Pakora (pronounced [pəˈkɔːɽa]) is a spiced fritter originating from the Indian subcontinent, sold by street vendors and served in restaurants in South Asia and worldwide. It consists of items, often vegetables such as potatoes and onions, coated in seasoned gram flour batter and deep fried.
|Alternative names||Pakoda, Pikora, bhajiya, pakodi, ponako, pakura, fakkura, phulauri|
|Course||Appetizer or snack|
|Place of origin||South Asia|
|Region or state||South Asia|
|Associated national cuisine|
|Similar dishes||Kyet thun kyaw|
The pakora is known also under other spellings including pikora, pakoda, pakodi and regional names such as bhaji and bhajiya.
Pakoras are created with main ingredients, usually but not exclusively vegetables, dipped in a batter made from gram flour (chickpea/garbanzo bean flour) with spices, then deep fried.
Common varieties of pakora use onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, plantain, paneer, cauliflower, tomato, or chili pepper, but other foodstuffs can be made into pakoras such as meat or fish. There is no standard recipe, so the spices used are up to the cook and may be chosen due to local tradition or availability; often these include fresh and dried spices such as chilli, fenugreek and coriander. There are pakora variants that use other flours, such as buckwheat flour.
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A gram flour fritter is known in Gujarat as bhajia, in Maharashtra as bhaji, in Andhra Pradesh/Telangana and Karnataka as bajji. In Tamil Nadu as Pakoda. In Bengali it may be called bora (বড়া) or chop (চপ) depending on how and when it is eaten. Pakoda may be interpreted in these states as deep fried balls of finely chopped onions, green chilis, and spices mixed in gram flour.
Some divergence of transliteration may be noted in the third consonant in the word. The sound is a hard 'da' in the Telugu language and the 'ra' sound would be an incorrect pronunciation. The sound is the retroflex flap [ɽ], which is written in Hindi with the Devanagari letter ड़, and in Urdu with letter ڑ.
However, in the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration, the Hindi letter ड़ is transliterated as <ṛ>, popular or non-standard transliterations of Hindi use <d> for this sound, because etymologically, it derives from ड /ɖ/. The occurrence of this consonant in the word pakora has given rise to two common alternative spellings in English: pakoda, which reflects its etymology, and pakora, which reflects its phonology.
Buckwheat pakora, which are made during Hindu fasting seasons and holidays
- "Pakora - food". Britannica.com. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Bloom, Leora Y. (10 May 2016). "Pakoras are tasty, versatile treats from India that work well as appetizers, snacks or meals". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Sanghvi, Vir (18 April 2015). "Take pride in the bonda or pakora. It is our gift to the world". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Devi, Yamuna (1999). Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian cooking. New York: E. P. Dutton. pp. 447–466, Pakoras: Vegetable Fritters. ISBN 0-525-24564-2.
- Siddiqi, Kamran. "Mom's Onion Pakora Recipe". Sophisticated Gourmet. Sophisticated Gourmet. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
- R. S. McGregor, ed. (1997). The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. p. 588. ISBN 978-0-19-864339-5.
- Monier-Williams, Monier (1995). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 914. ISBN 81-208-0065-6. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
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