Table of Contents
About Bread Pakora.
Bread Pakora is a popular Indian snack that combines the simplicity of bread with a spicy and flavorful filling. Slices of bread are coated in a gram flour (besan) batter, often infused with spices, and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. The filling can vary and typically includes a mixture of spiced mashed potatoes, but other variations might contain paneer, vegetables, or even a chutney. Served hot, Bread Pakora is a delightful street food and tea-time favorite in India, known for its crispy exterior and soft, flavorful interior.
Here’s a simple recipe to make Bread Pakora at home:
For the Filling:
- 2 medium-sized boiled and mashed potatoes
- 1 small finely chopped onion
- 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder) or chaat masala
- Salt to taste
- Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
For the Batter:
- 1 cup besan (gram flour)
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- Salt to taste
- Water, as needed
- Cooking oil for deep frying
- Prepare the Filling:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, chopped onion, green chilies, cumin seeds, garam masala, red chili powder, amchur or chaat masala, salt, and chopped cilantro. Mix well to form a uniform filling.
- Assemble the Sandwiches:
- Take two slices of bread. Place a generous portion of the potato mixture between them to make a sandwich.
- Prepare the Batter:
- In a separate bowl, combine besan, red chili powder, asafoetida, and salt. Gradually add water to form a smooth, lump-free batter. The batter should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Heat Oil:
- Heat enough oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. To check if the oil is ready, drop a small amount of batter into the oil; it should sizzle and rise to the surface.
- Dip and Fry:
- Dip each stuffed bread sandwich into the besan batter, ensuring it’s evenly coated. Carefully slide it into the hot oil.
- Fry Until Golden:
- Fry the bread pakoras in batches until they turn golden brown and crispy on both sides. Flip them as needed for even cooking.
- Drain and Serve:
- Remove the bread pakoras with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Serve Hot:
- Serve the hot and crispy Bread Pakora with green chutney, tamarind chutney, or ketchup.
Bread Pakoras are best enjoyed when freshly prepared. They make a delightful tea-time snack or an appetizer for any occasion.
Healthier Version Bread Pakora.
To make a healthier version of Bread Pakora at home, you can follow these modifications and cooking techniques:
For the Filling:
- Use a mixture of finely chopped vegetables like spinach, grated carrots, bell peppers, or even sprouts, instead of or in addition to potatoes.
- Reduce the amount of oil or ghee typically used for sautéing the filling. You can use a non-stick pan or water sauté to minimize oil.
For the Batter:
- Opt for whole wheat flour (atta) or a combination of besan (gram flour) and whole wheat flour to increase the fiber content.
- Use minimal oil while preparing the batter. You can add a few drops or use a cooking spray to coat the bread slices lightly.
- Choose a healthier cooking method such as air frying or shallow frying instead of deep frying. This significantly reduces the amount of oil used.
- Air Frying: Instead of deep-frying, consider using an air fryer. Coat the prepared bread pakoras with a light layer of oil using a brush or cooking spray, and then air fry until they turn crisp.
- Shallow Frying: If you prefer the traditional taste of deep-fried pakoras, you can opt for shallow frying in a non-stick pan. Use just enough oil to coat the pan’s surface and flip the pakoras as needed.
- Grilling: Another healthy option is to grill the bread pakoras. Brush them with a minimal amount of oil and grill until they turn golden and crisp.
- Baking: Preheat your oven, place the prepared pakoras on a baking sheet, and bake them until they become crispy. Lightly brush with oil or use a cooking spray for a healthier option.
By making these modifications and choosing healthier cooking methods, you can enjoy a lighter and more nutritious version of Bread Pakora while still savoring its delicious flavors.
The nutritional value of Bread Pakora can vary depending on the specific ingredients and cooking methods used. Here’s a general overview of the approximate nutritional content for a typical serving of two bread pakoras:
- Calories: Around 200-250 calories per serving.
- Carbohydrates: Approximately 30-35 grams, primarily from the bread and besan (gram flour) coating.
- Protein: Provides about 5-7 grams of protein, mainly from the besan and, if used, the filling.
- Dietary Fiber: Contains around 2-3 grams of dietary fiber, depending on the type of bread and the presence of vegetables in the filling.
- Fat: Typically provides 8-10 grams of fat, mainly from the frying process and the bread’s absorption of oil.
- Sodium: The sodium content can vary, depending on the salt and spices used.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Bread Pakora is not particularly rich in vitamins and minerals, although it can contribute some essential nutrients if vegetables are part of the filling.
- Low Cholesterol: It is naturally low in cholesterol, but the frying process can increase the fat content.
Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors like the bread used, the type and quantity of filling, the cooking method, and the amount of oil absorbed during frying. Making healthier modifications, such as using whole wheat bread and reducing oil, can improve the nutritional profile.
Bread Pakora is a popular snack enjoyed for its delicious taste, but it is not typically considered a health food. Nevertheless, here are some aspects that could be considered beneficial in moderation:
- Source of Energy: Bread Pakora is calorie-dense, making it a source of energy. It can be a quick and satisfying snack to curb hunger.
- Protein from Gram Flour: The gram flour (besan) used for the coating provides a moderate amount of protein. This is especially relevant if you use it to make a filling with vegetables or other ingredients.
- Fiber from Vegetables: If you include vegetable fillings, Bread Pakora can offer dietary fiber, which supports digestive health.
- Flavorful Ingredients: Spices used in the preparation, such as turmeric, cumin, and coriander, may have potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that Bread Pakora is typically deep-fried, which increases its calorie and fat content. It can be high in trans fats due to the frying process, which are considered unhealthy.
