We all know tempura to be a sort of Japanese pakora. But, is it any relation to the real pakora? Opinions are divided. The official version is that the Portuguese introduced tempura to the Japanese.
But, the Portuguese are not great eaters of pakora-like snacks. So, it has also been suggested that the technique was taught to the Japanese by the cooks on Portuguese ships who were from Goa and other parts of India and knew how to make bhajiyas and pakoras.
There was no besan in Japan, so they used wheat-flour. Apart from that, the tempura follows all the rules of pakora cooking: light batter, deep fried, raw vegetables and ingredients and even takes on the shape of the ingredient under the batter.
Sadly while tempura has become a famous global dish, our pakoras have not spread that widely.