//Bread Pakora (With and Without Stuffing)

Bread Pakora (With and Without Stuffing)

bread pakorabread pakora

Bread Pakora is a much loved snack of deep fried and savory bread fritters from the North Indian Cuisine, especially Punjabi Cuisine. Bread pakoda are made with a spiced batter of gram flour aka besan, spices and salt. They are either stuffed with a mashed potato stuffing or made without any stuffing. Here, I share two delicious ways of making bread pakora.

bread pakorabread pakora
  1. Stuffed Bread Pakora – Punjabi style recipe with a savory, spiced potato stuffing, dipped in gram flour batter and fried.
  2. Bread Bajji without stuffing Easy recipe of a simple batter coated bread that is deep fried.

Both these bread pakora variations are easy. The stuffed bread pakora recipe has some preparation to be done while the plain bread bajji recipe is a breeze to make.

What is Bread Pakora

In English you can simply call Bread Pakora as Bread Fritters. Note that these are savory fritters and not sweet. Bread Pakora is the North Indian term while bread bajji is a South Indian term.

A simple bread pakoda would have halved bread slices dipped and coated in gram flour batter and deep fried.

In fact my fond memories of bread pakora are of course having them piping hot on street-side carts in Mumbai and also having these made by my mother-in-law for weekend breakfasts.

The bread pakoda sold on the street side stalls and restaurants in India have a spicy, tangy potato stuffing.

When you make them at home, you can choose to vary the basic potato stuffing by including some add ons like steamed green peas, cheese or paneer (Indian cottage cheese). You can vary the spices or herbs to suit your family’s tastebuds.

About this recipe

  • Batter: I always carom seeds (ajwain) and a few spices into the batter. Carom seeds give a nice aroma and also help in digestion. You can even add a pinch of asafoetida (hing), grated or chopped ginger in the batter – both of which help in digestion.
  • Potato stuffing: My recipe has real Punjabi flavors with warm, aromatic spices. It is spiced, tangy and oh so good. Moreover you do not have to spend any time in frying or sautéing anything. Simply mix the ground spices to the mashed potatoes and your potato stuffing is ready.
  • Bread: You can use any bread. The best taste and texture comes with white bread. Since I do not include white bread, I make these fritters with homemade whole wheat bread, or brown bread.

Bread pakora is a favorite breakfast and tea time snack at our home. We love these bread fritters and enjoy it with a sweet tangy dipping sauce or a spicy chutney accompanied with a cup of hot Indian masala chai.

bread pakodabread pakoda

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Bread Pakora

Before you begin making this delicious snack of bread pakora, you have to prepare the potato stuffing. The potatoes can be cooked in a pan, pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

Cooking potatoes

1. Boil or steam 2 medium-sized or 1 large potato in a pressure cooker or steamer or in the IP until they are fork tender. When the potatoes become warm, then peel and grate them. Set aside. You can also mash them.

1. Cooking potatoes in a stove-top pressure cooker

Rinse and place them in a 2-litre pressure cooker. Add enough water just about covering them. Pressure cook on a medium flame for 3 to 4 whistles or 7 to 9 minutes. Drain the water. Let the potatoes become warm. Peel, grate or mash.

2. Cooking potatoes in a pan

Rinse, peel and then dice potatoes. Add the chopped potatoes in a pan. Add water just enough to cover them. You can add a bit of salt. Cover and cook potatoes till they are softened. Later drain all the water very well. When the potatoes become warm then peel and grate them. You can even mash them.

3. Cooking in the Instant Pot

Rinse and place the potatoes in the inner steel insert of the Instant Pot. Add enough water just about covering the potatoes. Pressure cook on high for 8 to 10 minutes.

Give a quick pressure release (QPR) after 5 to 7 minutes. Check to see if the potatoes are cooked. If underdone, then pressure cook for some more minutes. Remove the potatoes with pasta tongs. Let them become warm or cool at room temperature. Then peel and mash.

bread pakoda recipe stuffingbread pakoda recipe stuffing

2. Add the following ingredients to the grated or mashed potatoes:

  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • 1 to 2 green chillies (finely chopped)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder) and
  • salt as per taste to the grated potatoes.

