Chicken & Vegetable Pakoras with Yogurt Mint Chutney

These Indian chicken dumplings are deliciously spicy and addictive. Packed with flavourful chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and red pepper, they make a wonderful appetizer. Served with basmati rice and chana masala, they are the highlight of an India-inspired meal.
Serves: 6

Ingredients

Chicken & Vegetable Pakoras

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1-2% MF
1 jalapeño pepper
1/2 cup onion(s), chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp ginger, fresh, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cups chickpea flour (besan)
2 cups cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/4 tsp turmeric, ground
1 red pepper(s), medium, diced
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet potatoe(s), peeled and sliced or diced
1 cup sweet corn, frozen
oil, for deep frying, enough for about 4 inches (10 cm) in heavy pot, sauce pan or deep fryer (approximately 1 quart / 945 mL)

Yogurt Mint Chutney

1 cup plain yogurt, 1-2% MF
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp mint, fresh, minced
1 sprig mint, (optional garnish)

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.

Steps

  1. Make chicken marinade by pureeing the yogurt, jalapeño, onion, ginger, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice in the blender.

  2. Cut chicken thighs into 4-6 pieces each and place in plastic zip lock bag. Pour in marinade, seal and use your hands to cover pieces with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove chicken pieces and place on plate. Discard marinade.

  3. Make the batter by combining chick pea flour (besan), cold water, salt, chili powder, ground cumin and turmeric. Stir until smooth and lumps are dissolved. The batter thickens somewhat as it sits. The texture should be that of a thick pancake batter. If not, add a little more besan or water as needed.

  4. Heat oil in pot or deep fryer. Dip chicken pieces into the batter, one by one, and fry in hot oil until cooked through and golden brown – about 4 to 5 minutes. Fry the first piece solo to make sure the oil is hot enough and the batter is thick enough. The chicken pakoras should start to brown and float to the surface. Fry remaining pakoras and drain on paper towel. Place on a tray and keep warm in a 300°F (150°C) oven.

  5. Prepare the vegetable fritters by adding the corn, peppers, mushrooms and sweet potato to the chick pea batter. Stir to combine. Alternatively, you can divide the batter and omit the sweet potato from the vegetable fritter above and coat and fry them separately. With a big spoon remove vegetables with some batter and add to the hot oil and fry until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel.

  6. Serve with mint chutney.

  7. To make the chutney, combine the yogurt, sugar, minced mint and salt in a small bowl. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve with the warm pakoras.

Helpful Tip

This gluten-free recipe makes about 35-40 pieces of pakoras. The batter calls for chickpea flour (baisen) which you can buy at an Indian specialty market or many health food and bulk stores. Many ethnic foods can also be purchased online. The chili powder in Indian recipes is hot – like cayenne powder. You can even use the Mexican style chili powder if you prefer a less spicy version.
Serve with the simple mint chutney or your favourite Indian style condiments. Pakoras are also good with tomato ketchup or even barbecue sauce.

The nutrient analysis does not include the oil for the deep frying.

Nutrition Info

Per 355 g serving Amount
Calories320
Protein27 g
Fat7 g
Saturated Fat2 g
Carbohydrate38 g
Fibre6 g
Sugar13 g
Cholesterol65 mg
Sodium440 mg
Per 355 g serving % Daily Value
Potassium24
Calcium15
Iron20
Vitamin A90
Vitamin C80
Vitamin B637
Vitamin B1231
Folate76
Zinc36