Updated date:

3 South Asian Snacks to Enjoy With Your Afternoon Tea

I grew up eating these snacks—and I enjoy eating them to this day.

Tasty snacks for your afternoon tea

Tasty snacks for your afternoon tea

Three Great South Asian Snacks

In this article, I'm going to share my recipes for desi pakora, Chinese pakora, and crispy chips 'n' dip. Pakora is a deep-fried snack that is popular in South Asian countries. It usually looks like a potato puff, but with a little more crisp on its surface.

You might be wondering what the word "desi" means. Desi refers to a person from India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh. All three countries share a unique cuisine that is characterized by many shared flavors and spices, as well as recipes that often have a long list of ingredients.

I myself am a desi person, and I'm a huge lover of desi food and cuisine. I grew up eating these snacks—and I enjoy eating them to this day.

The first recipe I will share is desi pakora. This recipe has many ingredients, but all of them should be readily available anywhere in the world. These pakoras are extremely popular in South Asia and are cooked in nearly every home. They are a wonderful, flavorful snack to serve with tea.

The second recipe I will share is Chinese pakora. This recipe includes Chinese salt, which is a bit uncommon and unique. This recipe actually does not involve many ingredients, but the resulting dish is still delicious. These pakoras are crispy and beautiful, and they are amazingly tasty.

The third recipe is a snack that is popular in the West, as well as in the East. This is crispy chips 'n' dip (you may know chips as French fries). There are many recipes around the world for this snack, but this particular recipe has an absolutely stunning twist. This one is special to me.

Now let's begin cooking.

Recipe 1: Desi Pakora

Desi pakora, ready to be served

Desi pakora, ready to be served

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

40 min

20 min

1 hour

10–12 pakoras

Ingredients for Desi Pakora

  • 1 cup gram flour
  • 2 Tbsp rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp semolina
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 large potato, grated and squeezed to extract excess water
  • 1/2 cup cabbage, sliced
  • 5–6 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp allspice
  • 1 or 1.5 Tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp red chili, crushed
  • 1/2 Tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp roasted cumin, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda or baking powder
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions for Desi Pakora

  1. Combine gram flour, rice flour, and semolina in a bowl.
  2. Add all vegetables to the bowl. Before adding the grated potato, squeeze them to extract all water.
  3. Add all spices, as well as the baking powder (or baking soda).
  4. Mix all ingredients. Add water. Mix well to form a batter.
  5. Heat oil in a deep frying pan on high heat. Once the oil is hot, adjust to medium heat. Using a spoon, drop 1 tablespoon of batter to hot oil to make a perfect pakora. You can add up to 15 pakoras at a time depending upon the size of the pan.
  6. Cook the pakoras on medium heat for about 5–6 minutes until golden and crispy. Tip: Do not turn the pakoras for at least 2 minutes on a side.
  7. Pakoras may be served with any dip of your choice. Ketchup goes well with it. (There is a special kind of chutney that is often served with these. If you would like me to share this recipe, please let me know in the comments.)

Recipe 2: Chinese Pakora

Crispy fried Chinese pakora

Crispy fried Chinese pakora

Cook Time

Prep Time: 25 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Ready In: 40 mins

Yields: 10–12 pakoras

Ingredients for Chinese Pakora

  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp corn flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese salt
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chicken, boiled and shredded (optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions for Chinese Pakora

  1. Combine flour, corn flour, and baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Add vegetables to the flour mixture. If you are including the optional chicken, add it now.
  3. Add salt, Chinese salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix well, then add egg. Mix with a spatula (or you can use your hands, like me).
  5. Add milk. Mix well to form a thick batter.
  6. Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, adjust the heat to medium. Using a spoon, drop 1 tablespoon of batter in the pan.
  7. Add as many pakoras as you like, depending upon the size of your pan.
  8. Cook over medium heat for at least 2 minutes on a side. Fry until golden and crispy.
  9. Serve with any dip of your choice.

Recipe 3: Crispy Chips 'n' Dip

One of my all-time favorite snacks: crispy chips 'n' dip

One of my all-time favorite snacks: crispy chips 'n' dip

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 mins Cook Time: 15 to 20 mins Ready In: 50 mins

Yields: Serves 7–8 people

Ingredients for Crispy Chips 'n' Dip

  • 1/2 kilo potatoes, cut into chips (aka fries)

For Dry Mixture:

  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp oil

For Wet Mixture:

  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • 3 Tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • water, as needed

Instructions for Crispy Chips 'n' Dip

For Dry Mixture:

  1. Mix flour, corn flour, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add oil to the flour mixture.
  3. Mix to make flour crumbs.

For Wet Mixture:

  1. Mix flour, corn flour, and salt in a second bowl.
  2. Add baking powder to the flour mixture.
  3. Add water to make a thick paste. Mix well.

Procedure:

  1. Take some chips and dip them in the dry mixture of flour crumbs. Coat completely.
  2. Take the chips that have been coated in the dry mixture and now place them in the wet mixture. After applying this second layer, the chips are ready for frying.
  3. In a pan, heat oil over high heat. Once the oil is hot, reduce heat to medium.
  4. One at a time, place coated chips in hot oil.
  5. Fry over medium heat. Allow 2 minutes per side before flipping.
  6. Allow sufficient space in the pan between chips to prevent sticking.
  7. Fry until golden and crispy.

The Dip (It's Chips 'n' Dip, Right?)

The real twist of this recipe is the accompanying dip.

Ingredients for the Dip

  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp red chili, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce or chili sauce

Instructions for the Dip

  1. Mix all ingredients well.
  2. Serve with chips 'n' dip.

All Three Delicious Snacks Together

Make your afternoon tea joyful

Make your afternoon tea joyful

© 2018 Noor Bint Samina

Comments

Noor Bint Samina (author) from Pakistan on October 30, 2018:

thanks Chitrangada :)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 16, 2018:

Nice recipes and well presented article!

You are right, these are favourites in this part of the World. Almost a regular in my kitchen too.

Thanks for sharing!

Noor Bint Samina (author) from Pakistan on August 21, 2018:

Thank u soo much... I would really like if you will try them and I am sure your friend is gonna love them

Katharine L Sparrow from Massachusetts, USA on August 20, 2018:

Noor, these recipes look so delicious! I especially like the first recipe with a blend of so many flavors. Your photos are clear and helpful. Maybe I will try one of these when a friend comes to visit me. The combinations of ingredients are so exotic to us in North America! Very nicely done.