Craving some fried chicken? Switch it up with some chicken pakoras! These deep fried nuggets of chicken made with besan (chickpea flour) are packed with spices that deliver a punch of flavours that takes fried chicken to another level!

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When I was approached by Haley from Cheap Recipe Blog to participate in an Oscar themed virtual party, I was super thrilled but also a bit nervous! I will be joining Haley and 9 other food bloggers in this challenge to create a recipe that was inspired by our assigned 2017’s Academy Awards nominees for best picture.

 Chicken Pakoras with Creamy Coconut Dip


I picked the movie Lion. It’s based on a true story. Lion is about a 5 year-old Indian boy named Saroo, who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta (now known as Kolkatta). Stranded in Calcutta, all alone, he wanders the streets unable to speak the dialect, eventually becoming homeless. After a series of challenges of he is sent to an orphanage which is where he gets adopted by a couple in Australia. Fast forward 25 years and Saroo is all grown up now (played by Dev Patel) with a curiosity and drive to find his original family whom he lost 25 years ago. I don’t want to give a way too much if you have never seen it but definitely a heart-warming movie that put tears in my eyes.


Chicken Pakoras with Creamy Coconut Dip


While Saroo was lost as a kid, you see a lot of the streets of Calcutta which reminded me a lot of street vendors and street foods. I am a big HUGE fan of street vendors and street foods. It’s not always the cleanest food but you can bet its almost always the most interesting and flavourful foods. I had so many ideas for what my recipe for this post would be but it came down to :


  • Chicken Pakoras (aka Pakodas) – A fried fritter made of chickpea batter, vegetable and/or a meat in this case, chicken.
  • Onion Bhajis – Another fried fritter-like snack made with onions and chickpea batter (are you seeing a patterned of deep fried here? haha).
  • Jalebi – A deep fried sweet snack, made by deep frying a fermented maida (a type of wheat flour) batter, and then soaked in a sugar syrup.
  • Jhal Muri – A puffed rice snack made with different blends of spices and toppings.
  • Panipuri – A puffed hollow crispy ball made wheat flour (pani) drizzled in a sour spiced water (puri) and stuffed with potatoes, chick peas, onions etc. Kinda like an open faced samosa! 🙂


I went for Chicken Pakoras because the meat lover in me took over, but the Jhal Muri came in close for second! but don’t worry I can see myself making them all sometime in the future for the blog because Indian cuisines are one of my fave things.




Chicken Pakoras:
For this chicken pakora recipe, you should be able to find most ingredients from a local grocery store.
The lesser common items may be : garam masala, tumeric (which are both spices), curry leaves and the besan flour (chick pea flour). You can substitute the chick pea flour with all purpose flour but you will miss out on the texture and flavour it provides, which is a sweeter nuttier flavour with a more soft and spongy dough.



Chicken Pakoras with Creamy Coconut Dip


With chicken pakoras you can play around with the spices if they are harder to find but you absolutely cannot omit the ginger, garlic, lemon juice and cumin, else you will lose a lot of nice flavours. Fresh curry leaves also adds a lot of great flavours but may be hard to find, but in most cases these will be available at a local Indian grocery store.


I highly recommend using dark meat for this recipe. It makes a juicier and more flavourful pakora.


Creamy Coconut Dip

Most items can be bought at the local grocery store for the coconut dip.


Creamy Coconut Dip


Traditionally, I would be making a proper coconut chutney made with fresh coconut (or frozen) curry leaves, ginger, spices & chillis but for this recipe I thought I’d have a bit more fun with the dip and give it a more Asian twist to it!


For this dip, I opted to use coconut cream instead of coconut milk.
I find coconut cream, creamier and a WHOLE lot flavourful. You can actually taste the coconut flavour and it is slightly sweeter.


Coconut cream’s texture is completely different than coconut milk, that it is textured like a soften butter and not as liquidy.


Coconut cream


If you cannot find this, you can use coconut milk in its place but you will lose a bit of the coconut flavour and the texture may be a bit watery so you can add 1-2 tablespoons of dried unsweetned coconut to absorb the excess liquid and thicken up the sauce.


