Chana Dal Pakora Recipe | Cholar Daler Bora

5 from 9 votes
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Chana Dal Pakoras or (Cholar Daler Boras in Bengali) are a popular Indian snack known for their irresistible crispy texture and delicious flavor.

These deep-fried fritters are made from chana dal, which are split and husked chickpeas, and a blend of aromatic spices.

They are perfect for enjoying with a cup of hot tea on a rainy day, serving as a tasty appetizer at parties, or simply as a snack to satisfy your cravings.

In this recipe, I will guide you through the process of making Chana Dal Pakoras step by step, ensuring you achieve the perfect golden brown and crunchy pakoras that are both savory and spicy.

Chana Dal Pakora

Key Takeaways:

  • Chana Dal Pakoras are popular Indian snacks known for their irresistible crispy texture and delicious flavor.
  • They are made from split and husked chickpeas (chana dal) and a blend of aromatic spices.
  • Chana Dal Pakoras are perfect for enjoying with hot tea on rainy days, as appetizers at parties, or as satisfying snacks.
  • The recipe provides step-by-step instructions for making perfect golden brown and crunchy pakoras.
  • To enhance the flavor and texture, follow pro tips, and serve with accompaniments like green chutney or tamarind chutney.

The Ingredients

  • Split chickpeas or chana or cholar dal: 250 gm (cleaned, soaked for 3 hrs and strained)
  • Onion: 2 pieces (finely chopped)
  • Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp
  • Curry leaves: 2 tbsp
  • Split chickpeas: 3 tbsp (separately kept)
  • Ginger: 1 ½ inch (chopped)
  • Green chilis: 6 pieces
  • Rice flour: 2 tbsp
  • Asafetida: less than ½ tbsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: ½ tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil: for frying

How to Make Chana Dal Pakora (Step by Step with Images)

1. Prepare a coarse ground batter with chickpeas, green chilis, chopped ginger, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds.

Coarse ground batter with chickpeas, green chilis, chopped ginger, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds

2. Now, add all the other ingredients: chopped onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves, separately kept split chickpeas, Kashmiri red chili powder, asafetida, turmeric powder, rice flour, ½ tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp oil. Mix everything thoroughly.

Now, add all the other ingredients: chopped onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves, separately kept split chickpeas, Kashmiri red chili powder, asafetida, turmeric powder, rice flour, ½ tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp oil. Mix everything thoroughly.

3. Shape the mixture into small round pakora. Wet your hands with a little water, form small balls, and then press them to create the pakora shape. Ensure the cutlets are not too thin or too thick.

(Expert tip: If the batter is loose, you can add a bit of rice flour or chickpea flour to thicken it.)

Shape the mixture into small round

4. Heat oil in a nonstick wok and fry each pakora.

(Expert tip: Carefully add the pakoras to the oil.)

Heating oil in a nonstick wok and fry each pakora

5. Allow the pakoras to fry for a while before turning them; this helps them cook evenly. Flip the pakoras to cook both sides at medium to low heat. Avoid high heat to prevent burning.

(Expert tip: I used rice flour for crispiness, but you can use semolina instead if desired.)

Frying pakoras

6. Remove the pakoras from the oil when they are fried properly.

Removing the pakoras

7. Serve chana dal pakora hot with green chutney. Check the crispiness of each pakora with a fork. Enjoy your delicious chana dal pakoras!

Chana dal pakora is ready

Pro Tip for Making Best Chana Dal Pakora

To make the best Chana Dal Pakoras, follow the recipe instructions closely and consider these pro tips to enhance the flavor and texture of your pakoras:

Soaking and Grinding: Soak the chana dal for a minimum of 2-3 hours, but you can soak it overnight for even better results. Softer dal blends more easily and yields a smoother consistency.

When grinding the chana dal, avoid adding water to the mixture. You want a coarse paste, not a smooth batter. This texture contributes to the pakoras’ crunchiness.

Consistent Sizing: Try to maintain consistent sizing while shaping the pakoras. This ensures they cook evenly, resulting in uniformly crispy and golden-brown pakoras.

Oil Temperature: Maintaining the right oil temperature is crucial. If the oil is too hot, the pakoras may burn on the outside while remaining uncooked inside.

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If it’s too cold, they will absorb excess oil and become greasy. Use a kitchen thermometer if available, or test with a small piece of batter as mentioned in the recipe.

Spices and Herbs: Feel free to adjust the spice levels according to your preference. You can add more or fewer green chilies and red chili powder to achieve the desired heat.

Freshly ground spices, such as cumin seeds, will impart a more robust flavor compared to pre-ground spices. Consider toasting them briefly before adding them to the mixture for an even deeper flavor.

Cook in Batches: Fry the pakoras in small batches to maintain the oil temperature and ensure they cook evenly. Overcrowding the pan can lead to uneven cooking and soggy pakoras.

Draining Excess Oil: After removing the pakoras from the hot oil, place them on a plate lined with paper towels. This helps absorb any excess oil, keeping the pakoras crispy.

