gluten-free crispy vegetable pakoras

Can you believe this amazing display of crispy goodness is gluten-free? It’s true. The flavorful batter starts off with chickpea flour. Add some bold spices. And water. That’s it. And it is soooooo good. 

Pakoras are a popular snack food in India. Vegetables are coated in a spicy batter and deep fried to make a fabulous appetizer. Some folks prefer to chop the veggies and blend them with the batter to form small “pancakes” or fritters. For this post, we’ll stick with coating cauliflower florets and small onion rings. But use your imagination here …the possibilities are endless. I think my next attempt may be button mushrooms and par-boiled green beans.

You shouldn’t have a problem finding the flour in your local store. I use Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour. Just be sure your label states either garbanzo bean flour or chickpea flour.

The recipe calls for crushed or minced garlic. You could actually use your grater to prepare the fresh garlic. Or substitute with a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

The batter should be somewhat thick so that it’ll adhere to the surface of each cut vegetable. If it seems to be too thick, you can always add a bit more water (a tablespoon at a time) until it reaches the right consistency. All of the prepared veggies are then added to the bowl. Give it a good stir to ensure that all is coated and heat up that oil. Pretty easy, right?

You’ll fry the vegetables in batches so that they aren’t too crowded in the pan. Keep a close watch on them. Depending on the size of each piece, they could be done in as little as 2 to 3 minutes.

When done, transfer the pakoras to a tray that’s been lined with paper towels. Continue with the remaining batches. These are at their best when enjoyed immediately. But keep this in mind …they are still amazing if you want to prepare them ahead of time, then reheat them when it’s time to share. Just spread them out in a single layer on one or two baking sheets and place them in a 325°F oven (uncovered) for just a few minutes.

Dipping sauce is optional. We love this prepared sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm called Onion Blossom Horseradish Dip served with this dish. A perfect pairing.

gluten-free crispy vegetable pakoras

Adapted from AllRecipes

Quick deep-fried snacks made with a chickpea flour batter paired with any vegetable.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 to 10 servings
Author Rosemary Stelmach


  • 1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour (130 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 cups fresh cauliflower florets (about 14 ounces)
  • 2 to 3 small onions, sliced into rings (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add flour, salt, chili powder, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, and garlic. Stir to blend well. Make a well in the center of the mixture and gradually pour the water into it, blending as you go. Once a thick, smooth batter forms, add the cauliflower florets and onion rings. Gently stir until all surfaces are coated, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if needed.

  2. Pour the vegetable oil into a large, heavy skillet. Heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 375°F.

  3. Fry in batches until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

gluten-free crispy vegetable pakoras

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