Shiitake Onion Pakora/ Tempura Fritters – Part 3 of Saving Money on Party Snacks

when i have a craving for a snack with a high level of mouthfeel and belly satisfaction, I like to have Japanese-style tempura dumplings Prayed East Indian-style pakora fritters (link below). But being the kind of foodie that I am, I often enjoy cross-cultural international cuisine hybrid recipes. I was lucky one day with a great combination of snacks: shiitake onion “pakura” (pakora/tempura).

They are easy to make, but require a fryer and hot oil for best results. (As usual, be careful with hot oil. Minimize your distractions.) If you prefer, you can use a heavy cast iron skillet and fry the fritters. However, they will be denser, so you won’t get the light, fluffy, yet crispy texture. But they are still tasty fried.


  • 4 parts besan (also known as chickpea flour, chana flour, or chickpea flour). (You can find gram/chickpea flour in Italian markets and besan/chana in East/West Indian and Pakistani markets. Some large supermarkets will also have it in their international section. If you can’t find besan, grind dried chickpeas in a coffee or spice grinder..)
  • 1 part tapioca starch or tempura mix (preferred).
  • Salt + pepper to taste.
  • red pepper flakes [optional].
  • 1-2 parts of water. The amount of water will vary. You want to form a paste that is not too runny. You need to be able to bind the mushroom and onion stuffing together, and stay together in the oil.
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced ​​and cut into separate pieces.
  • 4-8 canned shiitake mushrooms, cut into very thin strips. (If you want more texture, you can also use “wood ear” or “black fungus”. It is available in many Asian markets in dried form. Rehydrate some pieces in a bowl of warm water for 1 hour. Rinse, then cut into thin strips.)


  • Mix the dry ingredients well with a spoon or fork.
  • Add water slowly until a paste begins to form, slightly thicker than pancake batter.
  • Add the sliced ​​onion and shiitake pieces and mix well.
  • Heat the oil in a safe (heavy) pot or deep fryer. (If you’re using a cast iron skillet, just fry them in about 1/4 inch of oil.)
  • Carefully pour in a tablespoon of batter at a time. Don’t put too many fritters in each batch, otherwise the temperature of the oil will drop, causing the fritters to soak up the oil and become greasy.
  • Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on one side, then flip the fritters over with a slotted spoon and fry for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side. (While the fritters should be browned, keep in mind that chickpea flour is very high in protein, burns easily, and stinks when you make it. If possible, try to remove the small pieces of loose fried dough as soon as they are cooked or they will burn. If you’re using a deep fryer, this might be a bit tricky. Frying the fritters in a large pot is recommended if you don’t have a proper fryer and don’t want to use a skillet. The alternative is not to make the dough too watery. This means that you have to cook the fritters a little longer, as they will be thicker.)
  • Drain on a paper towel (kitchen paper).


Serve with a mix of hot and/or sweet sauces, such as chutneys, sambal oelek (spicy chili paste), sriracha (mild chili paste), plum sauce, sour cream, or onion sauce.

Link: High-Protein Chickpea Pakora Fritters – Part 2 of Saving Money on Party Snacks.

(c) Copyright: 2006-present, Raj Kumar Dash

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