120g (approx 3 cups) spinach leaves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped
3cm-piece ginger, finely grated
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
pinch chilli flakes
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
200g paneer or firm tofu
½ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup rice flour
oil for frying

Pakora or pakoda, like most fried foods, is a universally loved and welcomed snack. Chickpea flour (besan) is the traditional flour to use here, but some variations add rice flour to the mix which helps to keep the fritters crisp. Adding paneer or tofu isn’t traditional, but I enjoy the more substantial element. I’ve served these with three chutneys; don’t feel you have to make them all, but I do think the tamarind chutney is essential.

View the recipe collection here


1.Put the spinach into a bowl with the onion, green chilli, ginger, garlic, chilli flakes, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and salt.
2.Mix well, massaging the greens for a minute to allow the vegetables to soften.
3.Rest the mix for 10 minutes; this helps the water in the vegetables to release. Crumble in the paneer or tofu.
4.Add the chickpea flour and rice flour and mix well. The mix should clump together.
5.If required, add extra water by the teaspoonful until you can take spoonfuls of mix and shape into a rough fritter.
6.Heat the oil in a deep fryer, saucepan or wok, add a bit of the mix to the hot oil (roughly around 180°C) and if it bubbles and floats then the oil will be hot enough.
7.Cook in batches by dropping spoonfuls of roughly shaped batter into the oil; fry for 2-3 minutes until golden.
8.Drain pakora on paper towels for a few minutes then serve with the chutneys.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Jess Hemmings