Right time for pakoras

Right time for pakoras

The rains are playing like and seek yet Dilliwallas can’t let go of their craving for the chai and pakora combo! Despite the dwindling of traditional pakora joints, there are a few which have been run su­c­­cessfully down the generations. They  still serve awes­o­me and crunchy pako­ras, to make snack time perfect.

One of the perfect places to indulge in pakoras, is Pahalwanji ke Pakore situated in Kinari Bazaar, Chandni Chowk. A hole-in-the-wall in a narrow lane of the bazaar, this shop was setup by Ghas­e­e­ta Ram Pahalwan. Sold by the kilo, the taste and tradition is still alive with Rajesh Rathor, the fifth generation owner. The outlet serves a lot of variety - from the regular aloo, gobhi, palak and paneer to kalmi vada (made of chana dal with chopped green chillies) that looks like sliced pieces of kebab. But the best of the lot is the moong dal pakora. Accompanying the delicacies is fresh daniye ki chutney.

This chutney faces stiff competition from the one served by Chaina Ram in Fatehpuri, Chandni Chowk whose paneer pakora is considered a gourmand’s delight. A slit is made in a thick piece of paneer and special masala put in as a filling. It is then dipped in the batter of besan and half-fried. Hari Gidwani, the owner says, “The paneer pakora we make is fried in two parts to avoid burning the paneer. This retains the inner softness while the outer turns crisp.”

Variety is also served at Pakora Corner, Raj Guru Market, Ramesh Nagar. Ranging  aloo, gobhi, palak,baingan to the unusual pyaaz masale wala and aloo paneer methi tikki, this place has it all 71-year old Keval Arora shares the recipe of pyaaz masale wala pakora, “We make slits in onions and fill them with masala and then fry it after coating it in besan. Thus the pakora is crisp and tasty because the inner part is not bland.

” How did he work out this recipe? “Customer dukandar ka baap hota hai, sab sikha deta hai,” he laughs.

If your heart lies in non-veg then try the fish pakoras at G­a­nesh Restaurant at Chowk Gurudwara in Karol Bagh, which began in 1960. Prem Kumar, the owner recollects, “My fat­h­er started this shop and even though a vegetarian, he cooked the best fish pakoras.” River fish such as singada and sole is sold in summer and winter is dominated by sea fish surmai. Tales of Pr­em’s fa­t­her taking out pak­o­r­as from the kadai with bare hands are still told by custo­m­ers.


No story on pakoras is complete without a mention of Khandani Pakore Wala at Sar­o­jini Nagar-Ring Road crossi­ng. Here since 1962,the shop is famous for making pakoras out of almost anything! Currently, there are a minimum of 10 varieties. Vijay Kum­ar, the third generation running the place says, “My grandfather started selling pakoras for 25 paise apiece and today we sell from Rs 8 but the quality and taste is the same.”


The shop has recently launched two new varieties - sw­eet corn and soya chop pa­k­o­ras to appease new tastes. Sweet corn and paneer pakora are a must try here. Sangeeta Baladua, a regular here says, “Their spicy pakoras are a refreshing change, so we drop by often to satiate ourselves.” She likes pattod ka pakora (made of arbi leaves) the most.

Rains are only an excuse to indulge so even if it is not raining, why miss a chance to enjoy a plate of pakoras when such delectable options are available all over the City.

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