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Crispy Cabbage Pakoras

In Chutneys, Dips and Spreads, Maharashtrian, on the side, Tea Party, Under 30 min!, Vegetables on December 31, 2006 at 2:14 pm

Cabbage Pakoras

Everyone likes fried food. And all of us have our variations of batter-fried vegetables. Sometimes, even fruit. Sometime back, Melissa wrote in praise of pakoras on her blog. And I have been wanting to blog about these pakoras since.

I am not sure how many of you have made cabbage pakoras but these are amongst my favourite, second only to pyaaz bhajjies (onion pakoras).

Spicy Onion Rings at the K State Union cafeteria would hit the spot whenever I was homesick for pakoras, and definitely not in the mood for a sugar-kick. I have a very sweet tooth, but it was salt I really missed as a Grad student in the US. Giant muffins, mammoth cookies everywhere, but only fries to satiate the salt cravings. Like most Indians, I prefer a spicy savory snack with the mid-morning or evening cuppa. The sweet may follow; but first, the salt and the spice. It is to this hall of fame that the now well-known samosa also belongs.

Growing up, I never had cabbage in a pakora. My mum was quite innovative with the vegetables she batter fried – eggplant, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach leaves, in additional to the usual suspects – potatoes and onions. And then one day I saw my MIL shred some cabbage leaves, throw them into the spiced besan batter along with a spoonful of sesame seeds and some left-over rice as well, to make the most delicious of pakoras. These would invariably accompany an elaborate traditional meal showcasing pooran-poli, the delicious stuffed sweet rotis, that are a Maharashtrian delicacy.

I continue the tradition and always make these pakoras whenever I serve pooran-poli. For these occasions, naturally, the left-over rice is omitted. Food for festive occasions is always made only with fresh ingredients.

These pakoras stay surprisingly crisp even after they cool. I think it is the soda-bi-carb and the hot oil added to the batter that has something to do with this. Probably, also the reason these absorb more oil than the regular pakoras. But if you are having pooran-poli smothered with ghee, where is the point in worrying about a few more teaspoons of oil!

Besides, it’s Holiday season. If you are still searching for the perfect finger-food to take to the party tonight, this is your answer. Quick to make with ingredients you already have in the pantry.

BTW, there is no point to New Year resolutions till after Jan 2 (if there is any point to them at all!), so make these tonight or, at the very latest, tomorrow!

Cabbage Pakoras

Cabbage Pakoras with Coconut Chutney

2 C cabbage, shredded
1-2 green chillies, chopped fine
1 T sesame seeds (optional)
1 C left-over steamed rice, grains separated (optional)
½ t turmeric
½ t cayenne (red chilli) powder
1 ½ C (or so) besan (chickpea flour)
a pinch of baking soda
vegetable oil for frying

bhaji ingredients

Using a little water make a thick batter with the besan, salt and the spices. Mix well to remove lumps. Add the sesame seeds, left-over rice, if using, the green chillies and the shredded cabbage. Heat oil in a karahi or wok. The oil should be very hot for frying pakoras. Test with a drop of batter; it should sizzle. Add the pinch of baking soda and a teaspoon of hot oil from the karahi to the batter and mix well. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and fry till golden all around. Serve hot with ketchup, or accompanied by the traditional Maharashtrian coconut chutney.

Coconut-Coriander Chutney

2 C grated fresh coconut
a bunch of coriander, chopped
5 hot, green chillies
2 T of sour (unripe) mango flesh (I preserve mine layered with salt for year-round use)
salt (if not using mangoes preserved as above)

Grind everything in the jar of your grinder with a half-cup of water and serve with the above pakoras. This is also the best accompaniment for batata wadas.

  1. Hi,
    Your ingredients of Cabbage Pakoras is really healthy, consisting of herbs, chillies and pure vegetables.
    But please allow me to make a liitle comment. Once you deep fry the food, all the vitamins, minerals of the vegetables will be lost and will be of no value to our human body when eaten except the herbs and chillies. I suggest you steam it with a closed lid on top. This way, you will lower the loss of the important minerals and vitamins of the cabbage during the cooking process. Cabbage is suppose to be eaten raw.


    Well…you can steam ‘koftas’, as I do…but pakoras cannot be steamed! Just like you cannot have steamed tempura. Or steamed pooris. And whoever ate pakoras thinking they were health food! 🙂 Indulge in this one just for the taste.

  2. Wishing peace, health, and happiness in 2007 and always. Happy New year to you and your family !

  3. Wow ! these look fantastic ! have never tried cabbage pakodas with leftover pakodas.

    New year wishes to you and your family

  4. Your right,we all love pakoras inspite of knowing that it ain’t that good for our health!I dont feel guilty if i indulge in it once in a while!I loved the recipe…this sure is going to make the bland cabbage taste yum!Im bookmarking it

  5. Hi ,
    this is very good idea to make pakora this way !
    i really like it, picture also looks so nice !
    perfect for this winter season!

    May This New Year Bring Good Health, Happiness And Prosperity To You And Your near and Dear ones.


  6. Sometimes I think you have a window into my fridge – how did you know I had chilis, cabbage and leftover rice? Can’t wait to try these out. Happy new year, Anita!
    Hmmm…third eye?…I did write ‘ingredients you already have in your pantry’/fridge!! Do try – I would love to have you try something I have blogged about.


  8. Very crispy indeed Annita! Happy New Year!:)

  9. You are a killer 🙂 starting the new year with PAKODA…marvaogi kya?? Anyway, it is super duper to feed the not-so-calorie-conscious guests- will remember this one!
    N: Just sometimes, yaar!

  10. Hi Anita,
    This is my first comment on your blog. The pakodas look super delicious! Resolution or not, I am going to give this one a try (maybe a resolution to splurge on pakodas is acceptable too…?!) 🙂
    I’ve made cabbage pakodas mixed with onions or just by itself but adding left over rice is new – have to try it! Thanks for sharing.
    – Roopa
    Hi, Roopa. Welcome and a Happy New Year. You are absolutely right: splurge on pakoras we must (Nandita, are you listening – just once in a while!) 🙂

  11. Priya, Krithika, Sumitha, Pooja, Jaya, Asha: Thanks for your wishes, and a very Happy New Year to all of you (if I haven’t already expressed my greetings on your respective blogs)
    PS: I spell my name conventionally: with a single ‘n’!

  12. They look wonderful. I made pyaaz bhajji on Saturday, but all the while I have been craving these. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I bought cabbage today, and I will be making them later in the week.

  13. This ia a Marathi bhajji 🙂 Aren’t the delish!

    I learnt this one from Golden Girl’s Aayi, who makes it all the time :).

    Baingan, gobhi, methi and palak ke pakode-what time do i show up Anita :).

    I think the time has come…to plan a partay!

  14. I tried this and loved it..its a yummy way of making my fussy hubby eat his veggies! Thanks a ton!

    You are very welcome, Supriya. These pakoras make a simple meal of dal chaval special!

  15. […] of my salted mango preserve ends up in chutney such as this coriander-coconut chutney. Here is the recipe for another favourite chutney that is the perfect dip for pakoras and […]

  16. […] meal!  While the potato bhaji, is optional (but it pairs rather well), as is the mango pickle, this coconut chutney, the wedge of lime, and the spoonful of ghee are essential.  Take a small portion of rice; make a […]

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