Crispy Cauliflower Pakora Recipe

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Welcome to another round of eating some glistening fried food in this beautiful Indian monsoon season!

This time, we are carefully dipping tiny cauliflower florets that liken to mini trees into some putana batter.

Apparently, that's NOT a badword. It's actually chickpea flour that's been roasted before it was subjected to the milling process. It's called putana or putane and pronounced with a hard T. It's a pretty simple recipe.

Low on the spiciness, very flavorful, and of course, crunchy!

You could sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on a bed of these crispy pakodas. Serve it with some good ol' ginger chai or green tea (as I'm very health-consciously doing now - eye roll) with a spoon of mint chutney for the perfect monsoon snack! Don't forget to call the rain gods to join you!


  • 1 large Cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Bengal Gram Flour aka Putana Powder 
  • 1/2 cup Rice Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp of Dried Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kalonji aka Onion Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Water for the batter
  • 1 cup of Vegetable Oil
Recipe Details
1. Washing and cutting the cauliflower: Before you cut the cauliflower, immerse it fully in a large bowl of salt water to get rid of any tiny critters that might be hidden in the tree jungle of the cauliflower. Keep it soaked in the saltwater for about 15 minutes. Take it out of the water and place the cauliflower a sieve for some time to drain out the excess salt water. Cut the cauliflower into 2-inch florets and make sure to keep the stalk, so they look like little trees.

2. Now, in a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients; roasted chana powder aka putana flour, rice flour, red chili powder, turmeric powder, onion seeds, and the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (which isn't exactly dry).

3. Add some water little by little until the batter has a ribbon consistency. What does that mean? It means that when you let the batter fall from the spoon, it looks like a ribbon as it drops back into the bowl without breaking.

4. Place a wok on high flame and pour in a cup of vegetable oil to heat to almost a smoking temperature. It's important that the oil is super hot since the cauliflower not only needs to cook completely, it also is fried in the batter.

5. When the oil is ready, hold a floret by the stalk and lower it into the batter so that only the floret top is coated and the stalk is still batter-free.

6. Leave the flame on high as you drop one batter-coated floret at a time into the wok. Several florets can be fried in every round.

7. Allow it to fry for about a minute. Lower the flame to medium and turn the florets over with a skimmer spoon.

8. Keep stirring with the spoon and make sure to keep the florets from sticking with each other.

9. Fry until it's golden brown through and through, about 3 more minutes.

10. Take out the fried pakoras out of the wok and place them on a sieve lined with paper napkins under it to absorb any excess oil.

11. Yenjai...oohh hot hot!

Ray, out! Peace!