Thursday, November 12, 2020

Cauliflower Pakora / Cauliflower Bajji #ImprovCooking

Pakora and bajji are great deep-fried snacks when the weather turns cold or rainy. With a cup of coffee or tea, it would take you to paradise and makes one forget the biting cold outside. Basically, veggies are dipped in chickpea flour batter and deep-fried. These are gluten-free too. These are called Bajji is south Indian cuisine and Pakora in north Indian cuisine. The pepper ones can be stuffed too. Check out here for the Rajasthani style mirchi vada. The south Indian pakodas are slightly different crispy deep-fried snacks. For the past three days, with the dip in the temperature, the heart, as well as tummy, wants some deep-fried comfort snack. With everyone at home because of the pandemic, it's easy to enjoy the snack and have a good quality time. Cauliflower pakora/bajji is one of the favorites of this kind for me and my son.  

This post was written for the #ImprovCookingChallenge. The ingredients for November 2020 are cauliflower and paprika. With these two versatile ingredients, there are numerous possibilities to cook and enjoy. I chose to make pakoras to enjoy the weather. Paprika is mild and hence the pakoras are not very spicy hot. But it gives a lovely flavor. Add extra hot chili powder or chop some Thai peppers to jazz it up, if you want to. This is a fusion of north and south Indian styles. Carom seeds are added in the northern style. I added rice flour to give a crispy texture on the outside just like the southern style. Also, added some fresh cilantro and mint to elevate the flavors. It made a difference in the flavor, as it was kind of a little mint-cilantro chutney mixed in the pakora itself. It takes less than 30 minutes to make this. All you need to make is mix the batter, chop the cauliflower, dip them in the batter, and deep fry them. The cauliflower florets should be medium-sized. If it's too large, then it will start steaming inside. If it's too small, the shape may not be there and it would be a cluster in the batter. The medium-sized florets give nice and neat pakoras, kind of individual and detached pakoras.

The #ImprovCookingChallenge is a monthly blogging event where two ingredients are assigned to a month. Bloggers can make any recipe they like as long as it features the two ingredients. If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please visit our Facebook page. You can also read more about the event on our home page. If you’d like to see previous creations, check out our Pinterest board.

Chickpea flour/besan - 3/4 cup
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
Cauliflower florets - 2 cups, medium-sized
Carom/ajwain - 1/4 tsp
Cilantro - 3 or 4 tbsp, chopped
Mint - 3 or 4 tbsp, chopped
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Paprika - 2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 pinch, optional
Water -1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp
Oil to deep fry (1 to 1and 1/2 cups)

Take all the ingredients, except cauliflower and water in a bowl. Mix, add water, and make a smooth batter. Heat oil in a small pan. Add a tsp of hot oil to the batter and mix.

Dip the florets in the batter and drop them
one by one into the oil carefully. Fry till golden brown. Drain in a paper towel.
Serve immediately with coffee or chai (tea). They even taste good at room temperature too.
Here is a quick list and link to the November Improv Cooking Challenge entries for Cauliflower and Paprika
Bacon Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Casserole by Making Miracles
Spanish Cauliflower Tapas by Pandemonium Noshery
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Paprika Oil by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Roasted Cauliflower Paprikash by Palatable Pastime
Vegan and Gluten Free Tomato Cauliflower Rice by Snehas Recipe
Cauliflower Pakoras by Magical Ingredients (You are here!)

If you don't have chickpea flour, use all purpose flour to make but they are good hot hot. I make using all purpose flour too but consume immediately. They loose the crispiness after a while.


  1. I can always get my family to eat anything as long as it is deep fried with a dipping sauce. I can't wait to serve this up.

    1. Thanks! I know deep fried foods are always tasty and addictive.