Crispy, golden brown and irresistible, No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora or Pakoda (Fritters), are an extremely popular snack in Indian cuisine. Pakoras are basically fritters where onions, or other vegetables, are coated in a chickpeas flour or gram flour batter, seasoned with Indian spices and deep-fried.
These onion pakodas are a popular street food as well as a great tea-time snack, especially during the monsoons. As with any popular food item, there are a zillion variations of this recipe. Pakoras are typically served with sweet & spicy condiments like ketchup, cilantro chutney or Date-Imli chutney.
Making No-Fry Vegetable Pakoras
Since the batter is made with chickpea or gram flour, this recipe is gluten-free and, it doesn’t call for any dairy products, making it dairy- free too. While nothing beats the deep-fried golden brown crunch of pakoras, I like to make healthier versions of my family’s most enjoyed recipes. So, I decided to pan-fry them instead of deep-frying, using this Stuffed Pancake Pan.
The key to making them crispy is putting the right amount of oil to pan-fry them. Not only are they really delicious and crispy, they are also much easier to make vs. the traditional method. I don’t have to set up the deep-frying wok, heat the oil, nor do I have to later clean up all that. Making Pakoras in this pan is as simple as making pancakes! Seriously! Using this method, making pakoras for Punjabi Kadhi is super easy. I use this pan to make my No-Fry Dahi Bhalle too!
Here’s how to make these yummy No-Fry Onion Pakora Recipe
Punjabi Kadhi with Pakoras
These onion-spinach pakoras go great in Punjabi Kadhi. Kadhi is a yogurt-based Indian food curry that is an all-time favorite, comfort food in many Indian homes. Check out my recipe for Punjabi Kadhi:
Hari (Green) Chutney for Pakoras
These pakoras go really well with this green cilantro (or dhania) chutney.
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No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora (Gluten-Free No-Fry Indian Fritters)
- 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup water adjust for pancake batter-like consistency
- 1 cup baby spinach chopped
- 1 medium shallot chopped or sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil for pan-frying
- In a large mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour (besan) with spices and baking soda. Add water and make a pancake consistency batter. Add chopped spinach and sliced shallots. Mix well.
- Heat a stuffed pancake pan on medium heat. Add about 1/2 a teaspoon of light olive oil, in each cavity. Using two spoons, add about a tablespoon of batter in each cavity. Cover the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side. Add a few more drops of oil on the pakoras and flip them. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve pakoras warm with your favorite chutney.