Fish Pakora
Fish Pakora
5 from 11 votes
Dive into the delightful experience of crafting your very own fish pakora, a vibrant dance of flavours and textures that pay tribute to India's rich culinary tradition. Perfect for novice cooks and seasoned kitchen maestros alike, this recipe promises an adventure that's as delicious as it's easy. 
Fish Pakora

Fish Pakora, the little golden nuggets of delight that they are. Originating from the Indian subcontinent, this recipe is an aromatic tour de force, with the fish’s delicate taste beautifully complemented by the vibrancy of the spices.  

Even the name, Pakora, has an exotic allure to it, invoking visions of vibrant Indian markets and warm, sun-kissed beaches. 

Fish Pakora is a traditional Indian dish that encapsulates the essence of Indian cuisine: full-bodied flavours, vibrant spices, and a cooking process steeped in culture and history.  

The art of making Pakora dates back centuries passed down from generation to generation and has become a staple of Indian cuisine worldwide. 

Speaking of art, you might be wondering about the difficulty level of making Fish Pakora. Well, let me tell you, my friends, making this dish is as straightforward as it gets. It’s the kind of dish you can prepare with one eye on the stove and the other on your favourite TV show. 

That’s not to say that it doesn’t require some finesse. The key to a good Fish Pakora lies in the careful balance of flavours and the delicate handling of the fish.  

You want to make sure you’re mixing your spices just right and frying your fish to crispy perfection. But fear not! With a little practice, you’ll be whipping up Fish Pakora like a pro. 

But let’s not forget about the fish. Cod, in this case. A fish loved for its mild flavour and flaky texture, making it the perfect canvas for the rich tapestry of flavours we’re about to weave. Of course, other fish can be used, but there’s something about the humble Cod that just feels right for this dish. 

And there you have it. Fish Pakora, is a dish steeped in tradition, yet adaptable enough for the modern kitchen. It’s a dish that pays homage to its Indian roots, yet isn’t afraid to spread its wings and adapt to new tastes and textures.  

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice cook, it’s a dish that invites you to play, experiment, and most importantly, enjoy the process of cooking. After all, isn’t that what food is all about? 

So, grab your apron, ready your spices, and let’s dive headfirst into the delightful journey that is Fish Pakora. Because believe me, once you’ve tasted your homemade Fish Pakora, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. And with that, my friends, it’s time to cook. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Ah, the ingredients! The cast members that make our culinary production, the Fish Pakora, truly shine.  

Each element plays a vital role, bringing its own unique character to the table, creating an ensemble performance that’s simply out of this world. So, without further ado, let’s meet our players and see what they bring to the stage. 

Cod Fish: Cod is selected for its mild and sweet flavour, which soaks up the accompanying flavours beautifully, and its flaky texture creates an irresistible contrast with the crispy batter. If you can’t find cod, feel free to substitute with any other white fish like haddock or pollock. 

Gram Flour: This is what gives our Pakoras their characteristic crispy exterior. It has a slightly nutty flavour that pairs wonderfully with our spices, enhancing their depth. If you can’t find gram flour, a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch can work as a substitute. 

Salt: The flavour enhancer! It may seem humble, but it’s essential. Salt intensifies all the other flavours, making our Fish Pakora truly delectable. 

Chilli Powder: This adds heat to our Pakoras, a kick that livens up every bite. If you prefer a milder spice level, paprika can be a good substitute as it offers a similar smoky flavour without too much heat. 

Turmeric Powder: The golden touch! Turmeric brings a vibrant yellow hue to our Pakoras and has a mild, earthy flavour. There’s no perfect substitute for turmeric, but in a pinch, a bit of mustard powder can do the trick. 

Crushed Chillies: These are your firecrackers. They burst in your mouth with heat and spice and make our Pakoras tantalizingly fiery. If you prefer less heat, reduce the amount, or use mild chilli flakes. 

Coriander Seeds: Crushed coriander seeds impart a warm, citrusy flavour to the batter that’s undeniably delightful. If you can’t find whole seeds, ground coriander will do just fine. 

