This onion Pakoda recipe is the best evening snack especially on rainy days and can be prepared in minutes. The flavor of fried onion and the besan flour makes this snack heavenly.
In Chennai, I could find almost all the sweet shops, tea shops makes this hot, really very hot in the evening.
Onion pakoda is a versatile snack, which can be had in tea time, and the leftovers are consumed as the side dish for the rice at the dinner time. This is my FIL's favorite, He always asks me to make pakoras as the evening snack.
In this recipe, I have included corn flour/starch for making the onion pakoda crispy. But it can also be substituted with rice flour. The recipe and the process of making is very simple, but all the 'success secret' is 'frying them in the oil'.
Maintaining the correct temperature, by adjusting the flame now and then, is the basic principle required for making crispier pakoda all the time.
What is Pakoda?
'Pakoda' is a crispy deep-fried tea time snack of South India usually made with chickpea flour. The same is called as ‘pakora’ or ‘pakodi’ in Hindi. This is also called as ‘ulli pakodi’ or vengaya pakoda in other South Indian languages.
One of the famous evening snacks in Tamil Nadu. Which is also a popular street-side snack in South India.
How does this onion pakoda taste like?
It tastes delicious with complex flavor and taste. It tastes similar to the western onion rings. It would say this is the spicy Indian onion rings. It makes it perfect to munch on in the movie times. Or a good filling snack on the long travel. Or serves as a perfect spicy bite when you crave spicy breaks.
A great appetizer to start the potluck or party or a great filling evening snack. And most of the South Indian restaurants buffet menu includes this.
This crispy onion pakoda is a stand-alone snacking recipe, but it tastes awesome when served with green coriander chutney, or tomato ketchup.
How to make onion Pakoda
Slice onion thinly. Chop green chilies, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves, curry leaves as fine as possible.
In a mixing bowl, add chickpea flour/besan, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt.
Add the chopped ingredients in the first step.
Combine all the ingredients by sprinkling little water at a time. Finally, add 3 tablespoons of hot oil and whisk it with a spoon until combined.
Gently squeeze the onion so that it releases the moisture in it. The dough should not be sticky or dry. It has to be in the crumbled form like in the picture(slightly to be dry).
Heat cooking oil in the pan for frying. Once the oil gets heated, add the onion mixture, by crumbling them.
In the medium to high flame, fry them evenly on all sides until they are golden brown. Drain it on the kitchen towel to remove any excess oil.
And Serve Crispy Pakodas with mint chutney or tomato sauce. It may also serve with other chutneys like Onion Chutney, Garlic Chutney, Coriander Chutney.
Do not forget to check out another evening snack recipe Onion Bajji, here in PepperBowl.
- Serve as the tea time snack or as appetizers.
- Serve it along with green chutney or tomato sauce.
- For the potlucks and parties, try this recipe, as it is easier to make and could be eye-popping the dish at parties.
How to keep pakoda crispy for a longer time?
This evening snack can be good to consume for about three days at room temperature when preserved correctly. When planning to serve for the party, you can make this a day prior to the date of the celebration.
- Make sure, after making pakoda allow it to reach room temperature. And place them in the airtight container and finish it by keeping a kitchen towel on the top. Close the lid and keep it in the cool dry place. The kitchen towel traps the excess moisture and makes it crispy for a longer time.
- Slice the onion as thin as possible. Thickly sliced onion has more moisture content and can become soggy quickly.
- Store them in an air-sealed container in a cool dry place.
- Deep fry the pakoda in between medium to low flame.
- Strain them when the oil reduces bubbling. Reduced bubbling is the indicator of well-done pakoda.
Variations of onion pakoda
- If serving for the kids and looking for healthy variations, add shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, or finely chopped cauliflower.
- Add minced mint leaves along with the cilantro, this gives a refreshing taste and boosts up the flavors. And also makes this recipe interesting.
- You can use wheat flour, rice flour also to make this South Indian onion pakoda. When using these substitutes one-fourth of the quantity of besan with rice flour or wheat flour. Make sure the besan’s quantity remains ¾ as besan gives a nice texture, color, and taste to pakoda.
- For every batch, initially, keep the flame high for a few minutes and continue to fry them in medium to lower flame for crispier pakoda.
- Add a tablespoon of chopped mint can make this recipe even more interesting.
- Slightly reduce the flame once the pakoda start becoming golden brown, this ensures the crispness lasts longer.
- Add finely chopped palak/spinach leaves for a nutrient-rich variation.
Other Side dish recipes you may like,
- Chow Chow kootu
- Udipi Sambar
- Moong daal vadi
- Spinach kootu
- More Kuzhambu
- How to make curd
- Indian side dish recipes
The recipe FAQ
One of my readers emailed me asking this question. Usually, rice flour is added to make the pakoda crispy. In this recipe, we substituted rice flour with 3 tablespoons of hot oil. This hot oil makes the chickpea flour soft and makes the pakoda crispy like from the stores.
Printable recipe card
For the base
- 1 cup chickpea flour / besan
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp salt or as required
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil hot oil
For the veggies
- ½ cup onion sliced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp green chili minced
- 4 tbsp curry leaves minced
- 4 tbsp coriander leaves /cilantro-chopped
- 3 cups vegetable oil
For the dough and veggies
- In a mixing bowl, add chickpea flour(besan), red chili powder, coriander powder, vegetable oil, and salt.
- Rub the flour thoroughly until the oil incorporated with the flour well.
- Then add onion slices, minced ginger, garlic, green chili, curry leaves, and coriander leaves.
- Gently squeeze the onion mixture, to make it release all its flavors and moisture.
- Then sprinkle little water at a time, combine all the ingredients together.
- As a final touch pour hot and sizzling vegetable oil over the batter. Whisk immediently until combined.
- The veggies should have coated with the flour. The dough should not be sticky or dry. It has to be in the crumbled form.
- Oven medium heat, place a pan and add vegetable oil. Heat cooking oil in the pan for frying. Once the oil gets heated, add the onion mixture, by crumbling them.
- Once the oil becomes moderately hot(when you drop a bit of flour it should rise slowly). take a handful of dough and toss them in the oil as crumbles.
- Fry them till the edges become golden brown. evenly. Flip on to the other side and fry them until they are golden brown in all the sides evenly.
- Drain it on the kitchen towel to remove any excess oil.
- And serve crispy pakoda with mint chutney or tomato ketchup.