Onion Pakoda

Onion Pakoda

Pakoda, also called pakora, pakodi, fakkura, bhajiya, bhajji or ponako, is a fried snack (fritter). Originating from the Indian subcontinent, it is a popular snack across the Indian subcontinent, especially in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

A pakoda, bhaji, bhajji, or bajji is a spicy Indian snack or entree dish similar to a fritter, with several variants. It is also a popular snack food in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal and Odisha in India, and can be found for sale in street-side stalls, especially in tapris (on streets) and dhabas (on highways).

Pakodas are very crisp on the outside and medium soft to crisp inside. They are dipped in a batter made from gram flour (also known as chickpea flour or besan) and then deep-fried. The most popular varieties include pyaaz pakora (onion pakoda also known as pyaaz bhajji) - made from onions, and aloo pakora (potato pakoda) - made from potatoes.

Other variations include palak pakora, made from spinach, and paneer pakora, made from paneer (soft cottage cheese). When onions, on their own, are prepared in the same way, they are known as onion bhajji.

You can enjoy hot and delicious onion pakodas or onion bhajji with hot Indian tea (chai), as an evening snacks or tea time snacks. In some states of India, pakodas are also served as breakfast.

In India when it rains in the evening, people make pakodas and enjoy it with hot Indian tea as evening snacks.

Pakoras are usually served as a snack or appetiser. They are also often served with Masala chai to guests arriving to attend Indian wedding ceremonies, and are usually complemented with tamarind, chutney or raita.

In the United Kingdom, pakoras are popular as a fast food snack, available in South Asian restaurants.

Onion bhajjis are often eaten as a starter in Indian restaurants before the main course, along with poppadoms and other Indian snacks. They may be served with a side of salad and slice of lemon, or with mango chutney, and are traditionally made to a mild taste.

  Recipe Servings: 4
  Cooking time: 25 Minutes


For the Batter

  • Onions (thin sliced) - 2 medium
  • Gram Flour (Chickpea Flour or Besan) - 1 cup
  • Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder (Haldi) - 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Ajwain (Carom Seeds) - 1/4 tsp
  • Green chillies (finely sliced) - 1
  • Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic Paste - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Water (to make medium thick batter) - as required

For Deep Frying

  • Oil (for deep frying) - as required

To Garnish

  • Chaat masala - as required


To make the batter:

  • Peel off the onion skin and cut the onions into thin slices, separate the layers. Transfer the onion slices into a mixing bowl and add finely chopped green chillies into it.

  • Now add turmeric powder, ajwain (carom seeds), baking powder, garlic paste, salt and red chilli powder into it and mix it well. The use of garlic paste is optional. I like it in pakodas so I use it normally. Use the chillies (green chilli or red chilli powder) as per your taste.

  • Mix everything well and cover the mixture. Let it rest for about 15 minutes. The onions will release some water.

  • Now add besan (gram flour/chickpea flour) into it, mix it well.

  • Add water into it in batches. Use sufficient amount of water (approximately 1/4 cup) to make a thick batter.

  • Mix everything well with the hands or with the help of a spoon, so that the batter gets coated on the onion slices properly.

To make the Onions Pakodas or Onion Bhajjis or Pyaaz bhajjis

  • Place a kadai or a wok on high flame and add oil to it for deep frying the pakodas.

  • To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a tiny piece of dough first into the hot oil, it has to rise and not sink in the oil.

  • Once oil gets hot, take a small portion of the mixture in the hand and drop it into hot oil. Gently drop 3-4 small fritters into the oil or basically add as per the size of the wok or the kadai, without overcrowding and overlapping.

  • Adjust the heat to medium and deep fry until they turn golden brown in color – keep stirring occasionally in between so that they cook evenly and keep flame to medium.

  • Flip them gently when one side turns golden brown and fry till it gets golden brown colour on both the sides.

  • Once done take them out and put on a kitchen tissue paper so that it will absorb the excess oil. Repeat the same process in batches with the remaining batter till all are done.

  • Hot onion pakodas are ready to serve.

  • Place them on a serving plate and sprinkle the onion pakodas with some chaat masala. Serve hot with extra chutney and/or ketchup and with hot Indian tea (chai).

  • Enjoy hot onion bhajjis/pakodas with your family and friends.