Garlic Paste: Garlic, is the flavour backbone. It imparts a robust, savoury flavour to the Pakoras that’s simply irresistible. If you don’t have a paste, finely minced fresh garlic will do the trick. 

Ginger Paste: Ginger adds a zesty note to our Pakoras, a kind of fresh heat that cuts through the richness of the dish. You can substitute it with finely grated fresh ginger if the paste isn’t available. 

Eggs: Our binding agent. The egg holds the batter together and ensures it sticks to the fish during frying. If you’re looking for an alternative, a flaxseed or chia seed ‘egg’ works well. 

Lemon Juice: The zest! Lemon juice adds a tangy brightness to the Pakoras that lifts the other flavours and adds a fresh note to the dish. In its absence, white vinegar or even lime juice can fill its shoes. 

And there you have it, the magical ensemble that brings our Fish Pakora to life. Each ingredient, is thoughtfully selected, harmoniously working together to create a dish that’s more than the sum of its parts. Now that we’ve understood our ingredients and their importance, we’re ready to make culinary magic. 

Best Fish to Use for Fish Pakora 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about making Fish Pakora, it’s that the choice of fish is crucial. It’s like casting the leading role in a blockbuster movie; you want a star that can carry the show, right? 

Traditionally, we use Cod for our Fish Pakora. Its mild flavour makes it the ideal candidate, as it beautifully soaks up the spices’ vibrant flavours. What’s more, its delightful flaky texture provides an irresistible contrast to the crispy batter, making it a joy to bite into. 

But what happens if you can’t find Cod? Well, that’s the beauty of cooking. It’s flexible. You can replace Cod with any other white fish like Haddock or Pollock. These fish are similar to Cod in flavour and texture, and they’ll do a commendable job in your Pakora. 

For a more exotic twist, you could try using Salmon. Its rich, fatty nature would add a new dimension to the Pakora, and its strong flavour could provide an interesting contrast to the spices.  

Just be aware that this could take your Pakora away from its traditional taste profile. But hey, who says you can’t put your own spin on things? 

Whichever fish you choose, make sure it’s fresh. You want your Pakora to taste the sea, not the fishmonger’s counter. And remember the joy of cooking lies in experimentation. Don’t be afraid to try different types of fish and see what works best for you. After all, you’re the director of your kitchen. 

Making a Vegetarian Version of Fish Pakora 

Here’s a challenge for you: Make a vegetarian version of a dish that has the word “fish” in its name. Sounds tricky, right? Well, worry not! With a little bit of culinary creativity, we can make a delicious, vegetarian-friendly version of Fish Pakora. 

Instead of fish, we’ll use paneer, a firm Indian cheese that’s readily available in most supermarkets. Its mild flavour makes it an excellent stand-in for our Cod, and it holds its shape beautifully during frying. Just cut it into bite-sized chunks and proceed with the rest of the recipe as written. 

But what if you can’t find paneer? Tofu to the rescue! It’s widely available and has a similar texture to paneer. Just make sure to press your tofu before using it to remove any excess water. This will help it hold up better in the fryer and allow it to absorb the flavours of the marinade more effectively. 

Another option is cauliflower. Its firm texture and subtle flavour make it a popular choice for vegetarian Indian dishes. Just break it into florets and follow the recipe as you would with the fish. Trust me, you’ll be amazed at how well it works. 

Remember, cooking is all about adaptation. Just because a recipe calls for a certain ingredient doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own.  

So whether you’re vegetarian or just looking to try something new, don’t let the word “fish” in Fish Pakora deter you. There’s a world of delicious possibilities waiting for you to explore. 

The Key Spices in Fish Pakora and Their Substitutes 

In every recipe, there’s a secret sauce, a magical blend of flavours that gives the dish its unique identity. For Fish Pakora, that secret sauce is a handful of aromatic spices that transport you straight to the bustling streets of India with every bite. 

First up, we have chilli powder and crushed chillies. They’re the spice twins that give our Pakoras a tantalizing heat, making them irresistibly fiery.

