Brinjal pakora is an easy and tasty snack of fried, crisp fritters made with gram flour (besan), brinjals (eggplant), herbs and spices. These vegan fritters are also known as brinjal bajji in South Indian languages.
About this recipe
Pakora are basically fritters made primarily with gram flour, spices and any vegetables.
In Indian cuisine, you will find fritters made from a variety of vegetables like potato, spinach, onion, capsicum, spring onions, cauliflower, fenugreek leaves etc. This is one such delicious variation of vegan fritters made with small eggplants.
These brinjal pakora have a lovely soft and mildly sweet taste from the inside and the outside texture is crisp.
I suggest using a small variety to medium-size variety of brinjal. If you use larger size brinjal then chop them in bite size slices.
There are occasions when I make pakora. For the last few days, we had sudden unseasonal rains and I did make pakora in the dull cold weather.
Rains and pakora are a never-fail combination. Not to forget the masala chai that is served with the pakoda.
How to make Brinjal Pakora
1. In a mixing bowl take the dry ingredients – 1 cup besan (gram flour), ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ¼ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp cumin powder, a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) and salt as required.
2. Add ⅔ cup water or as required.
3. Whisk to a smooth batter without lumps. Add water as required to make a medium consistency batter.
Slicing and batter coating
4. Rinse and slice the baingan/brinjals into thin slices. I used small baingans. You can also use medium-sized brinjals. If you are using larger size brinjal then chop them in bite size slices.
5. Dip the baingan slices in the batter evenly.
Making brinjal pakora
6. In a kadai or pan heat oil. When the oil becomes medium hot then gently place them in medium hot oil for frying. You can use sunflower oil or peanut oil or any neutral oil with a high smoking temperature.
7. Turn over when one side is cooked partly.
8. After a minute or so, flip again and fry them till crisp and evenly golden.
9. With a slotted spoon remove the brinjal bajji and drain as much oil as possible.
10. Place them on a paper kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Fry the brinjal pakora in batches this way.
11. Serve the brinjal pakora hot or warm any chutney of your liking. I also love to have a cup of hot ginger chai whenever I make veggie fritters.
Serve the brinjal bajji hot or warm with mint coriander chutney or tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup.
You can also have them with roti or bread. Sometimes I just use some leftover vegetables like brinjal, cauliflower, capsicum, spinach and make a pakora platter. Then I serve them with roti for lunch or dinner.
You can also wrap them in a roti and add some green chutney and guacamole and make a pakora wrap. This way also they taste equally delicious. You can even stuff them inside a sandwich or the burger.
How to remove bitterness from eggplant
Sometimes some eggplants can be bitter. So it is a good practice to soak the eggplant in salted water for 15 to 20 minutes before making any recipe. Then drain all the water, pat dry and use them in the recipe.
At what temperature to fry pakora?
When frying pakora, the oil has to be moderately hot – the temperature being 180 degrees to 190 degrees Celsius (360 degrees to 375 degrees Fahrenheit). You can either use a candy thermometer or deep fry to check the temperature of oil.
Alternatively, add some droplets of the batter in the oil. If they rise to the surface gradually and start bubbling, the oil is ready. If they rise slowly or are submerged inside, the oil is not hot enough. If they rise too quickly and rapidly, the oil is very hot.
Why pakora are soggy and oily?
Frying at the right temperature and hotness of oil will ensure that you do not end up with soggy pakora or burnt pakora. If the oil is not hot, the batter will absorb more oil and the pakoda will become soggy. A thin batter will also make the pakora absorb plenty of oil.
If the oil is very hot, the pakora will become more browned or can get burnt too leaving the insides undercooked.
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Brinjal pakoda or brinjal bajji are fried crisp vegan fritters made with eggplant, gram flour (besan), herbs and spices.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy
In a mixing bowl take the dry ingredients – gram flour, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing). Also add salt as required.
Add ⅔ cup of water or as required.
Whisk to a smooth batter without lumps. Add water as required to make a medium consistency batter.
Rinse and slice the baingan (brinjals) thinly.
Dip the baingan slices in the batter evenly.
In a kadai or pan heat the oil. You can use any neutral oil with a high smoking point like sunflower oil or peanut oil. Once the oil becomes medium hot, gently place them in the medium hot oil for frying.
Turn over when one side is cooked partly.
After a minute or so, flip again and fry the pakora till crisp and evenly golden.
With a slotted spoon remove the pakora and drain as much oil as possible.
Place the pakora on a paper kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Fry the pakoras in batches this way.
Serve the brinjal pakora hot or warm with coriander chutney or tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup. Sometimes we also have them with roti or bread. They can also be stuffed inside bread to make sandwich.
- The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
- If you want to make it gluten-free then skip adding asafoetida (hing) or use gluten-free asafoetida.
Brinjal Pakoda | Brinjal Bajji
Amount Per Serving
Calories 396 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Vitamin A 225IU5%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 5mg25%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 27µg26%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 168µg42%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This recipe post from the archives (March 2015) has been republished and updated on 19 December 2020.