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Simple Vegetarian Indian Recipes: Vegetable Pakora and Chana Masala

The beauty of experiencing new tropical foods like Indian recipes is that you can discover foods you never thought you would enjoy. That was the experience of contributor, Adam Meeker, on a trip to India. A self-described carnivore, Adam discovered through life-changing interactions with the locals that he actually loved vegetarian food.

Read about Adam’s journey in “How India Taught Me I Could Be a Vegetarian.

Vegetarian Indian Recipes: Vegetable Pakora and Chana Masala

To enjoy those Indian vegetarian delights at homes, try a recipe for chana masala with a vegetable pakora appetizer.


Vegetable Pakora, Indian Food, Recipes

(Photo: Flickr Paul Joseph)


Vegetable Pakora
  • 1 cup Chickpea Flour
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1½ tsp Salt
  • 1 -2 Chopped Green Chillies
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 Potato
  • 1 small Cauliflower
  • 2 Cabbage
  • 5 leaves Spinach sliced
  • 1½ cup Sliced Onion
  1. Boil the potato until just tender, peel and chop finely.
  2. Finely chop cauliflower and onion. Shred the cabbage and spinach and set aside.
  3. In separate bowl mix chickpea flour, ground cumin, salt and ½ cup water in bowl
  4. Beat in a blender for 4-5 minutes creating a batter.
  5. Add potatoes, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, green chilies and oil into mix.
  6. Let batter rest ½ hour in a warm place.
  7. If it is too dry at this point add 1 or 2 spoons of water to soften. You do not want it too thick or too runny.
  8. Heat one inch of oil to 375 degrees in deep frying pan over medium-high heat.
  9. Use metal oil thermometer placed in the oil to ensure it reaches the desired temperature.
  10. When oil is ready carefully lower tablespoons of batter mixture into the oil until golden brown on both sides.
  11. Do not overlap pakora, leave space so that each piece is separate.
  12. Fry pakora for 4-5 minutes turning occasionally until both sides are golden brown.
  13. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
  14. Serve with traditional Indian sides of coriander, mint chutney or tomato ketchup.

Chana Masala

By kspoddar [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Chana Masala
  • 1.5 cups of white chickpeas
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tsp of chana masala spice blend
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • ½ tsp of minced ginger
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 1 tsp of red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  1. Add 3.5 to 4 cups water with pinch of salt to chickpeas, cover and cook until softened
  2. In separate pan heat oil and add chopped onions
  3. Sauté onions until golden brown and add the ginger and garlic
  4. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they are mushy and soft
  5. Cool and blend to a fine paste
  6. Now drain and add the cooked chickpeas, chili powder, salt and bring to boil
  7. Mix in chana masala spice blend until blended well
  8. Allow to simmer for a few minutes until gravy thickens and garnish with cilantro
  9. Serve with traditional Indian bread such as chapati, roti or naan

Written by

Wendy is the content manager for TropicsGourmet. Her long list of titles includes social media strategist, certified Reiki practitioner, and professional ukulele performer.