But what if your palate prefers a milder touch? In that case, you can substitute the chilli powder with paprika, which offers a similar smoky flavour without too much heat. For the crushed chillies, just reduce the amount or use mild chilli flakes. 

Next is turmeric, the golden touch. It imparts a vibrant hue to our Pakoras and has a subtle earthy flavour. There’s no direct substitute for turmeric, but if you’re in a pinch, a bit of mustard powder can fill in. It won’t give you the same colour, but it will provide a hint of that earthy flavour. 

Then we have crushed coriander seeds. Their warm, citrusy flavour is undeniably delightful. If you can’t find whole seeds, ground coriander will do just fine. It won’t give you the same texture, but it will provide a similar flavour profile. 

Finally, we have ginger and garlic pastes. They’re the backbone of our flavour profile, providing a robust, savoury note that makes our Pakoras truly irresistible. You can substitute them with finely minced fresh ginger and garlic if you don’t have pastes available. 

In the world of spices, there are many routes to a destination. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the blend that works best for you. After all, the best recipes are the ones that we make our own. 

Making the Crispiest Fish Pakora 

We’ve all been there. You take a bite of a pakora, expecting a satisfying crunch, only to be met with a disappointing softness. Not today, my friend. I’m here to share the secret to making the crispiest Fish Pakora you’ve ever tasted. 

First, we have to talk about the batter. Gram flour is the key to our Pakora’s crispiness.  

Its slightly nutty flavour pairs wonderfully with our spices, and it creates a beautifully crisp shell when fried. If you can’t find gram flour, a mix of all-purpose flour and cornstarch can work as a substitute. The cornstarch helps to create that light, crispy texture we all love. 

Now, let’s move on to the frying. When it comes to getting that perfect crunch, the temperature of your oil is crucial. It needs to be hot enough to immediately sizzle the batter, but not so hot that it burns before the fish is cooked.  

A thermometer can be a handy tool to ensure your oil is at the right temperature. 

Finally, don’t overcrowd your pan. If there are too many pakoras in the pan at once, they’ll lower the oil’s temperature and end up steaming instead of frying. Make sure each piece has enough room to swim freely in the oil. 

Follow these steps, and you’ll be rewarded with Fish Pakora that’s crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and absolutely delicious. Trust me, once you’ve experienced that perfect crunch, there’s no going back. 

Serving Authentic Sides with Fish Pakora 

A star is often defined by its supporting cast, and food is no different. While the Fish Pakora is undoubtedly the main character in this delicious play, the side dishes enhance the overall culinary experience, adding layers of flavour and texture that perfectly complement our star. 

Fish Pakora is traditionally served with a side of homemade yoghurt chutney. This tangy, creamy sauce is the perfect counterpoint to the spicy, crispy Pakora. Its coolness soothes the palate, while its tang enhances the spices, making each bite a symphony of contrasting flavours. 

If you’re looking to add a bit of freshness to the meal, a simple cucumber salad can do wonders. The crispness of the cucumber, the freshness of the mint, and the tang of the lemon juice all combine to create a refreshing side that cleanses the palate and prepares it for the next flavourful bite of Pakora. 

Finally, no Indian meal would be complete without Naan bread. Its soft, pillowy texture is perfect for scooping up that leftover chutney, and its slight sweetness provides a beautiful balance to the spicy Pakora.  

You can easily find Naan in most supermarkets, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even make it at home. 

Remember, food is a journey. The Fish Pakora may be your final destination, but the side dishes are the scenic route that makes the journey even more enjoyable. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different sides and find the perfect ensemble cast for your Fish Pakora. 

Storing and Reheating Fish Pakora 

When it comes to Pakoras, it’s hard to resist making a large batch. But what do you do with the leftovers? No worries, I’ve got you covered! Let’s talk about how to store and reheat your Fish Pakora without losing its texture and flavour. 

To store leftover Fish Pakora, first, let it cool completely. Then, transfer it to an airtight container, and place it in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it should last for up to 3 days. 

