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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Onion Fritters (Onion Pakoras)

Pakora (Hindi: पकोड़ा pakoṛā; Urdu: پکوڑا pakoṛā; Tamil: பஜ்ஜி bajji; Telugu: పకోడీ pakōḍī; Marathi: भजी bhajji, Gujarati: ભજિયા bhajiyā) is a fried snack (fritter) found across South Asia. Pakoras are created by taking one or two ingredients such as onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, cauliflower, tomato, chili peppers, or occasionally bread and dipping them in a batter of gram flour and then deep-frying them.

Pakoras are usually served as snacks or appetizers. The word pakoṛā is derived from Sanskrit पक्ववट pakvavaṭa-, a compound of pakva 'cooked' and vaṭa 'a small lump' or its derivative vaṭaka 'a round cake made of pulse fried in ghee'.

The most popular varieties are palak pakora, made from spinach, paneer pakora, made from paneer (soft cheese), pyaz pakora, made from onion, and aloo pakora, made from potato. When onions, on their own, are prepared in the same way, they are known as onion bhujia or bhaji.

This is how I make my Onion Pakoras here in United States. Most of the Pakoras When made out of gram flour only) are crispy when served hot and become soggy when sit for a while. I like this version of Onion pakoras (I add rice flour or tempura mix with gram flour) because they are nice and crispy and stay crispy, even when they are cold. So you can make them ahead of time, and can warm them up in oven when ready to serve to your company.

It can be a great hit for your upcoming Superbowl party. You can serve them with just plain Ketchup, or Maggi sweet and spicy sauce or garlic chili sauce (both available at local Indian grocers) or with Cilantro/mint sauce (recipe on this blog).

This recipes yields ~ 6 servings.


• 3 cups of gram flour (available at local Indian grocer)

• 1/2 cup of rice flour (you can use Tempura frying mix that you get from Chinese grocers)

• 1/2 cup of frying mix (optional, I had it in my pantry so I used it, but you don't have to, you can add more of gram flour or rice flour or tempura mix)

• 3 yellow onions thinly sliced

• 1 Jalapeno pepper finely chopped

• 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped

• 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro leaves(I ran out of cilantro, so you don't see it in my pictures)

• 2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

• 1 tablespoon mango powder (or you can use juice from two limes)

• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

• 1 teaspoon cumin powder

• 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper

• 1/4 teaspoon asafetida (optional)

• 1 cup plain yogurt

• 1 cup water

• Vegetable oil for deep frying


• Cut onion into thin slices. Add salt to it. Keep aside for 5 minutes

• Mix all flour and spices together.

• Add Onion slices, chopped garlic, jalapeno cilantro leaves.

• Mix everything in spiced flour with bare hands, so all the onion slices are separated individually in flour.

• Add yogurt and water, mix gently with bare hands (so the onion slices don't break) until firm but workable batter mix but is formed.

• Let the batter sit for 5-10 min, onion will release some water. If necessary just sprinkle a few drops of water but you can add little more water if batter is not workable but make sure it is not too watery. (should look like it is shown in picture).

• Heat oil in deep fryer to 400 F.

• Carefully drop small pieces of batter in to oil with your hand with onion slices spiking out.

• Fry the Pakoras at 400 F (turning them occasionally) until golden brown.

• Place them on plate layered with paper towel.

• Serve hot with your choice of sauce or Ketchup.

Pakora description source:

Recipe and Photograph by Surekha.

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