Pakoda for a Spring Snowday

frying pakodas on a late-winter evening

If you have kids, you know what a ‘snowday’ is –more than just a storm —
it means no school! I think of this month as the start of spring, but here in
New England a blizzard in May is not unheard of. We are used to seeing
March come in like a lion and that’s what it did Sunday night.
About 18 inches fell between midnight and 6 am.

School was cancelled yesterday, and though I had to work,
I could go late and in casual dress — so a bit of a holiday for m and me.
I spent the early morning watching the birds — juncos, goldfinches and their irruptive cousins the pine siskins, along with a solitary song sparrow and a lone carolina wren.

These and the merry band of chickadees and their usual cohorts, tufted titmouse, nuthatches and downy woodpeckers, made for a cheery morning amidst the blowing white.

Then thanks to ISG, I got the idea to make some pakodas last night.
A snowday late in winter inspires such cravings… I could afford to indulge in a little crispy goodness. Of all the veggies I have fried (admittedly not too many) my favorite is bell pepper. The flavors of bell pepper and besan seem to have a special affinity. I had a red bell pepper and that came out delicious.
Still I think my fav is the green.

Other than the peppers, I thought of Sailu’s yummy ulli pakodi, but after a lazy weekend with little shopping, discovered I didn’t have one fresh onion in the house! I’ve been trying to get the veggie drawer cleared out, so I made use of a few different things I had on hand — sans onions.

crunchy dried jackfruit chips

they taste delicious reconstituted too ~ especially in sambhar!

This is not exactly a recipe, as I didn’t really follow any one.
It’s more a little tale of my learning experience.
I am no expert in fritters! The pepper pakoda came out best.
Perhaps someone has a better way to fry greens (fry greens!??)!

Please do let me know! πŸ™‚


Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Pakoda

1 c dried jackfruit chips, soaked in boiling water for 30 min, and drained well

2 c mixed spinach, baby greens and mushrooms, chopped

2 big green chilies, chopped fine

Red Bell Pepper Pakoda

1 red bell pepper, seeded, scored on the outside, and cut into small pieces.
Wash well and drain on paper towels.


For the jackfruit and greens, I mixed mostly rice flour and just a little besan.
I got the idea to go heavier on rice flour from Mandira’s crispy beguni recipe.
I mixed it according to Sailu’s recipe with green chiles but skipped curry leaves; and seasoned all to taste with salt. Added some melted ghee and a few drops of water. The first batch fell apart and I had a tasty, albeit messy plate of fried individual leaves. I sprinkled a little more flour and a few more drops water — this time mashed it all together with a fork until it would hold together (the reconstituted jackfruit will mash a bit like potato). This second batch was better, and the rice flour definitely made it crunchier!

For the red bell pepper, I mixed 1/4 c besan with 1/2 c rice flour, then following Mandira’s instructions, added poppy seeds, salt and seasoning. Then just enough water with this to make a medium batter. The scoring helped the batter adhere to the peppers.

I took a photo, then I decided to add some Rajwadi Garam Masala to the ketchup — a very happy discovery! I am shamelessly addicted to this particular store-bought masala. It releases a deep, mellow aroma when you cook it; in this instance it made a delightfully spicy and flavorful dip for the deep-fried goodies.

spiced-up ketch-up!

So there you have it ISG, thanks for the inspiration! And thanks Mandira and Sailu for sharing your tips and recipes. Come right over next time it snows πŸ™‚

kitchen-sink and red bell pepper pakoda in EAPG ~
Michigan pattern by US Glass, circa 1902


  1. Asha said

    My kids didn’t have 2 days of school here. Yesterday’s snow turned to ice today, so one more day of leisure. Guesse when they will make up. All teachers work day and end of the year which is not good! πŸ˜€

    We do make Capsicum (green ones) bajjis usually, colorful bell peppers would be great too. You can dip those JF chipe too. Greens fried? remember my Spinach pakodas 2 Dowalis ago! πŸ˜€

    And also, Punjabis dip a whole big leaf of Spinach in to batter, fry and sprinkle Chaat masala on it to serve. Yummy! πŸ™‚

    From tomorrow, temp is going up, Saturday it’s going to be 75F. YAY!

