Chickpea Batter Fried Fish (Fish Pakoras)

DSC_0184Fish Nuggets! That’s the name my kids have given this! But don’t let the name fool you – these are nothing like the Nuggets mass produced by the fast food world. These are fish pieces dipped in a batter of chickpea flour (besan) and spices and cilantro.  The fresh cilantro makes these so incredibly flavorful! Oh my, my mouth is watering just thinking about them …which is making it impossible to write this post! The kids just cleaned up the few pieces we had left over from last night. Perfect little bites – crispy coating of chickpea flour and soft white fish inside. The family gave it a perfect 10/10. My son went along to say that these would have been a winner if I had made these in any cooking contest! Wow! now that’s something right? I guess I don’t really need to say anymore…but I will still say this – this is a great way to get your kids to like fish if they don’t already do that is. Ours is a ‘seafood devourer’ family so I don’t need to try hard but believe me this is one recipe your kids will absolutely love!

DSC_0170I used tilapia filets but I suppose other fish filets like cod would be fine too. We had these for dinner with a large bowl of salad comprising of black beans,cucumber and avocados. However these would be a perfect snack or an appetizer dish. If you are planning on making this for an appetizer for a party, make sure you make lots of it though! Coz these are going to go by pretty fast! Guaranteed! Young and old alike will fall for these fish bite delights! We just had these last night and I am already craving for these right now 🙁



  • 1 lb of fish filets (approximately) cut into about 1 inch wide pieces
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder

For making batter:

  • 1/2 cup chick pea flour or gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup water plus 1 tbsp more


Wash the filets and pat dry using paper towels. Sprinkle with the red chili and salt and keep aside.

Heat a deep frying pan with oil.

In a small bowl, add all the batter ingredients except water. Add water slowly little bit at a time mixing to avoid any lumps. After you use up all the water you should end up with a thick batter.

Check oil temperature by dropping a drop of batter in it. if it rises right up sizzling, then oil is ready. Keep heat on medium.

Fry the fish pieces by dipping them one by one in the batter and pouring in the hot oil. You can fry 6-8 pieces at once depending upon the size of your frying pan.

Fry the pieces until the outside is crispy and yellowish brown. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Serve hot!









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  1. They look so crunchy! That’s the only way my kids would eat their fish, so thank you for the recipe! Are these also called fish koliwada? Btw, I went to this super huge Indian store and saw poha in person 😀 but it only comes in big bags and my mean husband ruled it out.

    • You are welcome angie:) Fish koliwada is I believe similar to this with some additional spices. yeah poha is unfortunately big packs although they are light but take up volume. But the packs do get over soon since you have to use more of it in recipes as compared to regular rice.

  2. Ooo love these, what a brilliant idea. Just conscious about the deep frying though. How much oil did you put in the pan? I want to make them, I have tilipia too and all those other spices. Great meal with all those veggies. I’ve bookmarked your recipe.

    • Hey Loretta! I use very little oil while deep frying. Mainly use a small pan so I can use less oil and then fry in small batches. These don’t soak up too much oil if fried at the right temperature. And then of course blotting on paper towels always helps.! I also always balance deep fried stuff with a salad or something light.! yes do try it ! 🙂

  3. Oh Indu, you are making me wish I could turn back the clock on my children’s childhood of eating those dreaded boxed fish sticks! Guilty! Wish I had knew you then, these are scrumptious and so much more healthy!

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