Fish Pakoras

There is a special relation between rainy weather and pakoras.  Pakoras or deep-fried fritters made by dipping veggies or meat in a spicy chickpea batter. Veggie pakoras are a popular snack, usually relished with a cup of hot steaming masala chai.

Fish pakoras on the other hand are usually an appetizer served with cocktails, alcoholic or non-alcoholic.   I have vivid memories from my childhood, of eating fish pakoras with mint chutney and grated radish salad. The fish pakoras in Punjab are made from freshwater fish and served with mint chutney, grated radish salad and onions soaked in vinegar. This past weekend, when I made mint chutney with fresh mint from my garden, I had to make fish pakoras!

I had salmon fillets at home so my fish pakoras were salmon pakoras. With a healthy dose of spices, some fresh ginger and a sprinkling of chaat masala, the fish pakoras are a real treat for the taste buds. With crispy fried batter on the outside and melt in your mouth soft salmon, these pakoras are a perfect snack with your evening cocktail!

 If you are going to serve these as appetizer to your guests, you can make these earlier in the day and crisp them in your oven at 350F for 12- 15 min.

Fish pakoras tucked in a pita pocket or a tortilla wrap along with some lettuce, onions, mint chutney and some tartar sauce or mayo makes for a yummy meal on its own. Since the pakoras are deep fried, enjoy them in moderation…(good luck with that though) kind of  hard to stop at just a few.

The batter for the pakoras is made of chickpea flour and a spoonful of rice flour. Rice flour makes the crust crispy while keeping the fish moist. A dash of baking soda also helps make the pakoras crispy. Marinate the fish in the batter and leave it in the refrigerator for about half an hour for the fish to fully absorb all the flavours.

Ingredients:

Fish fillet cut into bite size pieces   1 lb

Chickpea Flour 3/4 cup

Rice Flour 1 tbsp

Grated Ginger 1 tbsp

Cumin Powder 1 tsp

Coriander Seeds crushed 1 tsp

garam masala 1 tsp

Turmeric Powder 1 tsp

Ajwain Seeds 1 tbsp

Baking Powder 1/4 tsp

Salt and Chilli Powder to taste

Water > 1 cup

Oil for deep frying

Garnish

Chaat Masala

Thinly sliced onion soaked in vinegar

Method:

Put Chickpea flour, rice flour, baking powder, salt, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, ajwain and ginger in a mixing bowl. Whisk it all together to break any lumps in chickpea flour. Add water slowly while stirring to get a thick better.

Add fish chunks to the batter and stir gently to coat the fish nicely with the batter. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Heat oil in a deep pan or a deep fryer, till it is very hot but not smoking.

Carefully add fish (in batches) to the hot oil and fry till it is done, about 4-5 minutes.

Take it out with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Sprinkle some chaat masala on the hot fish and serve with onion slices and mint chutney on the side.

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