• Vegetable oil, to deep fry
  • 1 large potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 cm-thick slices
  • 150g cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 100g eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
  • 1 onion, cut into 1cm rings
  • 100g English spinach, leaves picked
  • Coriander chutney, to serve

Besan Batter

  • 200g besan (chickpea) flour
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp carom seeds (from specialty grocers, optional)
  • 1 tsp ground chili
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3cm piece (15g) ginger, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated


  1. Place vegetable oil in a large, wide saucepan, karahi, or wok and heat to 180°C-190°C.
  2. For the besan batter, whisk all the dry ingredients together with 1 tsp salt flakes. Add ginger and garlic, whisk, and set aside. Whisk most of the water into the mixture until smooth, then add the remainder. The thicker the batter, the thicker the coating.
  3. In batches, dip vegetable pieces, working with one type at a time, into the batter, allowing the excess to drip off.
  4. Gently place in the oil (making sure not to crowd your pan or they won’t be crisp) and fry for 3-5 minutes, turning a few times, until golden on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, shaking off excess oil, and place straight on a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. As the vegetables are cooking, add the ice cube to the batter to keep it cold. Repeat with remaining vegetables and batter.
  6. Serve pakoras hot with coriander chutney.