|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Mouth-wateringly tasty pakoras are a favorite hot snack food in India and usually made with veggies dipped in a yummy gram flour batter and deep fried. However, there's nothing to stop you from experimenting with using different meats, chicken and fish, as in this recipe for chicken pakoras. Everybody has their own variation for pakora batter and this recipe is no different. It actually doesn't even use a traditional batter: the dry ingredients are simply added to the marinated chicken to coat it.
The ingredients used - curry leaves, green chilies, etc - bring a South Indian flair that complements the chicken perfectly. Try serving chicken pakoras with green onion raita. Pakoras are a terrific appetizer for when you throw your next party, but you may not need that kind of excuse to make a batch. Casually rustle some up for your family, especially on a rainy or cold day. Add a steaming cup of masala chai and you'll be in foodie heaven!
- 1 lb. (500 g.) chicken thigh fillet (always juicier than chicken breast), cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes or pieces
- 1 tsp. ginger (paste)
- 1 tsp. garlic (paste)
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt (use less if you prefer)
- 3/4 cup Bengal gram flour
- 3 tsp. cornflour
- Optional: 1 tsp. red chilli powder
- 1 large onion (sliced very thinly)
- 2 green chillies (chopped very fine)
- 10 to 15 curry leaves
- 1/2 cup cilantro (fresh, finely chopped)
Put the chicken pieces into a colander and let them drain so that most of the liquid is removed from them. Now pat dry with paper towel. Put into a large mixing bowl.
Add the ginger and garlic pastes, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt and mix well to coat all the chicken pieces. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator to marinate for 1 to 2 hours. The longer you marinate the tastier the pakora.
After the chicken has marinated, using a fine-mesh colander or sifter, sift in the Bengal gram flour (this makes the pakoras lighter and fluffier). Add the cornflour, red chili powder (if using), onion, green chilies, curry leaves and chopped coriander and mix thoroughly so that the chicken pieces are fully coated.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or medium pot, heat the oil for deep-frying. You will know the oil is hot when you drop in a piece of chicken and the oil sizzles and the chicken slowly comes to the surface.
Add a few pieces of chicken, coated with the marinade, at a time. Fry until golden on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to gently turn every now and then.
When golden, remove the Chicken Pakoras from the oil with a slotted spoon, draining the oil, and rest on paper towels to remove even more oil.
Serve piping hot with green onion raita and a steaming cup of masala chai.