Substitute ½ teaspoon lemon juice for dry mango powder.

bread pakoda recipe stuffingbread pakoda recipe stuffing

3. Mix the spices and herbs very well with the mashed potatoes. Check the seasonings and adjust accordingly. Set aside.

stuffing for bread pakoda recipestuffing for bread pakoda recipe

Making batter

4. In a mixing bowl, take the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup besan (gram flour)
  • ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 pinches turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 to 2 pinches baking soda
  • salt as required

Adding baking soda is completely optional but it helps in the bread pakoda light and fluffy.

batter for bread pakoda recipebatter for bread pakoda recipe

5. First add ½ cup water and mix very well. The batter should not be very thick nor too thin. If the batter is too thick, then add more water.

Overall you can add ½ to ⅔ cup of water depending on the quality and texture of the flour.

batter for bread pakora recipebatter for bread pakora recipe

6. To the batter, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of hot oil when you keep the oil for deep frying on the stove-top. Mix well.

Whisk briskly non-stop for 1 to 2 minutes to incorporate some air in the batter. Keep the ready batter aside.

batter for bread pakora recipebatter for bread pakora recipe

Assembling

7. On the chopping board, slice the bread into triangle or rectangle slices.

making bread pakoda recipemaking bread pakoda recipe

8. Take around 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mashed potato mixture and spread it on the bread evenly.

preparing bread pakoda recipepreparing bread pakoda recipe

9. Cover this potato stuffed slice with another slice. You now have a triangular bread sandwich. Just slightly press the sandwich.

making bread pakoda recipemaking bread pakoda recipe

Frying Bread Pakora

10. Heat the oil for deep frying and check if the oil is ready by adding a drop of the batter. If the batter starts sizzling and comes gradually on the surface of the oil, the oil is ready.

If the batter does not come up on the surface, then the oil needs to get more hot. If the batter comes very quickly on top, the oil is too hot.

frying pakora - bread pakora recipefrying pakora - bread pakora recipe

11. Take the entire sandwich in your hand and dip it in the besan batter.

making bread pakoramaking bread pakora

 12. Coat the stuffed bread sandwich evenly with the besan batter. Be gentle with the sandwich. Take care not to keep the stuffed bread sandwich a long time in the batter as the bread tends to break.

You can hold the batter bowl in your left hand and then bring it near the pan or kadai having the oil. Take the bread and gently coat it with the batter.

Slid off the extra batter on the edges of the bowl and then move the batter coated bread from the bowl to the pan or kadai having the hot oil. Place the batter coated bread gently in the hot oil.

making bread pakodamaking bread pakoda

13. Gently slid the besan batter coated bread sandwich in the oil. Be careful while placing the batter coated bread in hot oil. Place gently.

making bread pakodamaking bread pakoda

14. Add two to three pieces of bread pakora depending on the size of the kadai, but do not overcrowd the kadai or pan. Begin to deep fry on a medium to medium-high flame.

making bread pakoramaking bread pakora

15. When one side is light golden, gently turn over and fry the second side. Be careful when turning over as these are heavy. So turn over gently and carefully.

making bread pakoramaking bread pakora

16. Gently flip a couple of times more and fry on a medium to medium-high flame till they are crisp and golden brown.

making bread pakoramaking bread pakora

17. Remove the crisp and golden fried pakora with a slotted spoon draining the extra oil.

making bread pakoramaking bread pakora

18. Place the fried bread pakora on kitchen absorbent tissues so that excess oil is absorbed. In the same way, fry the remaining bread pakoda and place them on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.

bread pakorabread pakora

19. Serve Bread Pakora hot or warm.

bread pakorabread pakora

Serving Suggestions

Bread pakora pairs nicely with a coriander or mint chutney. It also tastes delish with sweet dipping sauces like tomato ketchup or sweet tamarind chutney.

You can also serve these tasty aloo bread pakora with a dry onion-garlic chutney and coconut chutney.

Pair them with a ginger chai or masala chai for a truly Indian evening chai experience.

