March 20, 2018

These are unashamedly and satisfryingly good. So good they put chicken nuggets to shame...

  • 40 mins
  • 15 mins
  • 60 Pieces

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck..."

This recipe was supposed to be something else but then it turned into something better ?

I am SO chuffed. My children loved these after school and even took it for their teacher. And they definitely make a great Ramadan Iftar snack.
So here is the evolution process of these tuna nugget pakoras. I love trial n errors because sometimes you end up with something, unexpectedly DELICIOUS.



So about a decade ago, i remember i was at my eldest's playgroup, end of year party and this delicious mummy bought in some savoury handesh. Handesh is normally made from date molasses or sugar and deep fried in oil combined with rice and plain flour. These handesh are quite closely related to 'nunor boras' but a lot softer and puffier in texture.

So having that in mind, i went straight to my mixing bowl and accurately measured all the ingredients. What was supposed to be hundesh, round and fluffy and crispy ended up looking like popcorn nuggets. YIKES! They tasted perfect and the texture was just spot on too, HOWEVER the shape just was not right. It was in fact WONKY DONKEY! I rushed and panicked and added more plain flour, but they ended up just super fluffy rather than round and fluffy and not UFO like :-(. Im sure that had i left the mixture to amalgamate a little more, they would have been just right, but alas, i was clearly too impatient. And so i went my own way and conjured up something else.... something else rather fishy and exquisite...



And so school runs was dawning on me, i was running around my kitchen back and forth. I added 2 cans of tuna, a cup of coriander, some nigella seeds and deep fried once again and VOILA- born was my nugget pakoras made with tuna 🙂 it was LOVE AT FIRST BITE.


Here are my TOP TIPS for you to read before you give this recipe a go:

1. Always SIFT and add the dry ingredients at the end (the spices, baking powder and the plain flour).

2. Use a round bottom karahi to deep fry.

3. Use crisp and dry oil to deep fry ensuring you use kitchen paper towel to soak up extra oil.

4. Leave the batter to amalgamate for at least 30mins-1hour.

5. Chillis are optional. If there are little ones substitute for a milder spice.

6. If you like the PAKORA texture then SLICE your onions and green chillis. If you like the NUGGET texture, BLEND the onion and chillis.

7. If you do not have access to rice flour or ground rice, substitute it for plain flour. Ground rice ensures extra crispiness.

8. Stir in 1 of the tuna cans well and leave the second can chunky to give these tuna nuggets a more fishy flavour and chunkier texture.

9. You can add boiled potatoes if you feel your mix is too wet.

10. If you are a vegan or vegetarian you can totally skip the tuna and enjoy the recipe savoury. My eldest loved it without the fish also.


I really hope you enjoy this recipe as did my Hungry Children. If so, leave a comment down below and don't forget to send hungry hijabi some of your photos via email or instagram.


ps we found these delicious tuna bites, go exceedingly well with sweet chilli sauce and a squeeze of lemon.


1 cup Ground Rice OR Rice Flour

2 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt

2 1/2 cup Water

1 Onion

5-7 Green Chillis

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Hot Curry Powder

1 tsp Coriander Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

2 1/2 cup Plain Flour

2 Tuna Chunk Cans

1 cup Coriander

1 tsp Nigella Seeds


1In a clean dry bowl add the ground rice and soak for 30mins with 2cups water and salt. If you are using rice flour, skip this stage.

2In the meantime, in a blender, blend together: 1/2 cup water, 1 medium onion and chillis to taste. If you prefer a pakora texture, skip this stage.

3Next add in all the dry sifted ingredients: turmeric, curry powder, coriander powder, baking powder and plain flour. Mix it well.

4If you skipped stage 2 add sliced onions and chopped chillis.

5Next, add both the cans of tuna. Remember, mix one can of tuna and leave the second can of tuna in its chunk form to add texture and fishiness to the snack.

6Leave aside for 30mins - 1hour so the mixture thoroughly amalgamates.

7Heat the oil in your desired fryer. The oil must be medium hot and not smoking.

8Using a teaspoon or dessert spoon, gently scoop up the batter and pop it one by one into the fryer.

9These cook very quickly. So get ready to take it out the hot oil once golden brown and drain on a kitchen tissue.

10Voila DONE! We LOVE to serve these with lemon wedges because fish loves lemon, sweet chilli sauce and a lush lemonade 🙂


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