You can’t deny how amazing deep-fried chicken is when variations appear in different cuisines all around the world. In America you have plain ol’ fried chicken, in Japan you have Karaage, and in India there’s Pakora. In Scotland, chicken pakora has been embraced passionately by the locals, so much so it’s available at most chip shops. But my chicken pakora recipe is better than anything you’ll find at the local chippy!
I had never heard of pakora until I moved to Scotland, and it’s our go-to takeaway treat on lazy nights. Though since I made this recipe, it’s now a special treat to be made at home! The vividly coloured, spicy chicken is crunchy and crispy on the outside, and perfectly juicy on the inside.
As per the Scottish chip-shop tradition, we serve our chicken pakora with what is known as Scottish Pakora Sauce, or Glasgow Sauce. This pakora sauce is bright pink, a little bit sweet, but its hint of mint complements the fried chicken that accompanies it perfectly.
When making this recipe, you may be expecting a batter to coat the chicken. The coating has more the consistency of paste than a wet batter. So don’t stress if your mixture gets a bit sticky- that’s perfect! I actually use a chopstick to help mix all the ingredients through the chicken, as I find less of the paste sticks to a chopstick compared to tongs or a wooden spoon.
Also, as always, when deep frying anything please ensure all your tools are perfectly dry. Water can cause the oil to spit. Also, don’t get overzealous and overcrowd the oil with chicken. This will cause the oil to cool, and leave you with soggy chicken. We want it to be crisp!
- 1 kg chicken breast, diced
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp mild ground chilli
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 5 tbsp chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 egg whites
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Chilli oil (optional)
Glasgow Pakora Sauce
- 150g natural yoghurt
- 3 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 tsp mint sauce (or mint jelly)
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the chicken through the spices, garlic and lemon juice until well coated. Set aside to marinate for one hour.
- Add the chickpea flour, cornflour and egg whites to the chicken and mix through well combined, and the chicken thoroughly coated with the mixture.
- Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add a small amount of chilli oil (optional) to the oil.
- Once hot, deep fry the chicken pieces 2-3 at a time, for 8-10 minutes or until deep golden-red in colour, and cooked through.
- Garnish with freshly sliced onion and serve with Glasgow Pakora Sauce (below).
Glasgow Pakora Sauce
- Mix together all ingredients until well combined.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 4.5gSaturated Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 11.9gFiber: 2.1gSugar: 5.1gProtein: 30.1g