Bread Pakoras or Bread Fritters; what is the connection one may wonder. Bread is a European discovery and as far as I know, there have not been any fritters or pakoras made with bread there! But believe me, Bread Pakoda is unequivocally the best desi snack that goes well with your chai tea. Bread Pakoras are great as an appetiser, finger food and can be had at any time, breakfast, tea-time snack or finger food at dinner time.
Plain bread pakoras are fritters in which bread is dunked in a gram flour batter which is very easy to prepare. It is a quick and easy recipe that can be made in a jiffy. Bread pakoras can be prepared with very few ingredients which are already there in your pantry.
It is a popular street food in North India but down South, I have always seen my mom making them at home and sometimes a whole loaf of bread would be consumed by us. Mom used to add a little, crushed garlic to the batter and this added an added punch to the flavour of the pakoras.
Plain bread pakoras are rarely seen these days. Bread pakoras with fillings are the flavour these days. They can be prepared with any kind of filling; such as potatoes, paneer or cottage cheese or even ribbon sandwiches smeared with mint chutney and tomato ketchup. You can enjoy these drool-worthy fritters, smoking hot with mint or tamarind chutney that is totally desi or Indian but I Iike it with a slightly hot and spicy ketchup. I prefer the plain bread fritters as they are lighter and easy on the calorie meter.
Pakoras in India are made with any available vegetable like onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, plantain, Paneer, cauliflower, tomato, or green chilli too. The English left the country in 1947 but left behind a legacy of English speaking and baking bread. Since then, bread is being dipped in batter and deep-fried.
When the rain is falling and drenching the earth, fry some bread pakoras with your cup of chai tea and feel your mood perfectly in sync with the lovely weather. These pakoras are crispy on the outside and spongy inside.
Recipe for Bread Pakoras or Bread Fritters
6 bread slices
1 cup besan or gram flour
½ teaspoon Ajwain or carom seeds
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 tbsp cilantro chopped
Water for batter
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
For the batter
In a mixing bowl, take all the dry ingredients – Sift the besan or gram flour, ajwain, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, cilantro, salt, crushed garlic.( Ajwain is very good for digestion and nullifies the adverse effects of the gram flour)
Add water and with a whisk make a thick and smooth batter.
Heat oil in a pan or wok.
You can use sandwich bread, whole wheat or even multigrain bread. The choice is yours. Slice the bread slices in rectangles, triangles or any shape of your choice.
Try to use bread that is not very fresh because fresh bread is very soft and will disintegrate when dipped in the batter.
Dip each slice in the batter and see that it is evenly coated.
Gently lower it in the hot oil for frying. You can add as many bread pieces as can fit in your pan.
Fry the bread pakoras in medium hot oil and flip them a couple of times until they are crisp and golden.
Remove with a perforated spoon onto paper towels to drain as much oil as possible.
Serve these bread pakoras hot with tomato ketchup or mint chutney or sweet Tamarind chutney.
I like to enjoy my plate full of Bread pakoras or Bread fritters while sitting in the garden with a book or newspaper and my mint and ginger tea.