Crispy Veggie Pakora

crispy veggie pakora
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Why I will never give up on Crispy Pakoras

A Crispy Veggie Pakora and a rainy day go hand in hand. It is everyone’s favorite tea time snack. We all love a crispy veggie pakora, so why the hate towards it all of a sudden? Why do we need to air fry it, or swear it off, especially during the special time of Ramadan? We don’t need to deprive ourselves of this delicious treat. I’ve come up with a simple and fool proof recipe that you can enjoy every now and then even if you’re watching your waistline. These crispy veggie pakoras are light, crisp and full of flavor. They are meant to be prepared in advance, but I add some notes in the recipe below so you can make them right away if need be. Try these with my easy homemade ketchup recipe.

How to get your pakora crispy and light

The trick is in the way you prepare your ingredients. My favorite vegetables to add are onions, potatoes and spinach. Make sure you cut them into thin strips. They cook much quicker and the edged crisp up nicely. The base of every pakora is besan, or chickpea flour. It is what makes these pakoras gluten free and it also plays a important role in providing flavor. The nutty chickpea flour is used sparingly, giving the oil less surface area to seep into. The fresh lemon juice cuts through the little grease that remains, giving you the perfect bite. Not adding water to the mixture makes these crispier. The besan is turned into a thick paste using just the lemon juice and the water the vegetables release.

Good things take time

My recipes are always quick, but this one requires a little down time. It takes just ten minutes to chop the vegetables and add the spices and besan. The true test is to wait about an hour before frying the pakoras. Letting the vegetables sit and release their own water is what keeps these crispy veggie pakoras crispy. If you are short on time I have a couple of variations and tips mentioned in the recipe notes that will still get you a crispy veggie pakora, but I recommend letting the pakora mixture sit before frying.

These crispy veggie pakoras are gluten free and vegan

The chickpea flour in this makes these gluten free, and there’s nothing but fresh vegetables and flavorful spices in this, making this conveniently gluten free and vegan. Having dietary restrictions does not mean you can’t have delicious food. That’s why I love our Pakistani cuisine. So many recipes like this crispy veggie pakora one are gluten free or vegan, if not both. Have a look and explore more gluten free and vegan recipes.

crispy veggie pakora

Crispy Veggie Pakora

These Veggie Pakoras are light and crispy even after deep frying them. No air fryer in sight! These are also deliciously gluten free and vegan, if you needed another reason to make these right away!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 4


  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 3 red potatoes peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 green chili peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin coarsley ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp crushed anar dana dried pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri laal mirch or chili powder
  • 1 1/4 cup besan chickpea flour
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • oil for deep frying


  • Add all the chopped vegetables into a large bowl. Add in the spices and besan and mix well. the besan will just lightly coat the vegetables.
  • Add the lemon juice (approximately 4 tbsp) and mix well. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for one hour, or refridgerated for up to 5-6 hours. The vegetables will release their water to help form a paste.
  • Heat 2 inches of oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot lower the flame to medium. Give the pakora mixture a good mix and drop tablespoons full of batter into the hot oil. Make sure th eoil is nt too hot, or the crust will burn and the veggies will remain raw. Flip after 3 minutes and deep fry till both sides are golden brown. Drain onto some kitchen towel and serve immedietaly.


If you’re out of time. I understand that nt everyone has 1-2 hours to wait for the vegetables to release their water. In this case, add water to mix one tablespoon at a time, mixing between each addition, until the besan (chickpea flour) forms a thick paste and coats the vegetables. Then deep fry as instructed above. 
The veggies have too much water content. There are times in the year when the produce is extra plump, and the vegetables can release too much, creating a liquid besan mixture. If this happens just add a tablespoon of chickpea flour to the mix before frying.
I want the ultimate crunch. You can add 2-3 tabslpoons of corn starch to the pakora mix before deep frying. This adds an extra tempura like crunch to the pakoras.
Make it less spicy. The fresh green chillies and the chilli powder make a spicy combination. If you want to cut the spice you can either deseed the green chillies or add half the amount. 
I want variety. There are so many different veggie variations you can add. My favorite additions are spinach and egg plant. You an even make these with just one vegetable if that’s all you have. 
You need to fry in advance. Sometimes you don’t want to smell like a crispy pakora while serving them, so you can fry these an hour or two in advance. Keep them in a baking sheet lined with a baking rack, and reheat them in the oven at 350 F for 5-7 minutes. They will stay as crispy as possible. 
Keyword Crispy Pakora, Crispy Veggie Pakora, Pakora

Have you tried these delicious crispy veggie pakoras?

I love hearing your feedback. If you have tried this crispy veggie pakora recipe let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

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Nazish Munir

Was almost waiting for the perfect pakora recipe and this is what it seems like. Will be surely trying this tomorrow for iftar. ThankYOU Fatima.

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Rabbiya Khan

These were very good! I wanted to ask if I can refrigerate the batter overnight?


I have never done it, but I don’t see why not. Make sure it’s airtight!

Faiza Arshad

Hi Fatima. I’ve tried your crispy pakora recipe several times and they come out great especially with spinach. Recently I added the corn starch you recommended in the notes to give the pakoras an extra crunch. Unfortunately they came out very very hard. I’m not sure if it’s the amount of corn starch that was the problem. Or the type of corn starch. I did not use the corn flour from
Desi stores but corn starch from a regular grocery store. Whatever was the issue, the pakoras did not come out right this time. I will not be adding corn starch again. Perhaps I also didn’t add spinach this time and the amount of besan was too much. Not sure. Anyways, Please let me know what you think might have went wrong. I think it’s most likely the amount of corn starch. 1/4 cup seems a lot. What do you think? Thanks

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