Indian Chicken Pakora + Green Chutney and Raita
Easy Chicken Pakora Recipe served with Indian Green Chutney and Raita Yogurt Sauce. A simple (and gluten-free) Chicken Nuggets Recipe with exotic flavor!
Pakora… An Indian Chicken Nuggets Recipe?
India a diverse country with a wide array of culinary traditions. Each region has it’s own distinct cooking style, along with a collection of recipes… Many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
Some of the most unique recipes in India are made on the streets. From puffed grain salads to savory bubbly pastries, you can find all sorts of exciting foods to try along the busy roads and in open-air markets.
Pakora is a snack food found all over India, as well as in other parts of Asia. When most westerners see Chicken Pakora for the first time, they immediately think of fried chicken nuggets.
Chicken Pakora is very popular indeed, and does resemble chicken nuggets, because it consists of chicken pieces dunked in breading and then deep-fried.
However, a good Chicken Pakora Recipe offers a dynamic flavor laced with spices, and is most often served with Green Chutney and/or Raita yogurt sauce for dipping.
It should also be stated that Pakora does not always include chicken. In fact, most Pakora found on the streets of India is made with vegetables, so it is more like fried vegetable fritters (or veggie tempura) than nuggets.
Easy Chicken Pakora for Home Cooks
Although there are many intricate Pakora recipes online, that include hard-to-find ingredients, at least here in the United States, today I’m sharing my simplified home-cook version.
Let me be clear… There are still quite a few ingredients in this recipe, and it does involve deep frying and making two sauces. I do not want to mislead you.
However, this process is still much easier than traditional Indian Pakora Recipes, without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Also, most of the ingredients (like the spices) are pantry staples that you probably have on hand, if you cook on a regular basis.
I think you will find our Easy Indian Chicken Pakora with Green Chutney and Raita is fun and satisfying to make, and even better to eat!
The chicken pieces are ultra-crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with exotic flavor.
The two sauces offer both the option to brighten the Pakora with spicy-herb Green Chutney, and cool it down with Raita yogurt sauce.
Who Should Make This Chicken Pakora Recipe?
If you have eaten Chicken Pakora at your favorite Indian restaurant, and never thought it would be possible to make it at home…
If you are eager to try something new in the kitchen, that everyone will go crazy over…
Or if you love fried chicken (or chicken nuggets) and want to spice things up a bit…
This is the recipe for you!
Our Chicken Pakora Recipe takes very little prep time and very little skill to make.
You simply need:
- A large pot for frying
- A cooking thermometer
- A blender to puree both sauces
- A decent spice rack
- And an adventurous spirit to make something exciting!
Hard To Find Ingredients?
As mentioned, you will probably have most of the spices in your pantry. And most of the other ingredients are easily found at the grocery store.
The only items that could potentially be considered hard-to-find are:
- Ground Kashmiri Chile
- Garam Masala
- Chickpea Flour
All three of these ingredients can be found online. (Links in the recipe below.) However, if you have a grocery chain in your town with a good international section, you should be able to find them.
Kashmiri Chile is added to color and spice the batter. If you cannot find it, you can use a mixture of paprika and cayenne pepper.
Garam Masala is a common Indian spice blend, that should be in the spice aisle at your local market. However, you can also make your own Garam Masala at home!
Chickpea Flour (or Garbanzo Bean Flour) would most likely be found with the other wheat flour alternatives in the baking section. Also, look for Gram Flour or Besan Flour. They are all made from a similar type of legume.
Gluten-Free Pakora Recipe?
Why yes, this recipe IS Gluten Free!
Because we are using only Chickpea Flour, these chicken nuggets are completely safe for those with a gluten intolerance.
Leftovers and Freezing
Any type of fried chicken always tastes best when eaten fresh. However, this Chicken Pakora holds up remarkably well in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Rewarm it in the oven to re-crisp the breading.
You can freeze the leftovers after cooking. Place them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to serve. Thaw the Chicken Pakora and then reheat in a 350 degree oven for 8-12 minutes.
The Dipping Sauces: Green Chutney and Raita Recipe
You do not have to make these dipping sauces to enjoy the Chicken Pakora Recipe.
However, they are very easy to whip up in the blender and add a LOT to the overall experience and flavor.
If you plan to make just one sauce, I would personally go with the Green Chutney. The vibrant flavor of pureed cilantro, mint, ginger, and lemon really lift the heavy spice essence of the Pakora breading.
Just be sure to watch the spice levels… My family loves both the Chicken Pakora and the Green Chutney with lots of spicy-heat. Yet you can reduce the heat in one or both of these recipes.
More Indian-Inspired Recipes
- Perfect Indian Butter Chicken
- Easy Madras Chicken Curry
- Authentic Chai (Tea)
- Crockpot Chickpea Curry
- Creamy Saag Paneer
- Yakhni Pulao (Meat and Rice Dish)
- Easy Naan Recipe
- See ALL our Indian Recipes!
Indian Chicken Pakora + Green Chutney and Raita
For the Chicken Pakora
- 1.25 pounds chicken breast (cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground kashmiri chile (or 1 tsp paprika + 1/2 tsp cayenne)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup chickpea flour (gram or besan flour)
- oil for frying (I like peanut oil for this recipe.)
For the Raita Sauce
For the Green Chutney
- 1 large bunch cilantro (stems and leaves)
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons plain greek-style yogurt
- 1/2 – 1 whole serrano pepper, stem removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Marinate the Chicken Pakora: Set out a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken pieces, salt, all spices, egg whites, lemon juice, and cilantro. Mix well to coat and set aside for at least 10 minutes. (If you are sensitive to spice, use only 1/2 – 1 teaspoon kashmiri chile.)
- Meanwhile, set a large saucepot over medium heat. Add a cooking thermometer to the side of the pot. Then pour in 1 1/2 – 2 inches of high-heat cooking oil. Wait until the temperature rises to 350-360 degrees F.
- Make the dipping sauces: Set out a blender. Starting with the Raita, place all the ingredients in the blender. (Start with 1 tablespoon of sugar, then add more if needed.) Cover and puree until smooth. Pour the Raita in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Next, add all the Green Chutney ingredients to the blender. (No need to wash the blender jar in between.) Add the entire bunch of cilantro, stems and all. If you are sensitive to spice, use only half of the serrano pepper and remove the seeds. Pour in 1/4 cup water. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour the green chutney into a bowl and set aside.
- Prep the Chicken for Frying: When the oil is close to 350-360 degrees F, use a spoon to mix the chickpea flour into the chicken and marinade. Mix well. Then mix in 1/4 – 1/3 cup water to loosen the batter. Be careful not to add too much water. It should be thick and pasty, so it sticks to the chicken well.
- Fry The Chicken: Set out a holding plate lined with paper towels. Working in 3-4 small batches, carefully drop the coated chicken pieces in the hot oil, one at a time. Use a spider skimmer to immediately flip each piece over so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Once you have at least a quarter of the chicken in the pot, fry the chicken pakora for 3-4 minutes until it reaches a rich golden-brown color. Use the skimmer to move the chicken pakora to the holding plate. Then repeat with the remaining batches.
- Serve warm with both dipping sauces on the side.
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