Crispy Aloo Pakora (Potato Bajji)

3 from 2 votes

Aloo Pakora (Potato Bajji) is a very popular Indian snack where thinly sliced potatoes are coated with a spiced chickpea flour batter and deep-fried until crispy. This 20-minute snack is best enjoyed with green chutney and masala chai on the side (vegan, gluten-free).

Aloo Pakora served in a bowl.
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About Aloo Pakora

Aloo Pakora is a very popular Indian snack where thinly sliced potatoes are coated with a lightly spiced chickpea flour batter and deep-fried until golden and crispy. These are called Aloo Bajji or Potato Bajii in South India.

These vegan and gluten-free potato fritters come together in just 20 minutes using simple ingredients.

Be it a rainy day, a cold winter day, or any special occasion, these aloo pakora make for a popular snack. Serve them with a tangy and spicy Green Chutney or sweet Tamarind Chutney, and do not forget the Masala Chai to go along.

This aloo pakora recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. Just make sure to fry the pakoras in batches.

Once you try this aloo pakora, try some of my other pakora recipes that can be enjoyed on a cozy rainy day.

Ingredients

Aloo pakora ingredients 1
Aloo pakora ingredients 2

Potatoes – Starchy potatoes like Idaho or russet potatoes work best in this recipe. Avoid the ones with a gummy texture. Having said that, use any variety of potatoes that are readily available to you.

For The Batter – To make the spiced batter for the potato pakora recipe, you will need a few simple ingredients like chickpea flour (besan, gram flour), rice flour, cornstarch, salt, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, baking soda, and Chaat Masala Powder.

You can swap red chili powder with cayenne pepper or paprika powder.

Rice flour and cornstarch make these pakoras super crispy. Do not skip them.

You can add a little ajwain (carom seeds) to the batter, as it adds a unique flavor and aids digestion.

You can also add chopped onions, green chilies, cilantro (fresh coriander leaves), curry leaves, and mint leaves to the batter.

Some people add garam masala to their batter, but I don’t, as I feel it overpowers the other flavors. But feel free to add some if you like it.

Oil – Use any neutral-flavored oil with a high smoking point to deep fry the potato bhajji. Rice bran oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil are some options.

Some people in India fry their pakora in mustard oil, giving them a unique taste. You can try it too.

Chaat Masala – Finally, sprinkle the pakoras with chaat masala powder as soon as they are out of the oil.

How To Make Aloo Pakora

Prepare The Potatoes

Wash 8 oz (250 g) of potatoes and peel them using a vegetable peeler. Slice them into thin slices (⅛ inch) and soak them in a water-filled bowl. If kept without water, the potatoes will turn black from oxidation.

Potatoes peeled and cut into thin slices.

Make The Pakora Batter

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 very small pinch of baking soda.

Note – The quantity of turmeric powder and baking soda is very important. If you add more turmeric with baking soda, the pakoda will turn reddish and not look very appetizing.

batter ingredients added to a bowl.
Mixed well.

Add water (½ to ¾ cup) a little at a time and whisk to make a slightly flowing but thick smooth batter. The batter should neither be too thick nor too thin. It should be just thick enough to coat the slices and stick to them.

Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Note – The quantity of water will depend on the quality of chickpea flour. If the flour is finely ground, it will require less water; if it is coarse, it will need more.

Batter made with water.

Fry The Pakora

Heat 4-5 cups of oil for frying in a skillet over medium-high heat until it is nicely hot.

How to check if the oil is hot enough – To check if the oil is hot enough to fry the pakora, drop a few drops of batter in it. It should come up fast and steadily. If it’s coming up slowly, the oil is hot enough. If you have a candy thermometer, use it to check the temperature of the oil. It should be in the range of 360°F (180°C) to 380°F (190°C) range.

Now drain the potato slices from the water very well. Add a few slices to the batter and coat them well from all sides.

Note – Draining all the water from the potato slices is important; otherwise, the water in them will thin down the batter and it will not stick to the slices. You can also pat the slices with a kitchen towel to remove any extra moisture.

Potato slices added to the bowl with the batter.

Reduce the heat to medium.

Drop the slices in hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy (5-8 minutes for each batch). Flip them frequently while frying using a slotted spoon.

Batter coated potato slices dropped in hot oil.

Do not overcrowd the pan; otherwise, it will lower the temperature of the oil, and the pakora will not turn out crispy.

Tip – Keep a bowl full of water on the counter while making the pakoras. After dropping every batch in the oil, rinse your fingers and wipe with a kitchen towel. Your hands will not be messy while frying the pakora.

Flipped pakoras.
Draining the aloo pakora.

Drain the pakoras on a plate lined with paper towels to soak the excess oil. Sprinkle chaat masala all over the hot pakora.

Make all the pakora in the same manner and serve hot.

Tip – If you have some leftover batter, use it to make plain pakoras and dunk them in kadhi or an onion tomato gravy.

Ready aloo pakora sprinkled with chaat masala.

Pro Tips By Neha

Slice the potatoes into even slices (approx ⅛ inch thick), so that they cook evenly while deep frying. You can use a mandoline slicer to slice them.

Do not slice the potatoes too thin or too thick. If they are too thin, they will crisp up while frying instead of getting soft; if they are too thick, they will be raw.

