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Pakora are a kind of fritters made with gram flour, onions, basic herbs and spices. These crunchy onion pakora are super quick to make and taste delicious. Serve them plain or with masala tea, coconut chutney, green chutney.

  • 2 cups onions thinly sliced, layers separated
  • 1 ¼ cup besan (or gram flour or chana dal flour)
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour or semolina or rice flour, optional
  • salt, as needed
  • ½ teaspoon ginger finely chopped or grated, optional
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain or vaamu, caraway seed ) (skip if you don’t have)
  • 2 to 3 green chilies chopped (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, chopped or 2 tablespoons coriander leaves
  • 10 mint leaves or pudina (mint), chopped and optional
  • oil for deep frying

Slice onions moderately thin and add them to a mixing bowl.
Add chillies, ginger, curry leaves, pudina and salt to the same mixing bowl.
Nicely squeeze the onions with your fingers few times without mushing them up.
Leave it aside for 5 minutes. This helps the onions to release some moisture.
Then sprinkle besan, ajwain and more salt if needed.
Mix everything well to coat the onions with the flour. The mixture will be fairly dry at this moment.
Add water 2 tablespoons each time and mix the flour to make a moist mass of dough.
The dough must be tight yet very moist and not soggy like batter else they absorb lot of oil while frying.

How to make onion pakora
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a kadai/wok until very hot.
Be careful as it is too hot. Pour this to the dough.
Immediately the oil will sizzle. Mix the dough with a spoon and not hand as the oil is too hot.
Heat oil in the same kadai/wok or fry pan for deep frying the pakora.
Check if the oil is hot enough in the kadai by sliding a tiny piece of dough first.
It has to rise and not sink in the oil. Next it should not brown too quickly. This is the right temperature.
When the oil is hot enough, regulate the flame to medium high.
Take a small amount of dough and make small pakora with your fingers and slide them gently in the hot oil.
Do not add too many pakoras in the pan. They should have some space in the pan to swim around and fry well.
While frying stir and if needed flip the onion pakoras occasionally for even frying.
Fry them till they turn crisp and golden. Then transfer them with a ladle to an absorbent tissue placed in a plate or to a colander.
Continue to make more onion pakora in batches with the rest of the dough.
Serve onion pakora hot with a cup of tea or coffee. You can also serve them with green chutney.
Or sprinkle some chaat masala or any ground seasoning of your choice.

If you use too little water the pakoras will be hard, too much and it will fall apart.
I used about 16 tablespoons of water.

Recipe and photo: Elize de Kock

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