Spice up Chanukah with these Eggplant Pakoras
Photo: Shulie Madnik; Food Wanderings

Spice up Chanukah with these Eggplant Pakoras

Katy Morris

If latkes begin to look a little lackluster midway to Chanukah’s grand finale on the eighth night, you’re not alone. Consider spicing up your holiday celebration with these fried Indian Eggplant Pakoras from Shulie Madnick’s Food Wanderings. 

As a perfect nod to the versatility of our beloved nightshade fruit, these gently-spiced golden fritters pair beautifully with the complex, herbal notes of a Pear Cardamom Sauce or Majdool Date and Tamarind Chutney. But they’re plenty tasty straight up, too. 

Pakora, a quintessential Indian comfort snack likened to tempura, can be made with practically any veggie and with whatever unique blend of spices you dream up. The variations are practically endless. This batter is made from chickpea flour (easy to find at your local Whole Foods) and adds a nice gluten-free, crisp coating.

Throw in some chopped cilantro, jalapeno or even seeds to the batter for a fresh, hot or earthy flavorful bite. As Shulie says, “I recommend you leave your signature on it and make it your own!”

For more Chanukah recipe ideas that dance around the latke theme click here.

For more Chanukah latke recipes click on the holiday tab above and go to the Chanukah section. That should do it for ya!

Thank you, Shulie, for this inspired recipe and photo.

Shulie Madnick is a freelance food and travel writer and photographer published in The Washington Post among other publications. She is an Israeli born Bene Israel Indian Jew, who lives just outside Washington, D.C. She is working on a photo exhibit and articles from her recent trip to India and her first cookbook.

Eggplant Fritters (Pakoras) in Chickpea


  • 1 medium eggplant (14 oz/400 gr)
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder or Kashmiri red pepper powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 egg

Takes ,serves 2.


  1. In a medium bowl add the batter ingredients and whisk with a small whisk into a smooth consistency.
  2. In a skillet or a frying pan heat up the oil on medium high.
  3. Cut stem and bottom off the eggplant and slice into 14 equal rounds, slightly less than 1/2 an inch each.
  4. Dip in batter and coat well. Let excess batter drip back into the batter bowl while holding the eggplant from one edge over the bowl.
  5. Fry, Adjusting heat to medium if necessary. Fry until deep golden on both sides.
  6. Drain on paper towel lined plate.


Leave a Reply