Preparing Chicken pakora

What’s not to love about chicken pakoras? Maunika’s crispy, spicy recipe coats tender bites of chicken thighs in garlic, chilli, fennel and chaat masala.


For the chicken

  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild chilli powder)
  • half a lemon, juice only
  • 500g/1lb 2oz boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • chaat masala, to season
  • salt, to taste

For the batter

  • 80g/3oz gram flour
  • 30g/1oz cornflour


  1. Blend the garlic and ginger to a paste with a splash of water. Set aside.

  2. Crush the fennel seeds and black pepper to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar. Combine with the kashmiri chilli powder, garlic and ginger paste, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken, cover and marinate for 2 hours or overnight, in the fridge.

  3. Pour the vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pan or a deep-fat fryer and heat to 180C, or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 15 seconds. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  4. To make the batter, combine the gram flour and cornflour in a bowl and whisk in about 90ml/3fl oz water a little at a time. Pour the batter in with the chicken and coat all the pieces.

  5. Deep-fry the chicken pakoras, in batches, for 5–6 minutes or until golden-brown and crispy. Drain the cooked pakoras on kitchen paper and sprinkle with chaat masala. Serve warm.

Preparing Chicken pakora

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