Tips

Expert Tips

  1. Potatoes: Use potatoes which have a hight starch content like Idaho or Russet potatoes. You don’t want to use potatoes which are new potatoes or having a gluey gummy texture.
  2. Gram Flour: Most Indian fritter recipes are made with Gram Flour which is flour made from husked and split chana dal. Chana dal is also called as bengal gram. Basically these are brown chickpeas which have been hulled and split. That said, you can even use chickpea flour which is made from white chickpeas (garbanzo beans or kabuli chana).
  3. Spices and Herbs: You can make a number of variations in the recipe by adding different combinations of spices and herbs both in the batter as well as in the potato stuffing. Fresh herbs like mint leaves, cilantro (coriander leaves), ginger, garlic and spices like green chillies, ground cumin or ground coriander powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, curry powder or garam masala can be added.
  4. Oily Pakoda: To avoid oily pakoda, fry at medium heat in the oil. Do not fry on a low heat as then the pakoda will absorb more oil. Frying on a high heat will cook and brown the batter from outside leaving the insides raw and uncooked.
    Pro tip: Adding 1 to 2 teaspoons hot oil to the batter helps in making the pakoda crisp and reduces the oil absorption.
  5. Batter Consistency: For the batter make a medium consistency batter. A thick batter will be dense and not have a soft, fluffy outer texture. A thin batter will make the pakoda soggy by absorbing too much oil.
  6. Scaling: You can easily halve or double the recipe.
  7. Make ahead: If you plan to make bread pakora for morning breakfasts or evening snacks, then you can make the potato stuffing some hours or a day ahead and refrigerate it.

FAQs

How to make bread pakora on tawa?

Some times I make bread pakora on tawa. For frying two potato stuffed batter coated slices, heat about 3 to 4 tablespoons oil. When the first side is golden, gently turn over and fry the second side. Place the bread with the stuffing sides/edges touching the pan so that these are also cooked.

Is bread pakora healthy?

Bread pakora are deep-fried, thus it is better to eat them occasionally. They are also made with white bread which is not a healthy choice for a bread.

Are Indian pakoras gluten free?

Yes, pakoras are gluten-free as the batter is made entirely with besan and ocassionally with some rice flour thrown in. Besan is gram flour or brown chickpeas flour. When asafetida is added in the batter, pakora is no longer gluten-free.

Can bread pakora be air-fried or baked?

Yes, you can bake or air fry them at 180 degrees celsius. I have tried baking as well as air-frying and the texture is not that great. If you are looking to have the same texture like that of a deep fried pakoda, then you will be disappointed. That said, for a healthy version, you can bake or air-fry them. Preheat either the oven or air-fryer for 10 minutes prior to baking or air-frying. For a crisp, soft crust, add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in the batter.

How to check oil temperature?

Mostly for any kind of deep frying, the temperature of the oil is 180 degrees to 190 degrees Celsius (360 degrees to 375 degrees Fahrenheit). If you have a deep fry thermometer or candy thermometer, you can easily measure these temperatures with them.

But what if you do not own a thermometer? You can still check the temperature by following any of the two methods listed below.

  1. Drop tiny droplets of batter in oil. If the batter droplets sizzle, and rise to the top gradually, the oil is ready. If droplets are stuck at the bottom of the pan or comes up slowly on the surface the oil is not hot enough. If the batter droplets come up briskly, quickly on the oil surface and get browed rapidly, the oil is very hot.
  2. Place a small bread cube in the hot oil. If the bread cube turns golden in a time span of about 1 minute, the temperature is perfect for frying. If it gets burnt or turns very dark, the oil is extremely hot and needs to cool slightly. You will have to let the oil heat up more, if the cube is pale colored.

More Bread Snacks!

Bread Bajji

As I have mentioned above bread bajji or bread pakora without stuffing is a quick delicious snack of bread coated with spiced gram flour batter and then deep-fried.

For the recipe you can use any type of bread. Usually I use whole wheat bread, but for street-style taste and texture use white bread.

