Pakora Curry (Dahi Besan Curry Recipe)


Pakora curry are fried dumplings made of a mixture of chickpea (besan) flour and spices soaked in a yogurt-based (dahi in Urdu) sauce. The dish is fairly easy to assemble.

It’s one of my father-in-law’s favorite dishes, and I was determined to learn how to make it. My husband Lulu’s aunt, Sara, gave me the directions over the phone, so I was able to follow her step by step instructions. I served this curry with steamed basmati rice.

1. Info for Pakora Curry (Dahi Besan Curry Recipe)

  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 276 kcal

2. Ingredients for Pakora Curry (Dahi Besan Curry Recipe)

  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons chopped yellow onions
  • 1-¼ teaspoons red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (see tips)
  • 3 cups plain whole yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander, freshly ground
  • 8 curry leaves, halved
  • 1 quart peanut oil (or regular vegetable oil), as needed

3. Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together ½ cup chickpea flour, baking powder (if used), ¼ teaspoon chili powder, 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, garam masala and salt. Add the chopped onions and a little cold water to the dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated. It should have the consistency of pancake batter.
  2. Layer a cooling rack, previously lined with paper towels if you like, on top of a baking sheet (for easy clean-up of the drained oil).
  3. In a large Dutch oven (or any regular deep-fryer), heat the oil for about 2 minutes over high heat. There should be at least a 2-inch-high level of oil. Wait until the oil is slightly bubbly (not too hot).
  4. Test the oil by dropping a teaspoon of pakora batter into the hot oil. It should float but not swell.
  5. Place about 2-3 teaspoons of pakora batter in the hot oil. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the fritters.
  6. Place the pakora one at a time in the hot oil; cook up to 5 pakora per batch.
  7. Fry in batches. Make sure the pakora don’t touch each other. Lower the heat to medium. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes per batch. The fritters will start to pop and increase in volume. Use a splatter screen to prevent the oil from jumping everywhere . Flip each piece using a spider skimmer and cook for about a minute more until golden on both sides.

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