These spicy Indian pea pakoras are deliciously spiced and perfect as a vegetarian starter, side dish or just a snack. Or why not put them in a wrap with salad, pickles and raita? They're easy to make too and might just get your kids to eat some peas!
I love spicy Indian food and spicy fried Indian snacks are especially hard for me to resist. I love making recipes like these spicy pea pakoras as well as cauliflower pakoras and onion bhajis as homemade ones are so tasty and once you've made them once they're easy to adapt too.
Why not make a batch to go with your next homemade Indian meal? They don't take much extra effort as you can mix all the ingredients together in advance and then just fry them as you are cooking the rest of the meal.
Ingredients for spicy pea pakoras
To make these Vegatarian Indian pea pakoras you'll need:
- Chickpea flour - This is also known as besan flour or gram flour. It is gluten free too.
- Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) - This releases carbon dioxide as the pakoras cook and so helps the pakoras to have a light texture.
- Peas - I use frozen peas and they do not need to be defosted first. You could use fresh peas too.
- Garlic cloves - Feel free to use lazy pureed garlic if that's easier.
- Root ginger - You can also use a ginger paste or puree instead of fresh root ginger.
- Spices - Cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric
- Coriander leaves (cilantro)
- Lemon - You don't need the lemon but a squeeze of lemon juice over the pakoras when serving really makes them tasty.
How to make pea pakoras?
These pea pakoras are really easy to make. Just put all the ingredients in a bowl. Then mix them together with a little water until you get a stiff batter.
Heat about a centimetre of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. When it is hot, add spoonfuls of the pea pakora batter. You will proabably need to cook them in two batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.
Cook them for about 2 minutes and then turn them over carefully and cook for another 2 minutes. They should be golden brown but not burned. If they are too pale, turn the heat up a little. If they cook too quickly turn it down. It's a good idea to cook a test pakora first if you are not used to cooking deep fried food so that you can be sure the oil is at the right temperature.
As they are deep fried, put them on some kitchen roll when you take them out of the pan to soak up any excess oil.
Can you adapt the recipe?
Yes, you can adapt it. You can adapt the spicing a little by adding extra cayenne to make them hotter or even a fresh finely diced chilli pepper.
If you don't want to make them with peas you could use a different vegetable. Onions,mushrooms and sweetcorn all work well.
Can you bake them instead?
Yes, put spoonfuls of batter onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Spray them with oil and bake them in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes.
Can you make them in the air fryer?
Yes, I find they cook a little more quickly in the air fryer than in the oven so they will be done after about 15 minutes at 200C.
Can you make them in advance?
Yes! You can make them in advance and then reheat them in the oven before serving. This will heat them up as well as make them crispy again.
Another way of saving time is to put all the ingredients together in a bowl and set it aside until later. Add the water to make the batter and fry them just before serving.
Storing and reheating
Any extra pea pakoras can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
You can eat them cold or reheat them by putting them in the oven for 5 minutes at 180C. I also use my air fryer to reheat them. It will only take about 4 minutes.
Can you freeze them?
Yes. Freeze them in a single layer on a baking tray covered in baking paper and once they have frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. They will keep well for at least 3 months.
You can cook them from frozen in the oven. They will take about 8 minutes at 180C.
More Indian recipes you might like
If you like spicy Indian food then why not try one of these recipes:
- Spicy fish pakoras
- Tomato, cucumber and onion raita
- Kachumber salad
- Dry curried okra
- Chicken dhansak
- Lamb vindaloo
- 90 g chickpea flour
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 100 g peas
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon root ginger grated
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 50 ml water approximately
- 1 lemon to serve
- Put all the ingredients except the water into a bowl. Add most of the water and stir to form a sticky batter. Add a little extra water until there are no dry bits.
- Heat about 1cm of oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat.
- Add spoonfuls of the batter and fry for about 2 minutes on each side. Take them out and put them on a piece of kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
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