Bread Pakoda – the rainy day snack

Bread Pakoda is a very popular Indian street food. It serves great as a weekend breakfast, or as a tea time snack or even as a starter for a dinner party. Bread is coated in gram flour batter seasoned with spices and then deep fried. The best part about this snack is that you don’t any advance preparation to make it and is ready in less than 10 minutes. Hence, it is perfect for those unexpected guests or for those hunger late afternoon pangs when you need something filling quickly. Kids also love it, so great for lunch boxes too!

In India, it is almost a ritual to have pakodas with tea on rainy, cold days.Why? Just another ‘khane ka bahana’ or ‘excuse to eat’:)

I am posting this recipe for my dear friend Gaurav, who like any other Punjabi is a food lover.  As I was talking to him,  I mentioned that I made bread pakodas for breakfast last week(foodie-to-foodie talk) and the very mention made him crave!!! So, I decided to make it again for tea-time today and clicked some photos. Here is the recipe Gaurav, especially for you!

There is another variation in which a stuffing is put between the bread slices before dipping them in to the batter, I will be covering it in another post.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

What you need:

4 slices of bread (white tastes better)

5 heaped tbsp of besan or gram flour (fine)

1 clove of garlic

Cumin seeds

Salt

red chilli powder

Oil for deep-frying

Ketchup or any other sauce to serve

Method

  1. Take 5-8 tbsp of fine besan (gram flour) in a wide bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying.
  3. Add 2 tbsp warm oil to besan. This is a very important step to get crisp pakodas. This oil added to flour/batter is called ‘moyen’ in hindi. If you don’t add it, your pakodas do not become crisp. If you add extra, your pakodas still become soft. So, you need the perfect amount of moyen to get it right.
  4. Add salt and 1/4 tsp red chilli powder to the flour.
  5. Next add 1 clove of garlic, simply crushed or finely chopped. This is optional but gives great flavour.
  6. Also, add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds or cumin powder.
  7. Mix everything well and add little water to mix all the flour. You need to be very careful and patient while mixing water to ensure there are no lumps. So, go slow.
  8. When you see no dry besan or lumps, then add more water to get the consistency right. The batter should have pouring consistency but should be thick enough to coat the bread.
  9. If the batter is too thin, it will still coat the bread but will separate like a film from the bread after frying.
  10. Cut the bread slices into squares or triangles, makes no difference to taste.
  11. Dip each bread piece into the batter, turn around to cover the sides.
  12. Shake it slightly before putting into the oil to get rid of the excess batter.
  13. Flip once one side is cooked.
  14. Deep fry until both sides are golden brown.  You can press it lightly to get even browning. Also, refer to the tips below.
  15. Remove extra oil by pressing it on the edge of the wok. Place on a kitchen tissue for further oil absorption.
  16. Serve with tomato ketchup, tamarind chutney or mint chutney.

Tips for deep frying:

  1. Try to use a wide but shallow wok(indian kadai) or pan for deep frying. Shallow, so that you do not need to add too much oil and wide so that you can easily toss and turn food.
  2. Re-heating the oil used in frying is not considered healthy, so you use oil enough to cover the food. If you use too less oil, the food will stick to the bottom of the wok and not cook properly. I, often, use the oil used in frying to make paranthas.
  3. The oil temperature needs to be perfect for frying, The most common way to test it is to put a drop of batter in it.
  • If the drop goes to the bottom and bounces back to the surface immediately, it is right.
  • If the drop stays at the bottom, oil is not hot enough, you need to wait.
  • If the drop does not go towards the bottom but stays at the surface, oil is too hot. Reduce the heat to cool it.
  • If the food is cooked in oil that is too hot, the outer starts browning quickly while the inside layers may remain uncooked.
  • If the food is added to oil that is not hot enough, it will not only take too long to cook, it will also absorb more oil. The result will be too oily and will not have the right colour and texture.
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