If you’re partial to a Saturday night takeaway from your local Indian restaurant, you probably already know all about pakoras. They’re tasty, deep-fried fritters with a slight kick, and a hint of Indian spices.
What’s great about pakoras is that, in many cases, they’re made with gram flour, or besan, rather than standard wheat flour. This helps to keep the carbs down, making them a lower carb choice for an appetiser. On many menus, you’ll find classic offerings, like chicken pakoras, or veggie pakoras.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Strolling down the streets of Mumbai, you’ll find street vendors selling many different types of pakoras, including one very special variation: the bread pakora.
What is a bread pakora?
A bread pakora is just like any other pakora… but made with, you guessed it, bread! A chicken pakora is made by dunking a chunk of chicken in a spiced batter and frying it, and bread pakoras are made in much the same way. You dip a slice of bread in the batter, and fry until crispy and golden.
There’s another variation that’s popular in some parts of India, too: the stuffed bread pakora. This is essentially a bite-size mashed potato sandwich, dipped in the batter and fried. Are you drooling yet?
Sadly, unlike chicken pakoras and veggie pakoras, bread pakoras aren’t a particularly low carb choice. Even allowing for the use of a lower carb flour like besan, the bread – and mash – are big problems.
But don’t let that stop you.
We’re going to show you how to make bread pakoras, without cheating on your low carb diet.
How to make lower carb bread pakoras
The first step is to make your batter. This is a really flexible stage of the process, and you can make your batter however you want. It’s basically just flour, water, and spices. Obviously, if you want to keep the carbs down, use a lower carb flour. Besan or gram flour is traditional, but coconut and tapioca work, too. Flavour your flour by sprinkling in some spices, like turmeric, cumin, and red chilli powder. And mix in just enough water to make a very thick, gloopy batter.
The next step is to prepare your bread. To keep your pakoras bite-sized, we recommend cutting your bread into triangles. This means you’ll need to consider your bread carefully! As you may already know, most low carb breads don’t lend themselves to slicing. They tend to be a bit dry, meaning they crumble easily. Try LoCho. Spongey, moist, and fresh from our bakery, it slices just like ordinary bread!
If you’re planning to make a classic bread pakora, all you need to do is cut your bread into triangles, dip them in the batter until fully coated, and cook (we’ll get to that part in a moment). If you’re feeling more adventurous and want to try the stuffed version, you’ll need to prepare some filling.
Traditionally, the stuffed version is made with a potato masala; mashed potatoes flavoured with Indian spices. To make a lower carb alternative, try swapping out the potato for cauliflower. Simply steam it until soft, mash it, and add whatever spices you like. Or get creative. How about mashing up some paneer instead? Spread a little filling onto a triangle, top with another triangle, and dip. Easy!
Street food vendors in India deep fry their pakoras in oil. This is probably how your local takeaway does it, too. But it’s not your only option. If you want to use less oil, try shallow frying, flipping your pakora over once it’s golden brown underneath. You can also air fry, or even bake in the oven.