Crispy Kale Pakoras

Crispy Kale Pakoras

I’ve never had pakoras made with kale in India. But I love kale and I love pakoras so I added torn up curly kale to my normal onion pakora recipe. Don’t be surprised if the kale doesn’t get completely coated with batter. The batter should cling to the leaves in patches, that way the fritters stay light. Serve with a green cilantro chutney or a sweet and sour tamarind chutney, or even ketchup!

Prep time 30 minutes
Serves 4

1 cup chickpea flour*
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp cumin seed (optional)
½ tsp granulated salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced fresh green chili (serrano, Jalapeno, or Thai)
2/3-3/4 cup water
1 cup onion chopped medium*
2 cups torn curly kale leaves (okay if stems are attached) approx. 2” x 2”*
neutral vegetable oil for deep frying (sunflower, safflower, corn, canola)

  • Combine all the ingredients to make the batter, adding just enough water to make a thick but pourable batter that thickly coats a spoon.
  • Stir in the onion and the kale and mix well so the batter gets in the nooks and crannies of the kale. Don’t worry if it seems clumpy. There should be just enough batter to loosely bind the vegetables together.
  • Heat 1 1/2” oil in a 2- or 3-quart saucepan to 350.
  • Using a soup spoon or tablespoon gently push spoonfuls of batter into the oil without splashing.
  • Fry 6-8 at a time. They may break apart but don’t worry about it, the little bits are delicious too.
  • Gently turn after about a minute. Fry another minute or so until the fritters begin to turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels while you fry the rest.

These are best served immediately, with your favorite chutney. Or keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

* You can buy curly kale already torn and bagged at the grocery store which makes this recipe a snap.

* I like to keep the onion chunky because it makes for a big sweet bite when it’s fried.

* Chickpea flour is called ‘besan’ in Indian grocery stores.