Does Indian Pakora Have a Japanese Connection?
Updated : August 09, 2021 11:08 IST
This monsoon season, what is something you crave the most? Did you also think of pakoras? Here is a little history of Indian pakora which can surely excite you.
Pakoras has undergone numerous changes over the years. Traditionally this dish incorporates a variety of complex Indian flavours and textures, sometimes even giving fusion twists. However, despite all these changes, it has never stopped losing its ability to provide satisfaction with every bite.
This particular dish in all its diversity has also travelled the world influencing and assimilating foreign taste buds. One of those important Indian influences of pakora can be found in a known Japanese dish called "tempura".
So, what is tempura?
Tempura holds a special place in Japanese culinary culture that rivals sushi. Although it is typically Japanese cuisine, this type of fried cuisine has foreign roots. Dutch merchants, who were allowed to trade with Japan in the mid-16th century, brought these crispy delicacies to the country. It was not long before the tempura madness reigned here and spread throughout the country until the turn of the century.
According to food experts, Spanish and Portuguese ships stopped in India in the 16th century on their way to Japan. During the layover they were aboard Indian chefs who reportedly taught Europeans different ways to consume vegetables, pakoras is one of the dishes served. When the ships finally reached Japan, they left many Indian chefs who influenced Japanese cuisine and helped create tempura.
Before the Portuguese merchants, there was no tempura in Japan. What supports this theory is the fact that tempura remains an anomaly in Japanese cuisine where deep-frying is not traditionally practiced. Most of their fried dishes are deep fried slowly.
Those Indian chefs come out with their desi version of tempura which is commonly known as pakora which we heartily enjoy with chutney and chai.
Are you still not convinced what influenced the invention of pakoras?