By following these pro tips and practicing your pakora-making skills, you’ll be able to create the perfect Chana Dal Pakoras that are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and bursting with flavor.

What to Serve with Chana Dal Pakora?

Here are some delicious options to serve with Chana Dal Pakoras:

Green Chutney: A classic choice, green chutney is a refreshing and tangy dip made with fresh mint leaves, cilantro, green chilies, and yogurt or lemon juice. Its coolness balances the spiciness of the pakoras.

Tamarind Chutney: Tamarind chutney offers a sweet and tangy contrast to the savory and spicy pakoras. It’s made from tamarind pulp, sugar, and various spices.

Tomato Ketchup: This familiar condiment is a favorite for many. Its sweet and slightly tangy taste pairs well with the fried goodness of pakoras.

Yogurt Dip: A simple yogurt-based dip can be created by mixing plain yogurt with a pinch of salt, black salt, roasted cumin powder, and a hint of sugar. This creamy dip provides a cooling effect.

Pickles: Indian pickles, such as mango pickle or mixed vegetable pickle, add a burst of intense flavors that can complement the earthy taste of Chana Dal Pakoras.

Sliced Lemons: Offering a touch of acidity, you can serve Chana Dal Pakoras with lemon wedges. Squeezing fresh lemon juice over the pakoras can enhance their flavor.

Feel free to mix and match these accompaniments based on your personal preferences and the preferences of your guests.

How Does Chana Dal Pakora Taste?

Chana Dal Pakora Featured Image

Chana Dal Pakora is known for its delightful and distinct taste. Here’s a description of the flavors and taste profile you can expect when biting into a well-prepared Chana Dal Pakora:

Savory and Spicy: Chana Dal Pakoras are inherently savory and have a mild to moderate level of spiciness.

The spiciness primarily comes from ingredients like green chilies, and red chili powder. The level of spiciness can be adjusted to your preference by varying the amount of these ingredients.

Earthiness: The chana dal itself contributes a wonderful earthy and nutty flavor to the pakoras. The lentils, when soaked and ground, develop a hearty, legume-like taste that is both comforting and satisfying.

Crunchy Exterior: The exterior of Chana Dal Pakoras is fried to a golden brown, resulting in a satisfying crunch. This crispy texture contrasts beautifully with the softer interior, adding to the overall appeal.

Aromatic: The pakoras are often seasoned with aromatic spices like cumin seeds and • Fennel seeds. These spices infuse the pakoras with a fragrant and warm aroma that is both inviting and enticing.

Herbal Notes: Fresh herbs like coriander leaves are commonly added to Chana Dal Pakoras. They bring a burst of freshness and a subtle herbaceous quality to the dish.

Comforting and Fulfilling: Chana Dal Pakoras have a homely and comforting quality to their taste. They are often enjoyed during rainy or cold weather, providing warmth and satisfaction.

Accompaniments Influence Taste: The taste can be further enhanced by the accompaniments you choose to serve with the pakoras.

For example, pairing them with mint chutney adds a cooling and tangy dimension, while tamarind chutney brings sweetness and tanginess.

In summary, Chana Dal Pakoras have a savory, spicy, and earthy taste with a delightful crunch on the outside.

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The use of aromatic spices and fresh herbs contributes to their overall flavor profile, making them a beloved and flavorful snack or appetizer in Indian cuisine.

Chana Dal Pakora Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to Chana Dal Pakoras or want to explore other fried or snack options, Indian cuisine offers a wide array of choices. Here are some delicious alternatives you can consider:

Moong Dal Pakora: These are similar to Chana Dal Pakoras but made with split and husked green gram (moong dal) instead of chana dal. Moong dal pakoras are known for their delicate, mild flavor and tend to be lighter and crispier.

Aloo Pakora (Potato Fritters): Sliced or thinly cut potato rounds coated in a gram flour batter and deep-fried until golden brown. Aloo pakoras are a beloved snack with a mild and starchy flavor.

Onion Bhaji: Thinly sliced onions are mixed with gram flour and spices to create a batter, and then they are fried until crispy. Onion bhajis have a sweet and savory taste with a slightly sweet note from the caramelized onions.

Paneer Pakora: Cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) are dipped in a spicy gram flour batter and fried to perfection. Paneer pakoras have a creamy and slightly tangy taste from the paneer, balanced by the spiciness of the batter.

Spinach Pakora: Fresh spinach leaves are dipped in a gram flour batter and deep-fried, resulting in crispy spinach fritters. They have a mild, earthy flavor with a touch of bitterness from the spinach.

Cauliflower Pakora: Cauliflower florets are coated in a spiced gram flour batter and fried until crispy. These pakoras have a unique nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch.

Bread Pakora: Slices of bread are stuffed with various fillings like spiced mashed potatoes or paneer, dipped in gram flour batter, and fried. Bread pakoras have a soft interior and a crispy exterior.

Samosas: These triangular pastries are filled with a mixture of spiced potatoes, peas, and sometimes ground meat. They are deep-fried until golden brown and have a hearty and spicy taste.

