Crispy outside and soft inside, this incredible street food of India called onion pakoda will win everyone’s heart in any part of the world!
Crispy onion pakoda is the best friend of our evening tea and is a very frequent snack at our home to make our evenings more exciting! Onion pakoda, which can be called a crispy fritter of sliced onions dipped in a batter of gram flour or besan, is a very easily available street food in India and we love them as a quick bite for evenings. But this onion pakoda tastes best when served hot which is why I love to make them at home. Best part is they are extremely easy to make and it takes even less than 15 minutes to churn them out. During the monsoons, when you don’t feel like going out in the rains, this freshly fried hot onion pakoda will taste even better with a hot cup of tea. If I am not wrong, for us Indians, tea & pakoda of any type is a match made in heaven and we are game for it any given day.
Onion pakoda is generally made using a batter of gram flour which we call besan in India. But I also add rice flour to add some extra crispiness in my onion pakoda. The ratio of gram flour and rice flour should be 3:1 where gram flour will give the body to the pakodas whereas rice flour will bring in crispiness. You may also add some chopped up curry leaves and finely chopped green chilies to give it a spicy kick. Recipe for any pakoda is very forgiving and once you understand how to form the structure, you can customize your own signature onion pakoda or any vegetable pakoda for that matter as per your liking and the possibilities are practically endless!
Street foods of the country which you grow up in has significant effect on our food habit and same is the case with me. I love the deep-fried street foods available across India, be it the crispy vegetable chop or samosa or chicken pakoda. I can practically live on these snacks without any main course but yeah, I agree that won’t be a healthy choice at all! But when you make these street foods at home, you not only satisfy your cravings for onion pakodas, but also you are able to control the quality of the ingredients that goes into your food. You can use the best possible oil for deep-frying as we mostly are worried about our oil intake; plus, you will be using freshest vegetables available. So, you can feed your kids these tasty snacks without worrying about the quality and hygiene. Isn’t it a win-win situation?
Among all the street food items, I feel this onion pakoda is the most popular one which may be the case because onion is available all year round. But with this recipe of onion pakoda, you can make any other vegetable pakoda; just ensure to use a quick-cooking vegetable e.g. sliced bell peppers or capsicums. For veggies like potatoes, cauliflowers, cabbage or baby corn, you will need to parboil them before dipping in the batter and deep-frying them. You can check out my cauliflower fritters and cauliflower popcorn recipe as well as cabbage fritters recipe to fill up your repertoire with all possible veg fritters recipes. When you have your arsenal well-equipped, your friends will always gather at your place for their special evening tea accompanied by your signature snacks. Serve these onion pakoda at next gathering and see people constantly reaching out for one after the other. Enjoy!
- Onions – 2
- Bengal gram flour (besan) – 6-8 tbsp (It totally depends on how much onion you are using. I used one large and one medium, so this quantity of besan worked well for me.
- Rice flour – 2-3 tbsp (Use besan and rice flour in a 3:1 ratio. Rice flour gives that crispiness to the pakodis.)
- Whole wheat flour (Atta) – 1-2 tsp (It helps in binding so that the onions do not separate when you put them in oil for frying)
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying
- Peel, wash and finely slice the onions and put on a tissue paper to absorb all the moisture.
- In a large bowl, combine gram flour, rice flour, whole wheat flour and salt. You can also add a couple of chopped green chillies or few pinches of red chilli powder for that extra spiciness.
- Add water little by little and whisk the mixture thoroughly. You would need a batter which is neither too thick nor too thin. With few practices, you will get the ideal consistency. But nevertheless, even if your batter is not perfect, your pakodas will taste as good! So don’t worry!
- Give the batter a good whisk and keep it aside for 5 minutes.
- Now mix the onion slices with the batter and combine well.
- Heat oil in a deep fry pan or wok. The quantity of oil should be enough to keep the pakodis immersed in oil – that way you will get that perfect crunch.
- When the oil is very hot, take few onion slices coated with the batter and tip in the hot oil. Don’t try to give any shape to the pakodas, they are meant to be random in shapes and size. It’s fun that way only!
- Do keep in mind to fry the pakodas in hot oil. So keep the heat in medium to high level. It will ensure that your pakodas are crispy and crunchy. Do keep a close eye on them as they are done very quickly.
- Remove them with a slotted spoon and put on a tissue paper to get rid of the extra oil.
- Serve hot with tomato ketch up.