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Chicken pakoras

Shahnaz Ahsan

A Bangladeshi fried chicken recipe, perfect as a snack or starter

Recipe Meta


20 mins + 8 hours marinating


20 mins


4-6 as a starter




For the chicken

  • 600g boneless chicken thighs or breast, cut into 4cm pieces
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp of fine grain salt
  • Juice of ½ a lemon

For the batter

  • 150g gram (chickpea) flour
  • 75g corn flour or rice flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (optional)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 15g fresh coriander, leaves coarsely chopped, stalks finely chopped
  • 250ml sunflower or corn oil for deep frying


Place the chicken in a resealable bag or a container with a lid. Add the marinade ingredients, mix well, and leave in the fridge for eight hours – ideally overnight. (In a pinch you can cook these right away, but the marinating does make the chicken more tender and flavoursome).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the batter. Slowly pour in 100ml cold water, little by little, mixing together with a whisk or fork. The consistency should be a thick, smooth batter – a bit like natural yogurt.

Stir through the coriander and green chilli if using. Now add the marinated chicken pieces to the batter, taking care not to include any of the marinade liquid. Coat each piece of chicken in the batter evenly.

Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan or wok – it should be about 4-5cm deep. Test that the oil is hot enough by adding a drop of batter to the oil – it should immediately come up to the surface but not colour too quickly.

Add pieces of the well-coated chicken to the hot oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry until the outside is golden and crispy – about 5-7 mins. Test one piece to see if it’s cooked through before removing the rest of the pakoras with a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen paper, patting off the excess oil. Do not cover, as this will make the batter less crispy.

Repeat, cooking in batches until all the chicken is cooked.

Image: Fatima Saleh

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