Onion pakoda areonion fritters made with thinly sliced onions, gram flour or besan batter andsome spices. This is a classic Punjabi style onion pakora recipe and one that Imake at home as a tea-time snack.
- 2 medium to large-sized onions
- 1 cup gram flour (besan) or chickpea flour
- 1 to 2 teaspoon green chillies or ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped corianderleaves - optional
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder - optional
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder - optional
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 generous pinch asafoetida (hing) - optional or use gluten-free asafoetida
- 1 pinch baking soda - optional
- oil as required - for shallow frying or deep frying, sunflower oil or any neutral-flavoured oil
- water as required to make a medium thick batter
- salt as required
- Slice the onions thinly and take them in a mixing bowl. Also, add chopped green chillies.
- If you do not have green chillies, then add red chilli powder. You can also add chopped coriander leaves if you want.
- Add the spices - carom seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.
- Mix everything well. Cover and keep the onion, chillies and spice mixture aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- The onions would release water and then you can addwater as required in the batter.
- Add gram flour (besan). If you plan to add baking soda, then add at this step.
- Add the required amount of water to make medium-thick batter.
- Stir the whole mixture very well with a spoon or with your hands. The batter is ready to be fried.
- In hot oil, add spoonfuls of the batter.
- Depending on the size of the kadai or pan, you can add less or more. Just make sure you don't over crowd the onion pakoda while frying.
- When the pakora are a bit cooked, turn over with a slotted spoon and continue to fry.
- You will have to turn them a few times for even frying.
- Fry them till they look crisp and golden.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper towels for excess oil to be absorbed.
- In the same oil fry slit green chilies.
- Sprinkle some salt on the green chilies and mix well.
- Serve onion pakoda With the fried green chilies or coriander chutney or tomato sauce.
- Baking & Air-frying: You can also make baked onion pakoda or air-fry them. But the taste and texture of baked onion pakora will be different than the fried version. For both baked and air-fried onion pakoda, add less amount of water which just about coats the flour mixture on the onion slices. The mixture should look kind of dry and should not have a batter like consistency.
- for baking: Bake at 180 degrees celsius in a preheated oven till the pakora look crisp and golden. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in the batter. Add less water just enough to coat the mixture on the onion slices.
- for air-frying: Air-fry at 180 degrees celsius. Preheat air fryer for 10 minutes and then air fry till crisp. In between remove the air fryer pan and shake or turn over each pakoda.
- Texture: For a softer pakoda, add some more water. For a crisp pakoda, slice onions thinly and evenly.
- Scaling: Recipe can be halved or doubled or tripled.
- Slicing onions: The onions need to be sliced thinly and not thickly. Thin slices will get cooked faster than thick slices and also give a crispy texture in the pakoda.
- Baking Soda: You can choose to add baking soda or avoid it completely. We don't like the soapy taste and flavor of baking soda, so I do not add it in the recipe. Though adding baking soda helps the pakoda to have a soft texture.
- Adding hot oil in the batter: in the gram flour batter, you can also add 1 or 2 teaspoons of oil. This makes the onion pakoda crisp and it absorbs less oil while frying.
- Frying temperature: The temperature of the oil has to be correct while frying. The oil should not be too hot or cold. If it is hot, then the outside of the onion pakoda will get fried but the inside will be undercooked. If it is not hot, then the pakoda will absorb oil while frying and will be too oil-laden once fried.
- Additional ingredients: You can add a variety of herbs and spices in the batter - like crushed coriander seeds, red chilli powder, red chilli flakes, ginger-garlic paste, mint leaves, ground cumin powder, coriander leaves (cilantro).
- For a gluten-free pakoda: To make a gluten-free pakoda, skip the asafoetida or use wheat-free asafoetida.