Wash and cut 250 grams of cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Soak them in warm water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine 150 grams of gram flour (besan), 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of baking soda.
Gradually add water to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a thick, smooth batter. The consistency should be such that it coats the cauliflower florets evenly.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan or kadai over medium heat. To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a small amount of batter into the oil. If it sizzles and rises to the surface, the oil is ready for frying.
Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter, ensuring it is well coated, and carefully drop it into the hot oil. Fry the pakoras in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry the gobi pakoras until they turn golden brown and crispy, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking. This should take about 4-5 minutes per batch.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the pakoras from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.
Serve the gobi pakoras hot with green chutney or tomato ketchup.