ready to be served.
- We will make batter for method 2. In a bowl, put Gram flour. In this method, we will dip the spinach leaves in the batter, so take a large and deep bowl for this method. Now add, Turmeric Powder, Carom Seeds, Green Chilies, Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt to taste and 2 tbsp Hot Oil and mix well.
- Add just enough water and make a thick batter. Do not add too much water and make the batter thin. With a whisk mix the ingredients to form a thick and lump free batter Whisking well will make the batter light and airy. Batter is now whisked and ready. It's of coating consistency (coats back of the spoon). We have used ¾th cup water for making this thick batter. Cover and keep aside for 15 mins. Let's check our first batter
- We have taken small-mid sized Spinach leaves with stem, so that we can handle it easily. Coat well in batter and drop it in Oil. You can see the fluffy coating on Palak Pakoda. We have cooked on medium heat for 1½ mins. Remove from Oil. Similarly, fry remaining fritters
- Spinach fritters made in two different ways are ready. Let's serve it hot
- Spinach fritters can be served with Tamarind Chutney and Tomato Ketchup. Also remember to serve Hot Masala Chai with Palak pakoda.
Click to watch recipe video