chicken pakora in a wire basket

Easy Chicken Pakora Recipe (Gluten Free)

What good is a fakeaway Indian Feast at home if you don’t have homemade chicken pakora to go with it?!

chicken pakora in a wire basket

This is going to be one of the best fakeaway items that you’ll ever add to your chicken repertoire. Granted, it’s deep-fried, but it’s high protein so it balances out. And no one ever makes Indian Food if they’re planning to be health-conscious. Or maybe they are in, in which case you could try my Beef Mince Keema recipe.

The perfect addition to your indian-themed feast, alongside my: Spiced Onions, Pink Pakora Sauce, Chicken Chasni or South Indian Garlic Chilli recipe.

Why I Love It:

9 times out of 10 it’s BETTER than the takeaway, as so often the chicken can be dry and overcooked. Not yours (if you cook it right!) – see Recipe Notes below for tips.

Once you’ve mastered this pakora, you’ll be coating everything in gram flour and deep-frying it!

Gram Flour is GLUTEN FREE. So it’s the perfect option for your celiac friend and everyone else as a dinner party menu item. As it caters to allergies, whilst not being an obvious ‘allergy menu’ item. Who doesn’t love chicken pakora??

Suitable for the whole family:

Suitable from 12 months old if using chunks of chicken. Please ensure your child can chew confidently if opting for this option.

If you have a baby younger than 12 months in the house, why not use the same batter to coat some soft steamed vegetables so they can enjoy the same meal with you?

Ingredients

Chicken: I use chicken breast, as that is what is most commonly used in a takeaway or restaurant, but you could use thigh instead if desired (this would reduce the cost). I cut the breast into ‘mini fillets’, but you chop it into chunks instead for little chicken pakora nuggets.

Vegetable Oil: this is the most common type of oil for frying, but you can use sunflower oil or canola oil (just try to opt for an oil with a high smoke point (i.e. can withstand high temperatures). If you prefer an animal based option, then you can use animal tallow / lard / fat.

Ginger: I opt for ginger paste/puree for quickness, but you could use a grated thumb sized piece of fresh ginger instead

Garlic: I opt for garlic paste/puree for quickness, but you could use 2-3 grated cloves instead

You can use the garlic/ginger paste combined (2 tablespoons of this would be required).

Spices

As is the case with lots of indian cooking, don’t worry too much if you don’t have one specific spice. Missing one ingredient or substituting it for another will not alter the course of the whole recipe.

Salt

Chilli Powder

Coriander

Turmeric

Fenugreek 

Curry Leaves: I like the flavour they add but if you don’t have them in your pantry and don’t want to buy them for one recipe, don’t bother, as they’re optional.

Feel free to add garam masala, curry powder or onion powder if you’d like to add more flavour.

Dietary

This recipe is Gluten Free, as it uses Gram Flour (chickpea flour).

It is also Dairy Free.

How To Make Chicken Pakora

Chop chicken into ‘mini fillet’ strips 

Mix together all ingredients for pakora sauce

Sieve gram flour to remove any lumps (this will ensure the batter is smooth

gram flour in sieve

Add salt, spices and ginger/garlic purée

gram flour with spices

Whisk through the water until you have a double cream consistency to make the batter

Coat chicken fillets in batter 

Deep fry in vegetable oil at 338-356F or 170-180C for 4-5minutes 

temperature probe in hot oil

Serve whilst hot! 

Recipe Notes and Tips

Use a temperature monitor – you can pick a cheap one up on Amazon here.

This can be used to measure both the temperature of the vegetable oil and the internal temperature of the chicken to check if it’s cooked (you’re looking for an internal temp of 165F or 73.9C.

Your pakora batter should have a consistency like double cream – add more water than stated in the recipe if you feel it needs it.

When frying the pakora, don’t overcrowd the pan. This will bring the oil temperature down and you won’t achieve the crispy texture. Fry in batches appropriate to the size of your pot or pan.

Once you’ve fried your first batch, wait on oil coming back up to temperature (165F or 73.9C) before adding another lot.

FAQs

Can this be adapted to vegetarian?

Yes – opt for a meat-free option like paneer or tofu. If using vegetables, then you may need to par-boil some vegetables first (like cauliflower, potato and broccoli etc.) but if using thinly sliced onion (for bhajis etc.) then this isn’t required and you can deep-fry straight raw onion.

Can I make this in an air fryer?

No. The batter is too runny and will not set in time (like it does hitting the hot oil), so I would avoid trying this.

I don’t have/can’t find one of the spices, what should I do?

As is the case with lots of indian-style cooking, don’t worry too much if you don’t have one specific spice. Missing one ingredient will not alter the course of the whole recipe. The joy of cooking is getting to experiment!

Storage, Advanced Preperation + Re-Heating

The chicken pakora is freezable once cooked.

It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months, and reheated straight from frozen (or defrosted in the fridge first) in the oven or airfryer.

If you plan to cook it in advance, it will store in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

You can then re-heat in the oven or airfryer until piping hot

And finally …

If you have any questions, or want to tell me what you think of my recipe, then leave a comment below!

If you like this recipe and are looking for more Indian Takeaway recipes, then why not try my Spiced Onions, Pink Pakora Sauce, Chicken Chasni or South Indian Garlic Chilli recipe.

chicken pakora in a wire basket on a table beside dipping sauce

Easy Chicken Pakora Recipe (Gluten Free)

These chicken pakoras are gluten free as they use gram flour, which is chickpea flour.
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Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 309 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 chicken breast
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 100 g gram flour sieved
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste or thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste or 2-3 cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry leaves optional
  • 150 ml water +/- 30mls

Instructions
 

  • Chop chicken breasts into ‘mini fillet’ strips
  • Mix together all ingredients for pakora sauce (see note below)
  • Sieve gram flour to remove any lumps (this will ensure the batter is smooth
  • Add salt, spices and ginger/garlic purée then whisk through the water until you have a double cream consistency to make the batter
  • Coat chicken fillets in batter
  • Deep fry in vegetable oil at 338-356F or 170-180C for 4-5minutes (or until it reaches internal temperature of 73.9C or 165F)
  • Serve whilst hot!

Notes

Recipe for Pink Pakora Sauce can be found here.
See Recipe Notes and Tips section above for hints and tips for achieving the perfect pakora!
Nutritional Value above does not account for vegetable oil used when frying, so an additional 100-200kcal allowance per portion for residual oil may be required. 

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 42gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 816mgPotassium: 900mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 313IUVitamin C: 54mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chicken pakora, chicken pakora recipe, gluten free pakora, pink pakora sauce
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