Step-by-step Bread Bajji

Making batter

1. In a mixing bowl, take all the dry ingredients – 1 cup gram flour (besan), ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain), ½ teaspoon red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder and two pinches of baking soda. Add salt as required.

ingredients for bread pakora recipeingredients for bread pakora recipe

2. Add the wet ingredients – ½ teaspoon hot oil (from the pan or kadai in which you have kept oil for deep-frying) and water to make a medium thick batter. Add water in parts and about ⅔ to ¾ cup water or as required.

making bread pakora battermaking bread pakora batter

3. Whisk to a smooth batter without any lumps.

making bread pakora battermaking bread pakora batter

Preparing bread

4. Slice the bread slices in rectangles or triangles.

bread slices for bread pakora recipebread slices for bread pakora recipe

5. Dip each slice in the batter and evenly coat it with the batter.

bread slices for bread pakora recipebread slices for bread pakora recipe

Frying bread bajji

6. Place the batter coated bread slice in medium hot oil for frying. Add a few more batter coated slices.

frying bread pakora recipefrying bread pakora recipe

7. Fry the bajji in medium hot oil turning over a couple of times to ensure even cooking and browning.

frying bread pakora recipefrying bread pakora recipe

8. Fry until crisp and golden.

frying bread pakorasfrying bread pakoras

9. Remove with a slotted or perforated spoon and drain as much oil as possible.

fried bread pakorasfried bread pakoras

10. Place them on kitchen paper towels to drain excess oil.

fried bread pakorasfried bread pakoras

11. Sprinkle a bit of chaat masala on them. Serve bread bajji hot or warm with any chutney or dip like sweet tamarind dates chutney or mint coriander chutney or even coconut chutney or tomato ketchup or mint chutney.

plain bread pakoda, easy bread pakodaplain bread pakoda, easy bread pakoda

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Bread pakora is a popular North Indian snack of bread fritters. Bread slices are stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes filling, batter-coated and then deep-fried.

Prep Time 25 mins

Cook Time 40 mins

Total Time 1 hr 5 mins


Cuisine Indian

Course: Breakfast, Snacks

Diet: Vegan

Difficulty Level: Moderate


Servings 3

Making potato stuffing

  • Boil or steam the potato in a pressure cooker or steamer till it is completely cooked. 

  • When the potato becomes warm, then peel it. Grate and keep aside. You can also mash and keep aside.

  • Add the coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chilli, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, amchur powder, salt to the grated potatoes.

  • Mix the spices & herbs very well with the mashed potatoes. Check the seasonings and adjust accordingly. Keep aside.

Making batter

  • In a bowl, take the besan (gram flour), ajwain, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, asafoetida, baking soda (optional) and salt.

  • Now add around ½ cup of water and mix very well.

  • The batter should not be very thick nor too thin. If the batter is too thick, then add more water.

  • Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of hot oil when you keep the oil for deep frying in the batter. Mix well. Whisk briskly non-stop for 1 to 2 minutes to incorporate some air in the batter. 

Assembling

  • On the chopping board, slice the bread into triangle or rectangle slices.

  • Take around 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mashed potato mixture and spread it on the bread evenly.

  • Cover this potato stuffed slice with another slice. You now have a triangular bread sandwich. Just slightly press the sandwich.

  • Take the entire sandwich in your hand and dip it in the besan batter.

  • Coat the stuffed bread sandwich evenly with the besan batter. Be gentle with the sandwich. Take care not to keep the stuffed bread sandwich a long time in the batter as the bread tends to break.

Frying

  • By now, your oil is hot and you can easily slid the besan batter coated bread sandwich in the oil.

  • Fry on a medium flame till they are crisp and golden brown.

  • Drain them on a tissue paper. So that excess oil is absorbed.

  • Serve bread pakora hot or warm with tomato sauce or with any chutney of your choice, or even coconut chutney.

  • Enjoy the bread pakoda in the rains with a cup of indian ginger tea or masala tea.

Ingredient Notes

  • Potatoes: Potatoes which have a hight starch content like Idaho or Russet potatoes work best. Avoid using new potatoes.
  • Gram Flour: Indian fritters are usually made with gram flour which is flour made from husked and split chana dal. Chana dal is also called as bengal gram. Basically these are brown chickpeas which have been hulled and split. That said, you can even use chickpea flour which is made from white chickpeas (garbanzo beans or kabuli chana).
 

