Are you searching for a healthy, vegan, oil-free side dish? I've got you covered. This easy baked vegetable pakora recipe even has hidden broccoli and is gluten-free!
7 ingredients and minimal prep make nutritious vegetable pakoras a delicious snack, a quick vegan breakfast, and the perfect side dish for curry recipes or other Indian cuisine.
This delicious pakora recipe has inspired other recipes using chickpea flour, including Indian potato cakes, vegan spinach mini quiches, and sweet potato chickpea burgers, made all the better using gluten-free, high-protein chickpea flour.
Table of Contents
Why You'll Love This Recipe
✔ Vegan pakoras don't need to be fried in oil to be delicious - baking is mess-free with easy cleanup.
✔ Delicious warm or at room temperature.
✔ Versatile and a healthy alternative to 'hide the veggies.'
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
Chickpea flour. Also known as gram flour or Besan, chickpea flour is simply ground chickpeas.
Onions. Slicing the onions into half moons gives the pakoras extra texture and helps hold them together. Use red or yellow onions.
Chili. Red chili or jalapenos work well. You can also use a pinch of cayenne pepper or red chili powder. Black pepper powder will add warmth without being too spicy.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
- Change this pakora recipe with different types of vegetables. Make onion pakoras (onion pakodas) by adding more onions and no broccoli. Or, if you fancy a cauliflower pakora, use small florets.
- To make palak pakora (spinach pakora), use fresh chopped spinach or thawed and dried frozen spinach.
- Make a spiced batter to compliment the veggies you use. I used a combination of cumin and turmeric, but you can try a pinch of garam masala, curry powder, garlic powder, or another combination of Indian spices.
- Fresh herbs, like parsley, cilantro, or chopped fresh mint leaves, make a difference. It's a great way to use leftover herbs from the crisper.
- Get creative. You can make any version of pakoras you like with this easy baked pakora recipe.
Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add water and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
Step 2: Stir in the red onions, broccoli, and chili.
Step 3: Spoon the batter in 6 equal portions onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Step 4: Place the pakoras in a preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Preheat the oven before scooping the batter onto the baking tray. This keeps the pakoras from spreading out to thin pancakes as they bake.
Add enough water to make a thick pakora batter. If you add too much water, let the batter sit for a few minutes.
Chickpea flour batter gets thicker as it sits in the bowl. If it is still too thin, add more chickpea flour. Do this before adding the vegetables; otherwise, you may end up with lumpy batter.
Test the batter by scooping out a spoonful onto a plate. If it doesn't hold its shape, it is too thin.
Storage / Freezing / Reheating
Store leftover pakoras in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. You can also freeze them for 3 months. Let the pakoras cool to room temperature, then separate them with parchment paper so they don't stick together.
Reheat in a preheated oven at 350 F. Cover them with foil to prevent them from burning before the middle is hot. Reheating will take 15 minutes. If the pakoras are frozen, they will take about 20 – 25. Uncover them for the last 5 minutes to crisp them.
You can also reheat them in the microwave in about 20 seconds, although they will not crisp up as in the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pakoras are round, made with chickpea flour, and mixed with savory or sweet ingredients and spices. Samosas are triangular in shape. They are made with wheat dough and are usually filled with mashed potatoes as a primary ingredient.
To make an air fryer pakora, preheat the air fryer first. Size a piece of parchment paper to cover the bottom of the air fryer basket. Air fry at 350 F for about 15 minutes. Flip them after 9 minutes.
The best way to make chickpea flour is to grind dried chickpeas into a fine powder using a spice grinder, high-powered blender, or food processor. Sift the flour using a flour sifter or fine mesh strainer to sift out any hard, large pieces of dried chickpea.
Baking soda is an optional ingredient used to make pakoras and other baked goods airier and lighter in texture.
More Vegan Dipping Sauce Ideas
Do you have a question or recipe request or need a cooking tip? Leave a comment below or contact Denise. I’m here to help! If you want more healthy vegan recipes, please subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for the latest updates.
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Easy Baked Vegetable Pakora Recipe (Gluten-free)
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- 1 ½ cups chickpea flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 small red onion - cut in half and thinly sliced
- 1 medium red chili pepper - diced (remove the seeds if you want your pakoras less hot)
- ½ small broccoli head - 1 cup chopped into small floret pieces
- ¾ - 1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the dry ingredients (chickpea flour, salt, cumin, and turmeric) in a large bowl.
- Whisk in ½ a cup and then 1 tablespoon at-a-time until you have a batter slightly thicker than a pancake batter.
- Once the batter is smooth, carefully mix in the vegetables.
- Use a large spoon or small measuring cup to add 6 equal portions of batter onto the baking tray.
- Immediately add the pakoras to the oven. Bake them for 15 minutes or until they are firm and golden brown.
- Test the batter by scooping out a spoonful onto a plate. If it doesn't hold its shape, it is too thin.
- Chickpea flour batter gets thicker as it sits in the bowl. If it is still too thin, add more chickpea flour. Do this before adding the vegetables; otherwise, you may end up with lumpy batter.
- Store leftover pakoras in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. You can also freeze them for 3 months. Let the pakoras cool to room temperature, then separate them with parchment paper so they don't stick together.
- Reheat in a preheated oven at 350 F. Cover them with foil to prevent them from burning before the middle is hot. Reheating will take 15 minutes. If the pakoras are frozen, they will take about 20 – 25. Uncover them for the last 5 minutes to crisp them.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.