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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

The chickpea flour batter that surrounds a pakora is more dense and crisp than your average vegetable fritter, but it's still all about giving love to the simple vegetable filling within. You get two types in the Mix Pakora ($8) at Benares: crisp-chewy lotus root and little nuggets of cabbage, spinach, and onion. The crust is dark and crisp, substantial but not weighty. Within, the fillings are slightly sweet and light on the spice, which makes them pretty receptive to the house sauces brought to your table. The green mint is brighter and spicier than the Indian restaurant standard, and the sticky tamarind has a burnt caramel sweetness that's refreshingly intense.

Benares

Multiple locations in Midtown and Tribeca
benaresnyc.com

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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