Variations

  • Spices and Herbs: You can make a number of variations in the recipe by adding different combinations of spices and herbs both in the batter as well as in the potato stuffing. Add fresh herbs and spices like mint leaves, cilantro (coriander leaves), ginger, garlic or ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, ground cumin, ground coriander powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, curry powder or garam masala and chaat masala. You can increase or decrease the number of spices as per your taste.
  • Cheese or paneer: Some grated cheddar or processed cheese or paneer in the potato stuffing also gives a good taste. 
 

Recipe Notes

  • Oily Pakora: Fry at medium heat in the oil so that the pakoda do not absorb too much oil. Do not fry on a low heat as then the pakoda will absorb more oil. Frying on a high heat will cook and brown the batter from outside leaving the insides raw and uncooked. Adding 1 to 2 teaspoons hot oil to the batter helps in making the pakoda crisp and reduces the oil absorption.
  • Batter Consistency: For the batter make a medium consistency batter. A thick batter will be dense and not have a soft, fluffy outer texture. A thin batter will make the pakoda soggy by absorbing too much oil.
  • Scaling: You can easily halve or double the recipe.
 

Ingredient swaps

  • Substitute for Dry Mango Powder: Substitute ½ teaspoon lemon juice for dry mango powder.
  • Carom seeds: Skip carom seeds if you do not have them. 
  • Asafetida: Omit adding asafetida if you do not have it. 

Nutrition Facts

Bread Pakora | Punjabi Bread Pakoda

Amount Per Serving

Calories 456 Calories from Fat 162

% Daily Value*

Fat 18g28%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 1g

Cholesterol 1mg0%

Sodium 1064mg46%

Potassium 950mg27%

Carbohydrates 60g20%

Fiber 10g42%

Sugar 7g8%

Protein 15g30%

Vitamin A 116IU2%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 3mg15%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 28mg34%

Vitamin E 6mg40%

Vitamin K 7µg7%

Calcium 58mg6%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 41µg10%

Iron 11mg61%

Magnesium 63mg16%

Phosphorus 156mg16%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This plain bread pakoda is a delicious snack of bread coated with spiced gram flour batter and then deep-fried in oil.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 30 mins


Cuisine Indian

Course: Breakfast

Diet: Vegan

Difficulty Level: Moderate


Servings 4

Making bajji batter

  • In a mixing bowl, take all the dry ingredients – gram flour, carom seeds, red chili powder, garam masala powder and two pinches of baking soda.

  • Add the wet ingredients – ½ teaspoon hot oil (from the pan or kadai in which you have kept oil for deep-frying) and water.

  • Add water in parts and about ⅔ to ¾ cup water or as required to make a medium thick batter.

  • With a wired whisk or spoon, whip briskly for 1 to 2 minutes to a smooth batter without any lumps.

Making bread bajji

  • Slice the bread slices in rectangles or triangles.

  • Dip each slice in the batter and evenly coat it with the batter.

  • Place the batter coated bread slice in medium hot oil for frying. Also add a few more batter coated slices.

  • Fry them on medium hot oil turning over a couple of times to ensure even cooking and browning.

  • Fry until crisp and golden.

  • Remove with a slotten or perforated spoon and drain as much oil as possible.

  • Place them on kitchen paper towels to drain excess oil.

  • Sprinkle a bit of chaat masala on them. 

  • Serve these besan bread bajji hot with tomato sauce or cilantro chutney or mint chutney or sweet tamarind chutney.

Nutrition Facts

Bread Bajji (Without Stuffing)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 277 Calories from Fat 126

% Daily Value*

Fat 14g22%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 1g

Cholesterol 1mg0%

Sodium 588mg26%

Potassium 281mg8%

Carbohydrates 28g9%

Fiber 5g21%

Sugar 4g4%

Protein 10g20%

Vitamin A 74IU1%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Vitamin E 5mg33%

Vitamin K 4µg4%

Calcium 38mg4%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 18µg5%

Iron 7mg39%

Magnesium 29mg7%

Phosphorus 71mg7%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This recipe post from the archives (September 2010) has been republished and updated on 28 December 2020.