These Squid Pakora are a seafood version of a common Indian appetizer, in which Squid and Bell Peppers are deep-fried in a spicy batter.
Pakoras are an Indian snack consisting of various vegetables, and sometimes meats, mixed with a batter (usually seasoned with spices) and then deep fried. I don’t believe I have ever seen a recipe anywhere that actually uses squid in Pakoras before, but Shrimp are often used, so Squid seemed like something worth trying to me.
The Recipe Card below calls for Besan (or Chickpea Flour) to be used to make the batter, but you can substitute with regular All-Purpose Flour, or Wholewheat, if preferred.
Jalapeño Pepper is also used for heat and to contrast its green color with Red Bell Pepper. If you wish to make a milder Pakora, substitute with Green Bell Pepper instead.
Toss the bell pepper and Jalapeno shreds individually with a half-teaspoon or of salt and leave to wilt for 30 minutes. When they are soft and have given up some of their liquid, rinse them well and squeeze out any excess water.
Blend the flour with the spices and a pinch of salt and then stir in enough water to make a medium thick batter (ketchup consistency is about right). If you are using frozen squid, save the liquor they throw off when they thaw and use this instead of plain water as this will add extra flavor. Let the batter sit for 15 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
When you are ready to cook, heat a pot of oil for deep-frying and then blend the squid and pepper shreds into the batter mixture.
Next, use a tablespoon and scoop out a dollop of the mixture, allowing any excess batter to drain back into the bowl.
Drop the dollop into the oil and fry until golden brown. You can do several at a time but make sure you don’t add so many that the oil temperature falls too low. When the mixture is used up, blot the pakoras with kitchen paper and serve hot.
Pakoras are often served with a Mint Chutney, Tamarind Chutney or some sort of Raita. I am not fond of raw yoghurt and so I have used a commercial cucumber salad dressing here, mixed with some of my homemade Chili Garlic Ginger Paste.
Your Recipe Card:
Squid Pakora Recipe
- ¾ cup Squid sliced into fine shreds 2-3 inches long;
- ¼ cup Besan.
- ¼ cup Red Bell Pepper finely shredded;
- ¼ cup Jalapeño Pepper finely shredded;
- 1 tbsp. Turmeric;
- ½ tsp. ground Black Pepper;
- ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper;
- 1 tsp. Coriander Seed coarsely ground;
- Toss the Bell Pepper and Jalapeno shreds with a half-teaspoon of salt, let wilt for 30 minutes, then rinse them and squeeze out excess water.
- Blend the flour with the spices and a pinch of salt and then stir in enough water to make a medium thick batter. Let the batter sit for 15 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Heat a pot of oil for deep-frying and then blend the squid and pepper shreds into the batter mixture.
- For each Pakora, scoop out a dollop of mixture with a Tablespoon, allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl, and fry it in the oil until golden.
- Repeat as necessary, being sure to not to overcrowd the pot with more than a few at a time.
- Drain the Pakoras on Kitchen Paper and serve hot with a dipping sauce of choice.