Onion pakora or onion pakoda is a delicious south Indian snack made with onions, gram flour, spices and herbs. It is a super delicious, addictive and perfect evening snack with tea or coffee.
In this post I am sharing two ways to make onion pakora recipe. Classic fried pakora and healthier baked onion pakoda recipe. Now that monsoons have started, make a batch and enjoy piping hot 🙂
What is your favorite snack with tea during monsoons? I love a piping got plate of pakoras any day but during monsoons or an a rainy day they are extra special right?
There are so many varieties of pakoras in Indian cuisine, yes we are spoilt for choice 🙂 In this post we will learn how to make onion fritters that are super crispy, delicious and does not soak up much oil. Read on for more details and complete recipe.
About Onion Pakoda Recipe
Onion pakoda is a south Indian onion fritter recipe made with gram flour, rice flour, thinly sliced onions, some spice powders and herbs like chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves.
Pakora or pakoda or pakodi is a broad term used for fried fritters in Indian cuisine. You can make pakora with different vegetables, nuts and leafy greens.
While some of use may not prefer to have pakoras from these shops, making them at home is super easy and fun.
These are also super quick to make, ready in under 30 minutes from scratch. Pakoda are easy and quick to make when you have that sudden craving 🙂
The base for all these fritters are a chickpea flour and a bit of rice flour. While bajji is made up dipping individual slices of vegetables in a thick batter, for pakora we simply toss the vegetables and flours together to make a tight dough.
Well made onion pakoras are super crispy, very light and dry without soaking lot of oil. This recipe of onion pakoda will help you make perfect fritters that are
super easy to make
light, crispy and dry
best snack for monsoons with masala chai
always a hit with kids
Ingredients & substitutes
Thinly Sliced Onions
You can use red, yellow or white onions for this recipe. Traditionally big red onions are used for pakora recipe. It has a sharp taste so you can also use yellow or white if you prefer milder flavor. For a different flavor you can also use green onions or scallions.
The besan or gram flour is Indian names for chickpea flour. It is the base of this onion pakora recipe. Use fresh and fine flour that is not rancid for best taste. We do not make a typical gram flour batter here though, just tossing flours with sliced onion.
Along with besan, I always add some rice flour in pakora mixture. Rice flour makes the pakoda super crispy and light. You can also add corn flour instead of rice flour to make onion pakoda crisp.
Ginger & Green Chilies
These two ingredients add wonderful flavor and spice to this crunchy onion pakoda recipe. I simply love those small pieces of fried green chillies in pakoras. Along with ginger you can also add few cloves of garlic to replicate exact street style pakoda.
Red chilli powder for spice, a pinch of ajwain or carom seeds for flavor, it also aids in digestion. We also need few curry leaves, salt, water and oil for deep frying.
How To Make Onion Pakora Recipe
Pick and rinse 3 large onions or 450 grams of onions.. Remove the outer peel and thinly slice them. If you are making a big batch you can use a food processor, it will get the job done in minutes. For super crispy onion pakora make sure to slice the onions thin.
Also finely chop 3 green chilies, roughly chop 12 curry leaves, peel and mince 1 inch ginger. You can also add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves and 2 minced garlic cloves.
Making Pakora Mixture
In a mixing bowl, take sliced onions, chopped green chilies, crushed ginger, curry leaves. Mix well. Squeeze the onions gently. Set aside for 5 minutes. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy pan over medium heat.
Add 1/4 cup rice flour, 3/4 cup gram flour, carom seeds, salt and mix well.
Take around 3 teaspoons hot oil and add to this mixture. Now sprinkle 23 teaspoons water at a time and make a tight dough like mixture.
Now take some dough and add to the hot in sprinkling motion. Deep fry until golden brown in medium flame. Do not add too many pakoras at at time. There should be enough space for the pakodas. Also do not cook in high flame.
Fry until the sizzling sound is reduced and pakodas are golden and crispy.
Drain excess oil on a kitchen tissue or strainer. Serve onion pakoda hot with tea.
Baked Onion Fritters
Preheat your oven at 200C or 390F. Grease a baking tray well. Rinse, wipe and slice onions thinly. You can also separate them into thin rings.