If you are slicing them ahead of time, soak the slices in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning black from oxidation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use sweet potatoes instead of potatoes?

Yes, you can! Follow the same recipe: use sweet potatoes instead of potatoes to make sweet potato or shakarkandi pakoras. They will be slightly sweet, though.

Why are my aloo pakora soggy?

There might be two reasons for your fritters being soggy,
Firstly, the consistency of the batter is very thin or runny. When this happens, it doesn’t stick to the potato slices and comes off while deep frying, making the fritters soggy.
Secondly, the oil is not hot enough. If you add the battered slices to cold oil, the pakoras will soak up the oil and become soggy.

How to make aloo pakora without besan?

To make aloo pakora without besan, replace besan with all-purpose flour. Keep the rest of the recipe the same.

What to do with the leftover batter?

Add chopped veggies like cabbage, onions, carrots, etc to the batter and make mixed veg pakoras.
You can make plain pakoras and use them in kadhi or add them to an onion-tomato-based gravy.
Use the batter to make Besan Chilla or Bread Pakora.

Serving Suggestions

Serve aloo pakora with Green Chutney or Tamarind Chutney with a cup of Masala Chai or Adrak Wali Chai. They also taste great with tomato ketchup.

You can also stuff them between pav, buns, or bread, smear some green chutney and butter, and enjoy them as a sandwich.

You can also make a pakora wrap (roll) by stuffing these potato fritters in whole wheat or all-purpose flour roti or paratha, green chutney, mustard sauce, and thinly sliced onions.

Leftover pakoras can be added to an onion tomato gravy to make aloo pakora sabji.

Storage Suggestions

Aloo Pakoda tastes best when served right out of the oil. If you still have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Air fry or bake until hot and crisp, and serve.

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Aloo Pakora (Potato Bajji) is a very popular Indian snack where thinly sliced potatoes are coated with a spiced chickpea flour batter and deep-fried until crispy. This 20-minute snack is best enjoyed with green chutney and masala chai on the side (vegan, gluten-free).
3 from 2 votes

Crispy Aloo Pakora Recipe (Potato Bajji)

Aloo Pakora (Potato Bajji) is a very popular Indian snack where thinly sliced potatoes are coated with a spiced chickpea flour batter and deep-fried until crispy. This 20-minute snack is best enjoyed with green chutney and masala chai on the side.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces potatoes (250 g)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 very small pinch baking soda
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala powder
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Instructions 

Prepare The Potatoes

  • Wash the potatoes and peel them using a vegetable peeler. Slice them into thin slices (⅛ inch) and soak them in a bowl filled with water. If kept without water, the potatoes will turn black from oxidation.

Make The Pakora Batter

  • In a medium mixing bowl, stir together chickpea flour, rice flour, cornstarch, red chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, salt, and baking soda.
  • Note – The quantity of turmeric powder and baking soda is very important. If you add more turmeric with baking soda, the pakoda will turn reddish in color and will not look very appetizing.
  • Add water (½ to ¾ cup) a little at a time and whisk to make a slightly flowing but thick smooth batter. The batter should neither be too thick nor too thin. It should be just thick enough to coat the slices and stick to them.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Note – The quantity of water will depend on the quality of chickpea flour. If the flour is finely ground, it will require less water and if it is coarse it will need more.

Fry The Pakora

  • Heat 4-5 cups of oil for frying in a skillet over medium-high heat until it is nicely hot.
  • How to check if the oil is hot enough – To check if the oil is hot enough to fry the pakora, drop a few drops of batter in it. It should come up fast and steadily. If it’s coming up slowly, the oil is hot enough. If you have a candy thermometer, use it to check the temperature of the oil. It should be in the range of 360°F (180°C) to 380°F (190°C) range.
  • Now drain the potato slices from the water very well. Add a few slices to the batter and coat them well from all sides.
  • Note – Draining all the water from the potato slices is important otherwise the water in them will thin down the batter and it will not stick to the slices. You can also pat the slices with a kitchen towel to get rid of any extra moisture.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Drop the slices in hot oil and fry until they are golden brown and crispy (5-8 minutes for each batch). Flip them frequently while frying using a slotted spoon.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan otherwise, it will lower the temperature of the oil and the pakora will not turn out crispy.
  • Tip – While making the pakoras, keep a bowl full of water on the counter. After dropping every batch in the oil, rinse your fingers and wipe with a kitchen towel. Your hands will not be messy while frying the pakora.
  • Drain the pakoras on a plate lined with paper towels to soak the excess oil. Sprinkle chaat masala all over the hot pakora.
  • Make all the pakora in the same manner and serve hot.
  • Tip – If you have some leftover batter, use it to make plain pakoras and dunk them in kadhi or in an onion tomato gravy.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can add a little ajwain (carom seeds) to the batter as it adds a unique flavor and also aids digestion. You can also add chopped onions, green chilies, cilantro (coriander leaves), curry leaves, and mint leaves to the batter.
Some people in India fry their pakora in mustard oil which gives them a very unique taste. You can try it too.

Nutrition

Calories: 140kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 99mg, Potassium: 267mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 200IU, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 2mg
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3 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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