    I *do* remember and thought of your spinach pakodas, Asha, when I was making this. Sometimes I don’t bother with writing/reading a recipe — I don’t have a laptop so I have to either copy down or go from memory. I made your spinach pakodas too once, I am sure πŸ˜‰

    Hope you have warmer weather coming your way — all this light snow is not going anywhere yet — still COLD! πŸ™‚

  2. indosungod said

    I did not follow through Linda. Those pakodas look great. I made spicy pori this afternoon. I needed some guilt free munchies. Not that I am pointing fingers here πŸ˜‰ I have never tried spinach pakodas but those fall apart pakodas are great too aren’t they?

    oh and the dip is a real find.

    Thanks, and glad you agree ISG — truly the dip was the best find of the day! Fallapart pakodas still tasted good. Still I am only inviting you for bell pepper πŸ˜‰

  3. Sailaja said

    You rock, Linda! Spied up ketchup, I wouldn’t have thought of that. πŸ™‚

    Hey hey Sailu, long time no see! Loved your crispy pakoda inspiration! I think you’d love the goda masala in ketchup πŸ™‚

  4. Happy Cook said

    You know i am homesick seeing that pack of jackfruit chips it reminds me of my mom when she always used to make these chips in heaps when it was jackfruit season ( ofcourse in kerala they are fired in coconut oil).
    Hi hi you are like my daughter March 1st she wrote on her board it is almost spring and i was like there is still 20 days to go for spring to be here and she was saying mom be optimistic…………….
    Delicious pakodas a wonderdul snack on a snowy day.

    That’s me, HC, full of springtime optimism! πŸ˜‰ March *is* spring! Jackfruit chips are one of my fav snacks ever since I discovered them πŸ™‚

  5. Sra said

    Linda, you’re incorrigible! πŸ˜€ Your love for sambar combined with jackfruit – who’d have thunk? (I must have forgotten/not seen your post.) But on calmer reflection πŸ˜€ I don’t find it so odd – the tang in jackfruit comes out stronger in chips than fresh, and of course, they’re not as pungent dry – that’s the wrong word, I know, but you know what I mean.

    I do know what you mean and pungent is a good word! It never occured to me that these might be dried *ripe* jackfruit! Because they are not pungent, I thought it was raw. A good mystery, now! And yes, I like being incorrigible — it’s fun πŸ˜‰

  6. sandeepa said

    You sure made good use of the snow day πŸ™‚ Now I want some pakori’s

    Come right over with ISG, Sandeepa πŸ™‚

  7. Aparna said

    I never thought of jackfruit chips in sambhar, but then why not? I have had sambhar made with fresh ripe jackfruit pieces, and the sweet of the fruit complements the spiciness of sambhar.
    Though we love our chips just as they are. My daughter’s favourites and its soon going to be the season for this fruit. Looking forward to going back home for the summer. πŸ˜€
    For pakoras with greens, chop up the greens well. Try using more of the besan and a little less of the rice flour (about 1/2 and 1/2). The besan does keep the batter together. And use very little water so you have rather thick mixture rather than a batter. It will hold well.

    Thanks for the pakora tips, Aparna — I’ll remember! I have made Asha’s spinach pakoras but this was a little different. I will also try ripe jackfruit in sambhar — I bet that is fantastic!! Won’t be long ’till summer, now πŸ™‚

  8. Usha said

    The pakodas look perfect and yum ! I cannot think of a better way to enjoy a snow day. Loved the idea of spiced up ketchup, I am definitely going to try that from now on !

    Thanks for visiting Usha, and for your kind comment — if you try spicy ketchup I hope you enjoy! πŸ™‚

  9. tbc said

    Hi Linda,
    How have you been? It’s been a while since I visited…
    You’ve been busy cooking from others’ blogs, I see. πŸ™‚
    The pakodas look wonderful. I’ve never made bell pepper pakodas… I usually go for the ones with onion or raw banana.
    The spiced up ketchup sounds like a great idea. If you like spicy sauces/dips, I’d higly recommend this (if you don’t already know about it). You can get it at your local Indian store.

    I like your EBTKS pakodas too. πŸ˜€

    Hello there, TBC! Happy to see you πŸ™‚ Pepper pakodas are my very favorite — something about that combination of besan and pepper just hits the right chord. I haven’t tried raw banana!

    Thanks for the tip about maggi sauce — there are SO many varieties of this at the local Indian grocery; I haven’t tried one yet but next time I go…

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