Combine sliced onions, chopped chilies, curry leaves and grated ginger and turmeric in a bowl.
To that add 3/4 cup chickpea flour, 1/4 cup rice flour, 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds, 1 teaspoon red chili powder and salt to taste.
Mix well and add 2-3 tablespoons water to just bring everything together. If you add too much water the onion pakodas will turn soft instead of crispy.
Finally add 2 tablespoons oil and mix very well.
Divide into small portions and place on the greased baking sheet.
Bake in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes. After 12 minutes, flip each portion and bake till crispy.
Serve baked onion pakodas immedietly with tea or coffee.
Slice the onions thinly.
For crispy onion pakora always slice the onions as thinly as possible. I prefer to use a food processor as it slices the onions super thin and work gets done in minutes. Make sure all the onions are sliced in even thickness, if some onions are thick and some are thin, pakoras will not be crispy.
Set aside the onions for 5 minutes after slicing. This step will let onions release some moisture. You can squeeze the onions to remove that water or just use it to mix the flours. If you add water to the onions immediately, all the water from onions will accumulate and make the dough very soggy and pakoras will soak up oil.
Use fresh gram flour.
Using fresh and fine gram flour for best tasting onion pakoda. Taste test the gram flour before adding to make sure it is not rancid or bitter. You don’t have have to pre roast the flour.
The key to make crispy yet light pakoras that do not soak up oil is to fry them at right temperature. After heating the oil over medium flame for 5-6 minutes, drop a small piece of pakora mixture into it. If it sizzles and raises after a second, the oil is at correct temperature for frying. If it raises immediately and turns black, oil is too hot & if it sinks and does not raise at all oil is not hot enough.
You have to fry these pakoras in batches depending on the size of your pan. Make sure not to over crowd the pan. Always fry these pakoras in medium heat. If you fry them in very low flame pakoras will soak up lot of oil and also become hard. On the other hand if you fry them in high heat they will burn quickly and remain uncooked from inside.
In south India onion pakora is served as snack with coffee. It is often eaten on its own without side dish. Typical south Indian chutneys like coconut chutney does not taste good with this dish.
I once tasted onion pakoras loaded with cashews and sesame seeds in a buffet and it was amazing. You can also try out when you want to make extra special onion pakoda recipe. Just throw in 2 tablespoons broken cashews and 2 teaspoons white or black sesame seeds along with onions.
One more variation you can make with this recipe is adding some fresh herbs like chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves, dill leaves or even scallion greens. They taste wonderful.
Street Style Pakora
To make exact street pakora just add 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, 3 cloves garlic minced and 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander along with other ingredients. You can also simply used 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
Frequently Asked Questions
No they are two different dishes. The similarity is both are made with besan and onions. Bhaji is made by dipping individual onion slices in a thick besan batter and pakora is a crispier snack where chopped are tossed with besan and deep fried.
To keep the fried onion pakora crispier for some time, make sure to add rice flour or corn flour to the mixture as mentioned in the recipe. Next try to add as less water as possible in the mixture. Adding hot oil to the pakora mix as mentioned in the recipe also yields very crispy pakoras.
These fritters are from India and a very popular snack in Indian subcontinent under various names.
Yes this is a vegan recipe
Yes, onion pakora is gluten free
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Onion pakoda recipe | Vengaya pakoda recipe | Onion fritters
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 3 big onions sliced
- 3/4 cup gram flour
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 3 green chilies chopped
- 15 curry leaves
- 1/2 inch ginger peeled and crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Heat oil for deep frying.In a mixing bowl, take sliced onions, chopped green chilies, crushed ginger, curry leaves. Mix well. Squeeze the onions gently. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Add rice flour, gram flour, carom seeds, salt and mix well.
- Take around 3 teaspoons hot oil and add to this mixture. Now sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons water at a time and make a tight dough like mixture.
- Now take some dough and add to the hot in sprinkling motion. Deep fry until golden brown in medium flame. Do not add too many pakoras at at time. There should be enough space for the pakodas. Also do not cook in high flame.
- Fry until the sizzling sound is reduced and pakodas are golden and crispy.
- Drain excess oil on a kitchen tissue or strainer. Serve onion pakoda hot with tea.