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5 from 8 votes

Chicken Pakora with Creamy Coconut Dip

Crispy chicken pakora made with besan (chickpea flour) and packed with spices that deliver a medley of flavors that takes fried chicken to another level!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 614kcal
Author: Joyce Lee


  • 6-8 boneless chicken thighs

Chicken Marinade

  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely minced, or grated)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (finely minced, or grated)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (approx. half a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder (add more if you like it spicier)
  • 20 curry leaves (chopped)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin

Chicken Pakora Batter

Coconut Dip (Optional)

  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup (or 1 ½ tablespoon honey)
  • ½ tablespoon lime juice (approx. ½ a lime)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced, or grated)
  • 1 tablespoon dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ teaspoon onion seeds (optional)


Chicken Pakoras - Preparation

  • Cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and put it in a large bowl
  • Slice 1 onion and add it to the bowl
  • Add 1 ½ teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon turmeric, 20 curry leaves (roughly chopped), 4 cloves garlic (finely minced) and 1 tablespoon ginger (finely minced or grated) into the bowl
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoons fish sauce into the bowl
  • Mix well and marinate in the fridge for 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
    Marinating chicken pakoras with onion, garlic, ginger, spices and lemon juice

Chicken Pakoras - Deep Frying

  • When you are ready to start cooking the chicken, add 1 egg, 5 tablespoons potato starch (or cornstarch), 1 cup chickpea flour, and ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoon water into the bowl with the chicken (including the marinade and sliced onions) 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 chickpea flour 1 tablespoon at a time, if the batter is too dry and hard to mix - add in water 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Pre-heat oil to 350F (176C). If you are doing it on a stove-top, set the oil to medium heat.
  • 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. I use a ¼ cup to measure out the chicken. If your pakoras are too big the middle will not cook through and the outside will come out burnt.)
  • Cook for approximately 8 minutes.
  • Enjoy fresh with the coconut dip!

Coconut Dip (Optional)

  • Combine ½ cup coconut cream, ½ teaspoon fish sauce, 2 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey), 1 clove garlic (finely minced), and ½ tablespoon lime juice, together in a small bowl and enjoy with pakoras!
  • (Optional) Adding ½ tsp of onion seeds adds a bit more spice and flavor to the dip.


Chicken Pakoras

  • I highly recommend using dark meat for this recipe, for a juicier and more flavorful chicken pakora.
  • The batter should be thick. The chicken and onions should be able to clump together easily. If the batter is too runny, add more chickpea flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until the batter is thick. If it is too thick and hard to mix then add water 1 tablespoon at a time until it is easy to mix but still thick enough that the chicken and onions can clump together.
  • I highly recommend marinating this overnight but if you're in a rush you could marinate it for a minimum of 4 hours.

Coconut Dip

  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of water or milk to thin out the dip if it is too thick.
  • Add additional dried unsweetened shredded coconut to give the dip a bit more texture and thicken it.
  • Chilling this dip in the fridge will make it thicker before serving.


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