Mirchi Bhaji: Whole green chilies are stuffed with a spicy potato mixture, dipped in gram flour batter, and fried. They are known for their fiery and spicy kick.

Recipe Card:

Chana Dal Pakora Featured Image

Chana Dal Pakora (Cholar Daler Bora)

By Mita Mondal
Chana Dal Pakora, also known as Chana Dal Bhajiya or Chana Dal Fritters, is a popular Indian snack or appetizer made from chana dal, which are split and husked chickpeas.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Veg Snacks
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 262 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 250 grams Split chickpeas (cleaned, soaked for 3 hrs and strained)
  • 2 pieces Onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp Coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp Curry leaves
  • 1 ½ inch Ginger (chopped)
  • 6 pieces Green chili
  • 2 tbsp Rice flour
  • tbsp Asafetida
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp Fennel seed
  • 4 tbsp Refined oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Step 1: Preparing the Batter
    Begin by creating a coarse batter. Grind chickpeas, green chilis, chopped ginger, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds together until you achieve the desired texture.
  • Step 2: Mixing the Ingredients
    Add the following ingredients to the batter: chopped onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves, split chickpeas (kept separately), Kashmiri red chili powder, asafetida, turmeric powder, rice flour, ½ tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp oil. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients to form a well-seasoned mixture.
  • Step 3: Shaping the Pakoras
    Shape the mixture into small round pakoras. Wet your hands slightly with water to prevent sticking, then form small balls and flatten them to create the classic pakora shape. Ensure the pakoras are not too thin or too thick to ensure even cooking.
    Expert Tip: If the batter seems too loose, you can adjust the consistency by adding a bit of rice flour or chickpea flour to thicken it.
  • Step 4: Frying the Pakoras
    Heat oil in a nonstick wok or deep frying pan. Carefully add the pakoras to the hot oil to begin the frying process.
    Expert Tip: Take care when adding the pakoras to the oil to avoid splatters.
    Allow the pakoras to fry for a short while before flipping them. This helps ensure they cook evenly. Fry both sides at medium to low heat to avoid burning.
    Expert Tip: While this recipe uses rice flour for added crispiness, you can opt for semolina as an alternative if desired.
  • Step 5: Serving Your Chana Dal Pakoras
    Once the pakoras are properly fried and have turned a beautiful golden brown, remove them from the oil.
    Serve your Chana Dal Pakoras while they're still hot, ideally with a side of green chutney. To check for the perfect level of crispiness, use a fork to ensure they meet your preference.

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Notes

Soaking Chana Dal: To ensure the Chana Dal cooks evenly and blends well, soak it for a minimum of 2-3 hours, or even overnight. Softer dal blends more easily and results in a smoother batter.
Grinding Consistency: While grinding the Chana Dal, avoid adding excess water. You want a coarse paste, not a smooth batter. This coarse texture contributes to the pakoras' crunchiness.
Spices and Seasonings: Adjust the level of spiciness to your preference by varying the quantity of green chilies and red chili powder.
For enhanced flavor, consider toasting cumin seeds and fennel seeds briefly before adding them to the mixture.
Vegetables and Herbs: Feel free to incorporate finely chopped vegetables like spinach, grated carrots, or diced bell peppers into the mixture for added flavor and texture.
Fresh herbs such as coriander leaves or mint leaves can be used for a burst of freshness.
Pakora Shape: When shaping the pakoras, ensure they are not too thin or too thick. An even thickness promotes consistent cooking.
Frying Temperature: Maintain the right oil temperature. If it's too hot, the pakoras may brown quickly on the outside but remain uncooked inside. If it's too cool, they can become oily. Use a kitchen thermometer if available or test with a small piece of batter.
Frying in Batches: Fry the pakoras in small batches to maintain the oil temperature and ensure even cooking. Overcrowding the pan can lead to uneven results.
Drain Excess Oil: After frying, place the pakoras on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil. This step helps keep them crispy.
Accompaniments: Serve Chana Dal Pakoras with a variety of chutneys, such as green chutney, tamarind chutney, or even tomato ketchup for dipping.
11. Enjoy Fresh:
Chana Dal Pakoras are at their best when served hot and crispy. Enjoy them immediately for the ultimate taste experience.
With these recipe notes and tips, you'll be well-prepared to make delicious and perfectly crispy Chana Dal Pakoras. 

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Chana Dal Pakora (Cholar Daler Bora)
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
262
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
12
g
18
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
0.04
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Sodium
 
610
mg
27
%
Potassium
 
89
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
33
g
11
%
Fiber
 
13
g
54
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
Vitamin A
 
796
IU
16
%
Vitamin C
 
198
mg
240
%
Calcium
 
150
mg
15
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

Chana Dal Pakoras are delightful and flavorful tea-time snacks, especially on rainy days.

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These snacks are crispy and have a lovely taste, offering a blend of various spices and ingredients, along with the aromatic essence of asafetida and curry leaves.

You can enjoy the diverse flavors in every bite. Give these pakoras a try whenever you like and serve them with homemade green chutney.

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