Recipe for peace: Aloo pakauda (NEPAL)

As part of our Recipes for Peace series, each week we feature an inspiring dish to celebrate the varied – and tasty – ways in which food can play a role in building peace.

Aloo pakauda with tomato achar (NEPAL)

Aloo pakauda is a 'khaja' (teatime) snack, enjoyed by Nepalis of all backgrounds. Nepalis have travelled all over the world in search of economic opportunities and a more secure and stable life for their families. Nepali communities all around the world gather together to spend time, talk about their lives and about Nepal and, of course, share traditional Nepali food.


Aloo pakauda is delicious and simple to make and reminds us of home and what we have in common, no matter our differences. The golbheda achar is a popular accompaniment to the dish and every family has its own special take on it. 


For the pakauda:

  • Potatoes
  • Chickpea flour
  • Chopped coriander
  • Ajowan seeds, cumin, turmeric and coriander powder
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Cooking oil

For the tomato achar (accompaniment):

  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Fresh coriander, timur (schezuan pepper), dried red chillies, turmeric and salt
  • Cooking oil

Cooking instructions:

For the pakauda:

Mix together the chickpea flour, coriander, spices and salt. Add water to the mix. The batter needs to be smooth, a bit like thick cream.

Peel and slice potatoes thinly and dip them in the batter.

Heat oil in a pan. Test it by dropping a tiny bit of batter into it. It should bubble up immediately. 

Fry the pakaudas in the hot oil, turning over a few times. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon (leaving most of the oil behind) when the pakaudas are golden-brown and transfer to a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Serve as soon as possible.

For the achar:

Quarter the tomatoes and fry with a little oil for a few minutes. Do not overcook the tomatoes, we just want it to have a light brown colour all over. Add a little turmeric while cooking.

Chop up the garlic, ginger and coriander and mix it in the food processor. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients and mix it until you get the desired consistency.

Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before eating.

Notes: My sister Arati taught me how to make this golbheda achar. It is the kind of achar that goes very well with momos (dumplings) but is excellent with any Nepali meal or snack. Try using dry red chillies instead of fresh green chillies. I love how this gives a deeper flavour to this achar but I also love the fresh aroma and flavour of green chillies so you can use either. 

I used very little fresh coriander for this version. Later I realised that this achar is even better if I use no fresh coriander at all and it ends up with a beautiful orange-ish colour which looks very appealing. So some of these things are down to individual taste.

This recipe was shared by Rajani Thapa, a writer based in London. She loves cooking meals for family and friends and enjoys coming up with modern and fresh interpretations of traditional dishes.

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Photo credit: Zoubein (bottom left)