But here’s the real question: how do you reheat it without turning it into a soggy mess?  

The key here is to use your oven. Preheat it to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, spread the Pakoras on a baking sheet, and heat for about 10-15 minutes. The dry heat of the oven will help re-crisp the Pakora without overcooking the fish. 

A microwave, on the other hand, is a no-go. It might seem like the easiest option, but it will just steam your Pakora, leaving you with a disappointing lack of crunch. 

So next time you’re faced with leftover Pakoras, don’t despair. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your Fish Pakora today, tomorrow, and the day after that. After all, good food is a joy that should never go to waste. 

Baking Fish Pakora: A Healthier Take 

Is there anything better than biting into a crispy, spicy, juicy Fish Pakora? I don’t think so. But what if we could enjoy this delightful treat with a little less guilt? Enter Baked Fish Pakora. Just as delicious, but with a fraction of the oil. It sounds too good to be true, right? 

The process begins the same way as our traditional recipe, with our fish getting a good soak in that flavourful batter. However, instead of getting a bath in hot oil, these pakoras are going to take a trip to the oven. 

Set your oven to a solid 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Now, here’s the trick: spray that parchment with a bit of oil, or if you have an oil mister, even better. This will help our pakoras achieve that golden, crispy exterior we all love. 

Arrange your fish pieces on the tray, making sure they don’t touch. You want the hot oven air to circulate freely around each piece. Bake for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they’re golden and crispy.  

You might not have the deep-fried crunch, but you’ll have a satisfying bite and all the flavours intact. 

Remember, there’s always room for a healthier twist in our culinary journey. Baked Fish Pakora is just as satisfying, just as flavourful, and brings a whole new feel-good factor to your plate. 

Veganizing Fish Pakora: An Eggless Take 

In the world of culinary experimentation, there’s always room for substitutions. For our vegan friends who crave a taste of spicy, crispy Fish Pakora, the egg in the batter can seem like an obstacle. But fear not! I’m here to guide you through an eggless version of this delightful dish. 

Replacing the egg in our Fish Pakora recipe is a challenge, as it helps bind the batter and gives it a nice golden colour when fried. But, with a little magic ingredient called chickpea water, or “aquafaba” as it’s commonly known, we can achieve a similar result. 

For those unfamiliar, aquafaba is the liquid that you find in a can of chickpeas. It has a similar consistency to egg whites and is often used as a vegan egg substitute. 

For our eggless Fish Pakora, simply replace the egg in the recipe with three tablespoons of aquafaba. Whisk it into your batter just like you would the egg, and proceed with the recipe as usual. 

I know what you’re thinking: “Can chickpea water really mimic an egg?” You’ll be surprised! The aquafaba works wonderfully in the batter, providing a great coating for the fish. 

So there you have it. A vegan take on Fish Pakora that doesn’t skimp on flavour or texture. Here’s to making delicious food inclusive for everyone! 

Broadening the Horizon: Substituting Fish in Pakora 

Culinary flexibility is the spice of life, isn’t it? For those who want to explore beyond fish in their Pakora recipe or perhaps have certain dietary preferences or restrictions, I’m here to tell you that yes, you can swap out the fish with other meats or seafood! 

How about some crispy Chicken Pakora? The process remains the same, just switch out the fish for bite-sized pieces of chicken breast or thigh. The latter, with its slightly higher fat content, can bring great juiciness to your Pakora. 

If you’re a fan of seafood, Shrimp Pakora can be an absolute treat. Their natural sweetness pairs beautifully with the spices in the batter, creating a fantastic flavour contrast. You could even consider using squid or scallops, just make sure to adjust the cooking time to avoid them turning rubbery. 

And for my vegetarian friends, worry not! Vegetable Pakora is a classic option. You can use a variety of vegetables like spinach, onion, potato, or cauliflower. Each brings its unique texture and flavour to the dish, making each bite a surprise. 

So feel free to experiment, switch things up, and make the Pakora recipe your own. The world of Pakora is far larger than you might think! 

