Squash Blossom Pakoras
60 Min

Squash Blossom Pakoras

A couple of weeks ago at the farmers market, Armando Bustamante — a farmer with a warm smile and a large field in the Heights neighborhood who has often provided us with local fennel, cauliflower and amaranth leaves — asked me if I’d like some squash blossoms. He had too many and did not know what to do with them.


The next day a giant container of huge sunflower-yellow delicate squash blossoms landed in the restaurant's kitchen. We tore some up and threw them into salads; one of my cooks went to town making squash blossom quesadillas for family meal; and I decided to try a true and tested approach with them. Stuffed with a tangy cream cheese filling, they were tasty just as is and could be served chilled with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. But fried in a light delicate pakora batter, they were ethereally delicious, especially when the fried blossom pakora was stuffed inside a fresh blossom.

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Cook Time

60 Minutes



To make the filling:
Step 1
Combine the cream cheese with onion, serrano, currants, coriander, ginger, lemon juice, and salt. Discard the bottom 2-inch stems of the cilantro bunch, mince the rest finely and mix into the cream cheese. Divide the mixture into roughly 20 portions. Stuff 2 to 3 teaspoons into each blossom and pinch close. Set aside until ready to fry.
Step 2
In a medium-size bowl, whisk the chickpea and rice flour with water, salt, black pepper, and 1 1/2 cups of water. If there are any lumps, strain the batter. The mixture should be runny – add more water if needed.
To fry the blossoms:
Step 1
Bring the oil to 350°F in a wok or a Dutch oven. Dip each blossom into the batter and quickly drop it into the hot oil. Repeat with as many as can fit in the oil. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, then drain. Stuff each pakora into a fresh blossom and serve warm. 


40 squash blossom flowers

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 medium serrano chile, minced

2 tablespoons currants or raisins

1 teaspoon toasted slightly crushed coriander seeds

1 tablespoon unpeeled minced ginger

Juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 bunch cilantro


1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/2 cup rice flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups rice bran oil for frying

Notes & Variations

  • While most pakora batters are made with chickpea alone, adding rice flour lightens the flavor and the texture. Feel free to use either chickpea or rice entirely. 
  • Replace the cream cheese with chevre or a combination of a favorite melting cheese like Swiss, Cheddar or Gruyere.
  • Toast coriander seeds in a 300°F oven for 5 minutes or over a hot skillet until the color changes slightly and an aroma emanates. To crush coriander seeds, use a light rolling pin. 

60 Min

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