I loved my first trip to India a few months back. There’s no doubt the culinary influence Indians have left in the region, even in places like Bangkok where Indian food isn’t common or well liked by locals.
Still, the legacy of centuries of trading with India have left their mark in small ways if you know what to look for. Knowing this made being in India an incredible time.
I posted some of these pakoras on instagram and got great feedback. So here’s more details on where I found them in four Asian cities.
1. Bangkok’s Charoen Krung District
It was interesting to find these Pakistani style pakoras in front of a little mosque in Silom. It was during Ramadan, so everyone was praying and coming out of the temple hungry.
We all know when you’re on your way to eat a feast, there’s nothing like a snack to prepare the belly for late evening feasting.
Weird how some of the most interesting stuff is actually close to home. I think they cost around 20-30 baht and were an interesting variety including these large pakoras made with peppers. They were by far the largest of the pakoras on this list.
2. Kathmandu, Nepal
Smack dab in the middle of Thamel is this tapas spot. I saw the sign a few times and was pretty skeptical. But I finally went it and it was reasonably priced and tasty. Just wish I’d gone in earlier!
Their pakoras (spelled pakoda) came out extra crispy and of course it wasn’t the only thing I ordered. I believe they had one or two types, but these were their veggie pakoras with gram flour (ground chickpeas) and cost 50 Nepali rupees or about $0.50 for this small plate.
The place is called the Rockslane Restaurant and it’s just a dive bar overlooking one of the main intersections in Thamel.
3. Delhi, India
Now I did my street food thang in India and hit up a few nice restaurants, BUT I still felt like I wanted to do more to connect with the cuisine. I couldn’t get a street food tour on short notice so I signed up for a cooking class which turned into a three hour eating mission with a nice Indian family.
The class was hosted by Jyoti of Gourmet Desire. I’ll write more about this later, but you can follow the link for all the details.
4. Pahalgham, Kashmir, India
Last by not least, the most delicious of them all.
Just a couple miles from the much contested India-Pakistani border in Kashmir’s Pahalgam, I sat in a random spot and chatted to some Kashmiri guys who ran the restaurant about politics. They were super cool and their uncle who was whipping these pakoras up must have went and milked a cow to get the cheese while we were talking.
They were SO fresh and gooey delicious. I’m still a bit lovestruck looking at these photos if you can’t tell.
I’m smitten with pakoras in general, even more now that I’ve tasted them around Asia. Next, I guess I need to make my own, yeah?