You can use soy sauce or fish sauce as the salt element when making this dip and tune it up or down to adjust the saltiness to how you like it. For myself I wanted the natural sweetness of the coconut cream to shine through so I used less fish sauce.


Tip #1 : Add a few teaspoons of water or milk to water down the dip if you find it too thick.

Tip #2  : Completely optional, but add 1 tablespoon of dried unsweetened coconut to add a bit of texture!




For the chicken, use boneless dark meat. Cut them up into bite sized chunks and put it in a bowl with sliced onions, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and spices.


I highly recommend you marinate this overnight but if you’re in a rush you could get away with marinating it for a few hours.


When you are ready to deep fry this, add in the egg, corn/potato starch and chick pea flour with the water into the chicken mixture.


Chicken Pakoras with Creamy Coconut Dip


The batter should have the consistency of a thick paste so that the onions and chicken stick together better during deep frying. If your batter feels too watery, add some more chick pea flour (a tablespoon at a time), but if your batter feels too dry then add water 1 tablespoon at a time.


Set your deep fryer to 350F (176C) or medium heat over the stove top and put small dallops of the chicken onion mixture into the oil to form small fritters. Cook for approximately 8 minutes.


Note: The smaller you make the fritters the less time you need to cook them. My fritters were about golf ball sized which cooked fully in 8 minutes. You may need to adjust your cooking time if you are making them different sized.


Chicken Pakoras with Creamy Coconut Dip


Tip #3: I like to double fry mine for extra crispiness. To double fry, remove it out of the oil 1-2 minutes earlier and let it sit for 30 seconds, and then put it back into the oil to re-fry it for 1-2 minutes.



Tip #4 : An alternate sauce! I sometimes like using a simple tamarind dipping sauce! If you have tamarind paste or concentrate, combine 1/2 tsp of tamarind concentrate, 6 tablespoons of warm water and 1/2-1 tsp of sugar and voila! Consistency should be watery. 🙂


Chicken Pakoras with Creamy Coconut Dip

Chicken Pakoras with Creamy Coconut Dip

  • Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Category: Appetizer, Snack
  • Cuisine: Indian


Crispy chicken pakoras made with besan (chickpea flour) and packed with spices that deliver a medley of flavours that takes fried chicken to another level!


Chicken Pakoras

  • 6-8 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced, approximately 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (adjust up if you want it more spicy)
  • 20 curry leaves (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch)
  • 1 cup chick pea flour (besan flour)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoon water

Coconut Dip

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion seeds (optional)


Chicken Pakoras – Preparation

  1. Cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces and put it in a large bowl
  2. Slice up the onions and add it to the bowl
  3. Add in the cumin, garam masala, tumeric, chopped curry leaves, garlic and ginger into the bowl
  4. Add the lemon juice and fish sauce into the bowl
  5. Mix well and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

Chicken Pakoras – Deep Frying

  1. When you are ready to start cooking the chicken, add in the corn starch, chick pea flour and water and mix until the batter is a thick consistency. You want the batter to stick to the chicken and onions. If the batter is too runny- add some more chick pea flour 1 tablespoon at a time, if the batter is too thick and hard to mix – add in water 1 tablespoon at a time.
  2. Pre-heat oil to 350F (176C). If you are doing it on a stove-top, and don’t have a thermometer, it is approximately medium heat (stove top powers vary, adjust accordingly)
  3. Add in the chicken mixture into the oil gently, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, careful to not overcrowd else it will drop the temperature of the oil. (Note: Try to refrain from making too big of a spoonful of chicken. If your pakoras are too big the middle will not cook through and the outside will come out burnt.)
  4. Cook for approximately 8 minutes.
  5. Enjoy fresh with the coconut dip! 🙂

Coconut Dip

  1. Combine all ingredients together and enjoy with pakoras!
  2. (Optional) Adding 1/2 tsp of onion seeds adds a bit more spice and flavour to the dip.