Keeping the Crisp in Fish Pakora: Tips to Prevent Sogginess 

There’s nothing more disappointing than biting into what you thought was a crispy Fish Pakora, only to find it’s turned soggy. But don’t worry, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you keep your Pakoras delightfully crispy for longer. 

The first tip lies in the batter consistency. It should be thick enough to coat the fish well but not so thick that it doesn’t allow the moisture to evaporate while frying. So, don’t be tempted to add extra water. 

Next, make sure your oil is hot enough before adding the Pakora. This ensures an instant seal, locking in the flavours and maintaining that desirable crunch. But be mindful not to overheat the oil, as this can cause the outside to cook too quickly, leaving the inside undercooked. 

Thirdly, don’t overcrowd your pan. Adding too many pieces at once drops the oil’s temperature, causing the pakoras to absorb more oil and turn soggy. 

Lastly, after frying, drain the pakoras on a wire rack instead of paper towels. The latter can trap steam and soften the Pakora’s exterior. 

So there you have it, my top tips for preventing soggy Pakora. Remember, crispiness is a virtue when it comes to perfect Fish Pakora, and every small detail counts towards achieving it. 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

Ever since I started experimenting with the delightful crunch of Fish Pakora, I’ve become a true aficionado of the deep-fried, golden nuggets of goodness that Indian cuisine has to offer. Let me share with you some of my top picks that are bound to keep your taste buds tingling! 

First off, if you enjoyed the light, flaky texture of Fish Pakora, you’ll absolutely love Chicken Pakora.  

I swapped out fish for tender morsels of chicken, maintaining that crispy batter while providing a completely new depth of flavour. The result? An irresistible snack that you won’t be able to stop munching on! 

If you’re vegetarian or simply looking for a more plant-based option, Vegetable Pakora is your go-to. This dish uses a colourful medley of fresh veggies which I deep-fry until they reach peak crunchiness. It’s like eating a rainbow, only this one tastes incredible with every bite! 

Now, Aloo Pakora is where things get interesting. Imagine the humble potato elevated to the next level – thinly sliced, cloaked in a spiced gram flour batter, and then fried to perfection. The result is a snack so divine, it’ll make you rethink everything you thought you knew about potatoes! 

Onion Pakora, for me, is like a festival in a bite. The natural sweetness of the onions caramelizes beautifully when deep-fried, contrasting with the spicy batter in a dance of flavours that’s truly addictive. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of chai on a rainy day. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the Masala Fish. If you’re a seafood lover like me, then this recipe is a must-try. I marinate the fish in a blend of aromatic spices before lightly frying it. The result is a dish that’s packed with flavour, yet wonderfully light and delicate. 

Do you have your own favourite version of pakora or any other appetizer that you’d like to share? I’d absolutely love to hear about it in the comments below! Together, we can explore the wide, wonderful world of delicious bites. 

Fish Pakora

Fish Pakora

by Nabeela Kauser
Dive into the delightful experience of crafting your very own fish pakora, a vibrant dance of flavours and textures that pay tribute to India's rich culinary tradition.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetiser
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 162 kcal


  • 500 g Fish Cod
  • 100 g Gram Flour Besan
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Crushed Chillies
  • 2 tsp Coriander Seeds crushed
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 100 ml Water


  • Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks
  • Add all the ingredients, except the fish, into a large bowl and whisk until a smooth batter with no lumps forms
  • Add the fish chunks into the batter and coat the fish pieces with the batter evenly
  • Heat a pan with oil for deep frying until medium-hot ensuring that the oil is not too hot – to test this you can add a small ball of the batter into the pan, and it should rise with tiny bubbles surrounding it
  • Gently add the fish into the pan – there should be tiny bubbles surrounding them – and allow them to cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes until golden brown before flipping and allowing to cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown on the other side
  • Serve with homemade yoghurt chutney and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 22gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 465mgPotassium: 434mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 244IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 3µgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Finger Food, Fish, Food, Pakora, Recipe, Seafood, Snack, Spicy, Street Food
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Welcome to Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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