Tag Archives: tamil street food recipe

Bittergourd Pakoda / Pagarkai Pakoda / Pavakkai Pakoda


Pakoda is a deep fried snack which is most popular street food all over Tamil Nadu. My hubby loves pakoda to the core, when we were abroad we use to get pakoda from VelayudhaNadar Shop, sivakasi and would hold it almost for 2 to 3 weeks. Not only in while abroad but also whenever we go to our hometown, we never miss to get this pakoda. Not only my hubby even my dad, grandpa and the whole family till my son loves to have Milk rice and pakoda for dinner. I would say that this one of the staple dinner among all sivakasi and virudhunagar people.

Taking this to Fiesta Friday #160 hosted by Angie@thenovicegarderner.

Thought of trying it the pakoda with bittergourd and something different than the usual recipe, besan/gram flour is used in pakoda and I have substituted corn meal/maize flour instead of besan/gram flour.

CLICK HERE for vegetarian recipes and CLICK HERE for snacks recipes.

Bittergourd pakoda was slightly bitter in taste, but as it was crispy and crunchy my kids (9 year and 5 year) loved it to the core. This can be served in various forms as tea-time snack, side dish for lunch, side dish for dinner along with rice. I would say try this combination – Steamed rice (mashing consistency), boiled milk with a tsp of sugar (optional) and this pakoda would taste heavenly for dinner. Give a try…

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Bittergourd Pakoda / Pagarkai Pakoda / Pavakkai Pakoda


  • Bitter gourd – 2 nos
  • Onions – 1 no
  • Curry leaves – 2 strands
  • Corn meal / Maize flour – 1 cup
  • Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder – 2 ½ tsp
  • Asafoetida / Perungayam / Hing – ¼ tsp
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash and thinly slice the bitter gourd to pieces. Thinly slice the onions (lengthwise), keep it aside.
  • In a bowl, add corn meal, rice flour, chilli powder, salt and sprinkle ¼ cup of water, mix it well.
  • Add the sliced bitter gourd and mix it well, so that the flour should get coated well bittergourd.
  • Let it rest for 15 to 20 mins.
  • Heat oil in a kadai, now add the thinly sliced onions and curry leaves to the bittergourd and mix it well.
  • Once the oil is hot, take a small portion of the bittergourd mixture and add it to the oil, swap and fry on the both sides until they turn brown in color or crispy.
  • Drain the oil and remove it from fire.
  • Continue the same process with all the bittergourd.

Serve hot.

Note: Bring it room temperature and store it in an air-tight container, stays fresh for almost a week.

Onion Fritters / Vengaya Vadai


Onion Fritters / Vengaya Vadai is one among common snack in Tamil Nadu, most common among street foods. You could get this onions fritters in small shops all over the streets and also few vendors use to sell them in a basket carrying on their head or cycle. These are found mostly in the mornings and evenings.

People use to have this fritters/vadai with Palaya Choru. Palaya Choru Palaya means old and Choru means rice, it’s nothing but the yesterday’s leftover steamed rice would be soaked in water and little salt for overnight and then next day will be consumed for breakfast. Let me share about the goodness of palaya choru in the future posts.

This onion fritters /vadai can be prepared in minutes, also it’s very simple because of no grinding and no soaking. Let us move on to the recipe…

I am taking this to Fiesta Friday #76 hosted by angie@thenovicegarderner.


  • Besan / Gram Flour – 1 ½ cup
  • Rice flour – 1 tsbp
  • Chili powder – ½ tsp
  • Onions – 2 ½ cups
  • Cooking soda – ¼ tsp
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Curry leaves – two sprigs
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt to taste


  • Take the besan / gram flour in a mixing bowl and break the lumps with hands.
  • Add in the chili powder, rice flour, asafoetida, curry leaves, cooking soda, asafetida and mix well.
  • Peel and thinly slice the onions (lengthwise).
  • Add in the sliced onions to the batter and mix well with your fingers.
  • Pour in a cup of water little by little and knead it with your fingers. Be sure that the batter should not be runny.
  • Heat oil in a kadai, the oil should not be hottest and keep in medium flame.
  • Scoop the batter with your fingers and drop gently to the oil one by one.
  • Swap the sides, once in a while and until it becomes golden brown.
  • Drain the oil and remove the fritters to a plate.

Serve hot. I have accompanied this with Samai Pongal / Little Millet Pongal, sambhar and chutney.

Note: When you need the fritter to be more fluffy and soft, mix with 1 tbsp of excess water to the batter and prepare fritters. If you need a crunchy and crispy one, pour in little quantity of water, for a thick batter and prepare fritters.