Chicken Pakoras

  • Dark meat yields a juicier and flavourful pakora
  • The batter should be thick and should stick to the chicken and onions. If it is too runny, add more chickpea flour, if it is too thick and hard to mix then add water 1 tablespoon at a time

Coconut Dip

  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of water or milk to adjust how thick you like the dipping sauce
  • Add additional dried unsweetened shredded coconut to give the dip a bit more texture and thicken it up


  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 614 kcal
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 1213 mg
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g
  • Protein: 53 g

Keywords: chicken pakoras, besan, deep fried

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38 thoughts on “Chicken Pakoras with Creamy Coconut Dip”

  1. Thee look delectable! The chickpea batter sounds so unique and love coconut anything. Fun to have you aboard this year! Welcome. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Sharon! I had a lot of fun playing with new ingredients for this post and I am so happy to be invited to this! 🙂

  2. Love the combination of flavors here! Perfect small bites for a party! Can’t wait to dunk these tasty morsels in that yummy coconut dip!

    1. Thanks Suzanne, honestly I think I was dunking that coconut dip in everything haha. 🙂

  3. So much goodness here! Double fried, lots of spices – and that coconut sauce!
    (By the way, I love Jhal Muri too! I had to look it up. I’ve eaten it before, but it had a different name at one restaurant I went to)
    You rock. Thanks for participating and please come back next year!

    1. I’m so glad I did this Haley! I had a lot of fun! 🙂 Thank you, you’re awesome! I definitely will be trying more indian snack foods because I love snacks!

    1. Thanks Heather! 🙂 I love coconut and I really wanted to showcase the creamy and sweetness of it and it worked out awesome with the pakoras! I so agree, fish sauce is under rated. I pretty much use only that or soy sauce instead of salt now haha 🙂

    1. Thank you Kara! I didn’t either until I started actually learning about it! It’s a pretty awesome flour! Definitely flavourful! Hope you have fun with it!

  4. Wow, this recipe for chicken pakoras looks amazing! Thanks for such a detailed tutorial and beautiful photos!

  5. This looks absolutely perfect. I cannot think of one thing I would change. I love pakoras. The style around here tends to be just the chicken in a spiced bejan batter. Adding the onions is a great idea. I’ve never seen them done like this before but this is my new go to chicken pakora recipe. Really impressive!

    1. Wow I feel so honored to be receiving this compliment from you! I always like putting spins on things for fun and I’m so glad it is enjoyed! 🙂 YAY hope you enjoy it! 😀

  6. Yum! I love Pakoras but only ever have them when I’m out to eat. Now I can make them at home, and I love all the tips about the coconut sauce, that way it can be exactly how we like it!

    1. I know right? I am so picky with my sauces. Sometimes I like some a bit thinner, and some a bit thicker etc so I always want to leave that option out there for people to make it the way they like it 🙂

  7. I love this Oscar theme post and the other recipes sound delish too! Your chicken pakoras looks absolutely amazing! I love all the spices used and the addition of onions is awesome; its like pakoras and onion bhajis married each other to make the perfect snack!

    1. Yes! haha I was aiming for that! I wanted an onion bhaji but my heart was telling me chicken pakoras so I must have unintentionally just created this Frankenstein haha 🙂

  8. I love the idea of doing a recipe roundup for the Oscar films! And your recipe is fantastically creative! I’ve seen pretty much all the Oscar nominated films this year EXCEPT for “Lion”, but it’s on my list and your recipe definitely makes me want to see it even more! Love that creamy coconut dip– yummmmm! I’ll have to check out the other recipes too, once I’m done making (and eating!) yours. Thanks for sharing!

    1. haha Thanks Alyssa! 🙂 Definitely check out the movie it was quite touching. You can use the dip on almost anything, I’ve been using the leftovers on fries haha 🙂

  9. Yum, I have got to try both this recipe and the movie you chose! That dipping sauce looks to die for too! Pinning for later.

  10. These chicken pakoras are the perfect new thing for fried chicken! And that dip??? <3 Such a creative dip with ingredients I never would have thought to put together! I can't wait to try this on many things . . .

    1. I’ve been dipping veggies with it…haha! But yea, the spice in the pakoras is definitely an awesome flavour upgrade to regular fried chicken! 😀

  11. Yum! I always love ordering pakoras when we go out to eat, but I’ve never made them myself. Can’t wait to try this!

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