Bread pakoras, paneer pakoras, aloo pakoras and onion pakoras... so many varieties of this fried snack, but they are all so tasty! Many of us enjoy pakoras with our evening tea, especially in colder weather. Even when it is warm, pakoras bring comfort because they are deliciously deep-fried. But one thing that can immediately put us off this snack is when they turn out to be too oily. Sure, some of us may use tissue paper to remove the excess oil. But it doesn't change the fact that pakoras that are too oily taste heavy and greasy in the mouth. So how can you ensure that your pakoras are fried to a crisp golden colour without absorbing too much oil? Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid:
(Also Read: 5 Genius Hacks To Remove Excess Oil From Food)
5 Reasons Why Your Pakoras Are Too Oily + Easy Solutions
1. Mistake: Your oil is not hot enough
Solution: Only fry on medium heat
If you want perfectly crispy and non-greasy pakoras, you have to pay attention to the temperature of the oil. If you start frying your pakoras when the oil has not heated enough, you will notice them absorbing more as they cook. Take care not to deep fry on high flame either: if you heat your oil excessively, it may oxidise and/or lead to burnt pakoras.
2. Mistake: Your batter is too dense
Solution: Whisk it lightly
Most pakoras derive their delicious flavour from the spice besan batter that forms the coating. If this batter is too thick, it can contribute to oil absorption. A great way to lighten the consistency of the batter is to use a simple whisk to mix it. This will lead to the formation of small bubbles. You may also choose to add a little bit of baking soda. This kind of airy batter will form a thinner coating around the bread or vegetables, thus reducing the possibility of extra oiliness.
3. Mistake: Your batter is too runny
Solution: Add more besan as required, along with a few drops of oil
Most people use water to bind the ingredients of the pakora batter together. But be careful that you do not add too much, or your pakora coating won't stay intact while frying. Thicken your batter by adding more besan. A handy tip is also to add 2-3 drops of oil into the batter itself to prevent excess oil absorption later. Some experts also suggest adding a pinch of salt to the oil in the kadhai before frying the pakoras.
4. Mistake: You are using the wrong vessel for frying
Solution: Only use a clean, thick-bottomed kadhai
Clean your kadhai out thoroughly before you start frying. Any leftover grease or food particles can lead to excess oil absorption in your pakoras. Make sure that the vessel you use for deep frying has a thick bottom, as this is necessary for keeping the temperature of the oil constant. As mentioned earlier, changes in the oil temperature can be disastrous.
(Also Read: How To Clean Cooking Oil After Frying - 5 Easy Tips)
5. Mistake: You don't have enough oil
Solution: Shallow fry the pakoras
If you find yourself running out of oil for deep-frying, you might be tempted to put all the pakoras into the kadhai at once! This is a bad idea, as the pakoras might stick to each other and their coating may come off. This will lead to the bread/ vegetable filling soaking up more oil. So what should you do instead? The answer is simple: shallow fry your pakoras in a tawa. Yes, that is possible! In fact, they require so little oil that you can also call them "oil-free pakoras."
Although their taste and texture differ slightly, these shallow-fried pakoras do taste almost as good as deep-fried ones. All you need to do is grease a non-stick tawa with very little oil first. Coat one side of your bread slices in a runny batter and place it on the tawa on low flame. Once it has turned golden brown, flip the slice and spoon more batter onto the other side. Click here for the step-by-step guide to oil-free bread pakoras.
Of course, if you're still worried about oily pakoras, you can opt for cooking them in an air fryer or baking them in the oven. Those pakoras will turn out to be unique in their own way. But if you want to stick to the traditional way of deep frying, do keep the above tips in mind!