For a healthier version, consider modifications like using whole wheat bread, shallow frying, or using an air fryer to reduce the oil content. While Bread Pakora can be enjoyed in moderation as an occasional treat, it’s not a dish to rely on for significant health benefits, and its consumption should be balanced with a nutritious diet.
Tips and Tricks.
To make delicious Bread Pakora, consider the following tips and tricks:
- Choose Fresh Bread: Use fresh bread for the best results. Stale or dry bread can absorb excess oil during frying.
- Adjust Filling: Customize the filling by adding your favorite ingredients. You can use mashed potatoes, paneer, vegetables, or even a combination to suit your taste.
- Spice It Up: Adjust the spice level by varying the quantity of green chilies and red chili powder in the filling or the besan batter.
- Uniform Slices: Slice the bread into even-sized pieces to ensure that they cook uniformly.
- Smooth Batter: Prepare a smooth, lump-free besan batter by gradually adding water while mixing.
- Preheat Oil: Ensure the oil is hot enough before adding the bread pakoras. You can test it by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil; it should sizzle and rise to the surface.
- Coat Evenly: Dip the bread sandwiches into the besan batter, making sure they are evenly coated on all sides.
- Control Oil Temperature: Maintain the oil at a consistent temperature while frying to achieve a crispy and even texture.
- Serve Hot: Bread Pakoras are best enjoyed when hot and crispy, so serve them immediately after frying.
- Variations: Experiment with different fillings, such as grated cheese, spinach, or leftover curries, to create unique and flavorful pakoras.
By following these tips, you can make delicious and well-textured Bread Pakoras that are sure to be a hit as a snack or appetizer.
Bread Pakora is a versatile and delightful snack that can be served in various ways. Here are some serving suggestions:
- Chutneys: Bread Pakoras pair exceptionally well with a variety of chutneys. Serve them with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or a tangy coriander chutney for added flavor.
- Ketchup: For a classic and universally loved dip, offer tomato ketchup as a condiment to complement the pakoras.
- Tea or Coffee: Enjoy Bread Pakora with a cup of hot tea or coffee, especially during monsoons or as an afternoon snack.
- Yogurt: A side of plain yogurt or a yogurt-based raita can provide a cooling contrast to the spiciness of the pakoras.
- Sandwich: Turn Bread Pakora into a sandwich by placing a chutney or ketchup-coated slice between two pakoras. This makes for a delightful and filling sandwich.
- Salad: Serve a simple side salad with cucumber, onion, and tomato slices drizzled with lemon juice for a refreshing accompaniment.
- Other Snacks: Include Bread Pakora as part of a larger snack platter with samosas, pakoras, or other Indian snacks for a diverse spread.
- Lunch or Dinner: While traditionally a snack, you can enjoy Bread Pakora as a side dish alongside a larger Indian meal.
Bread Pakoras are best enjoyed hot and crispy, so serve them immediately after frying for the best texture and flavor. Whether you choose to pair them with chutneys, beverages, or other snacks, they make for a satisfying and delightful treat.
Can I make Bread Pakora with whole wheat bread?
Yes, you can make Bread Pakora with whole wheat bread. Using whole wheat bread is a healthier alternative to traditional white bread, as it provides more dietary fiber and nutrients. Here’s how to do it:
Choose whole wheat bread slices for your Bread Pakora.
Prepare the spiced filling as usual, which can include ingredients like mashed potatoes, vegetables, or paneer, seasoned to your preference.
Create the besan (gram flour) batter for coating the whole wheat bread slices. Use whole wheat besan for a consistent whole wheat version.
Dip the whole wheat bread slices into the batter, ensuring they are evenly coated on both sides.
Fry or cook the whole wheat Bread Pakora until they turn golden brown and crispy.
Using whole wheat bread enhances the nutritional value of the pakoras by providing extra fiber and a nuttier taste. It’s a great way to make this delicious snack slightly healthier without compromising on flavor.
What are the most common spices used in Bread Pakora?
The common spices used in Bread Pakora include:
Turmeric (Haldi): Adds a vibrant yellow color and mild earthy flavor to the batter and filling.
Cumin (Jeera): Imparts a warm and slightly nutty taste to the filling, enhancing its overall flavor.
Red Chili Powder: Provides a spicy kick to the filling and the besan batter, adding a zesty element to the dish.
Asafoetida (Hing): This spice lends a unique umami flavor to the batter and filling, enhancing the overall taste of the Bread Pakora.
What are some variations of Bread Pakora?
There are several delicious variations of Bread Pakora that cater to different tastes and preferences:
Aloo Bread Pakora: The classic version featuring a spiced mashed potato filling between bread slices, often combined with spices like cumin and chaat masala.
Paneer Bread Pakora: In this variation, crumbled or thinly sliced paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is used as the filling, adding a creamy and savory element.
Vegetable Bread Pakora: You can include a medley of vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and spinach in the filling for a colorful and nutritious twist.
Chutney Bread Pakora: Spread a layer of green chutney or tamarind chutney on the bread slices before assembling the sandwiches to infuse them with extra flavor.
What can I use for the filling in Bread Pakora?
The filling for Bread Pakora is versatile, allowing you to use various ingredients to create different flavors. Common options for the filling include:
Spiced Mashed Potatoes: A traditional and popular choice, mashed potatoes are seasoned with spices like cumin, garam masala, and red chili powder.
Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese): You can use crumbled or thinly sliced paneer as a creamy and savory filling for a different texture and taste.
Mixed Vegetables: Create a colorful and nutritious filling by incorporating finely chopped or grated vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, spinach, or grated carrots. Season them with your choice of spices.
Chutney: For a unique twist, spread green chutney or tamarind chutney on the bread slices before assembling the sandwiches, infusing them with extra flavor and moisture.