Onion Pakoda | Crispy Onion Fritters

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I am taken aback to my childhood days, thinking of Onion Pakoda. Fried delicacies were a rare occurrence at our home, but when Amma made them we all enjoyed them immensely. On Sunday evenings, when all of us would be relaxing amma would quickly mix the besan/gram flour with other spices and onions – preparing these crispy pakodas. And there were times she used to make it as a side dish for rice as well – yes you read it right. At our home, these were not just snacks. Amma has this recipe of stuffing Pakoda mix in bitter gourd which tastes awesome. As kids we used to be adamant not to eat the bitter gourd and hence she would make pakodas for us. This is one snack that would be made when there are unexpected guests – as this gets made in a jiffy.

Now at our house, we do NOT make fried food. In fact, I am so allergic to deep frying that I restrain any frying activity to once or twice a year. First I hate oily food and secondly, I am super scared of the hot oil. Unless otherwise it’s absolutely necessary, I do not deep fry anything. That said, the husband loves deep fried food. It has to be like that right? We are so different in everything. One of the evenings, when it was raining, the husband wished to have something crispy and crunchy. I know he loves onion pakodas and hence made it for him. The plate was empty in no time and ever since, every evening the husband would try his luck checking if we could make the pakodas again 😀 I know I am going to make these again, for rainy evenings call for hot crispy stuff!

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To make Onion Pakodas

Serves – 2 || Time to prepare – 20 mins || Difficulty level – Medium

What I used –

  • Onions, 2 large
  • Besan/Gram Flour, ½ cup (or less)
  • Rice Flour, 1 tbsp
  • Finely Chopped Green Chillies, 1 tsp (optional)
  • Red Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt, as required
  • Oil, for deep frying
  • Water, a few tbsp
  • Curry Leaves, a few sprigs

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How I made –

  1. In a bowl, add julienned onions. Add the salt required to make the pakodas. Mix the onions well with salt using your hand. Set aside for 5-7 mins. The onions on getting mixed with salt would leave water.
  2. Slowly add the besan/gram flour and rice flour and add them by spoonful. Mix well. The flours should be coated well on the onion slices with no additional water required. Add red chilli powder and roughly chopped curry leaves. Add finely chopped green chillies if using.
  3. Mix everything well. If the mixture is too dry, you can add a tbsp of water. Do not add more water. The mixture should hold together when you make a lump but not be too watery.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. Reduce the flame to medium.
  5. Take handful of the Pakoda mix and sprinkle it all over the oil. The pakodas would fall in as lumps. After 10-20 secs, gently turn them over.
  6. When there are golden brown in color and the hissing of the oil (along with bubbles) has stopped, remove them on to a tissue to drain excess oil.
  7. Repeat the same with the remaining Pakoda mix. Towards the end of the frying, take a handful of washed and dried curry leaves and fry them as well. Top them up on deep fried onion pakodas.
  8. Serve hot with tea/coffee.

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Note –

  • The water from onion, salt mixture should be more than enough to make the Pakoda mix. If you add more water, the pakodas would be chewy and not crisp. Let the onions rest for a few mins before adding the flours.
  • The amount of besan/gram flour is only an indication. Depending on how much water the onions release, you may require a little less. I suggest adding the flours by spoonful so that you would know when to stop.
  • If you desire a spicier version, you can add chopped green chillies. I did not use any.
  • Additionally, garam masala powder can be added. I did not use any.
  • The oil should be hot while beginning and after that, reduce the flame to medium. Else, the pakodas would get browned outside but remain raw inside.
  • While deep frying the pakodas, take a handful of the mix and drop it all over the oil. That way, the gram flour and onion mix would get equally spread. Else, there would be lumps of gram flour and individual onion pieces.

PS – I will update the step by step pictures for this recipe soon.

25 thoughts on “Onion Pakoda | Crispy Onion Fritters

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  1. These are exactly the type of onion fritters that I love! I mean, the look of these fritters tells me these are the type I like – crispy with lots of onions. I remember we used to get these at a small shop near our house in Secunderabad – near mama’s place, where we would spend our summer vacations, actually. I would visit religiously and hog these. 🙂 Such fond memories! Once I even got lost in the bylanes of Secunderabad, trying to search for the shop. 😀

    BTW, I make onion fritters at home using exactly the same recipe, but they never turn out like this. They don’t look like this, for starters, and they don’t taste great. What could I be doing wrong?

    1. Wow I am so glad this post took you down the memory lane 🙂

      Do you add additional water? Or the quantity of besan too much for the onions? Also, when you drop them into the oil, never do so in lumps.. instead you should kind of sprinkle..

      1. I think the amount of flour I add is relatively more, as against the amount of onions. And I don’t sprinkle the dough into the hot oil – I make balls and drop them. Will try and incorporate your suggestions the next time. Thanks! 🙂

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