How To Make Gluten-Free, Vegan Pakoras - Chef Cynthia Louise
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Vegan Pakoras aka Flavour & Nourishment Bomb

There is something about fried food that makes me start salivating instantly. And if that’s Indian fried food, such as these Vegan Pakoras, then I know I’m in for a treat. Fried food has a bad rep, but in my kitchen where we get to EAT, there is no judgment around food. It’s fine to enjoy fried wholefood dishes from time to time, and that’s exactly what we are going to do with these crispy and glorious Pakoras. 

Bring India To Your Kitchen With Vegan Pakoras

Where to start? First you need to prepare the base for your pakoras, and for this recipe I chose tomatoes, brightly orange pumpkin, and a bit of chili for a spicy kick. Then I thought that these pakoras won’t be a nourishment bomb without some greens, so I added fresh coriander and spinach.

All of this needs to be held together, so I used besan or chickpea flour and a bit of water to make a thick batter. Chickpea flour is very yummy, earthy, and just amazing… Plus, it’s gluten-free, too! 

What do you think gives the final touch to these pakoras? Of course, spices! One of the big reasons why I LOVE Indian food is a subtle dance of spices and flavours I get to experience with Indian meals. To give these pakoras that WOW effect, I added curry powder, cumin powder, and nigella seeds. This combo won’t overpower and will enhance the natural flavours of veggies. 

The final step is to start with deep-frying (remember, no judgment). Your crispy and insanely delicious vegan pakoras pair very nicely with my Spicy Eggplant Jam, Tomato and Pineapple Chutney, or Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce


Chef’s pro tip: when frying your pakoras, make sure that they are flat rather than round in shape; otherwise, they will be well done on the edges but still raw in the middle. Another tip is to drop them really slowly into hot oil. When food gets “dumped” into hot oil, then it just sinks to the bottom and burns. You don’t want your pakoras to burn, right? You want them to be super crispy and yummy. For more cooking tips, check out my online cooking classes and let’s hang out in the kitchen and take your cooking to the next level together. 

Vegan Pakora Recipe!


  • 1 ½ cups Besan Flour
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 Tomato, quartered, deseeded and julienned
  • 2 cups Spinach Leaves
  • 1 cup Fresh Coriander, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup Fresh Coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 12 Nigella Seeds
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coconut Oil, for frying

  • Combine the flour and water to make a batter.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients and season well.
  • Heat some oil in a pot, pour in ¼ cup of the batter and fry until browned. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Drain and serve warm.


Serves: 2-4

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Freezing-friendly: No



Hope you’ll enjoy this Indian-style snack. 

I’ll be waiting for your comments! If this recipe turned you into a wholefood lover or you are already one, check out my YouTube channel and hit that subscribe button to get notifications every time I have new recipes to share with you!


With love, from my kitchen to yours,

Chef Cynthia Louise xx



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About the Author

Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.