Onion pakora, pyaz pakora or onion fritters are a Pakistani / Indian appetizer made with sliced onion and coriander coated with a spicy chickpea flour batter and deep-fried till crispy.
What are pakoras?
Pakora or pakoda are the Pakistani version of a fritter, but made with besan (chickpea flour in English). It’s a snack that is synonymous with the rainy season, and the moment it rains, what everyone wants is crispy crunchy vegetable pakoras with chai. It is also an essential part of the iftar table in Ramadan. There have been times when I haven’t had vegetable pakoras in months but come Ramadan, it’s pakoras on the table every single day. Of course, with so many varieties of pakoras possible, one can never get bored.
How to make onion pakora or pakoda?
Start by making a thick batter of chickpea flour / besan with water, season with spices, add sliced onions, coriander and green chilies and then deep fry till golden brown. In Ramadan my mother would start making a variety of vegetable pakoras, one at a time. The order would be potatoes first always, followed by maybe spinach or green chilies or chicken, and in the end it would be these crispy onion ones with green chili and coriander.
Please note that though the ingredients are similar, the onion pakoras that I make for pakora karhi are different from these ones. The ratio for the karhi walay pakoray is more batter to vegetables, and the onions are chopped instead of sliced to create a flufflier pakora that can be eaten whereas in these ones it’s all about the thinly sliced onion that’s going to create the characteristic pakora crunch.
Some other snack recipes that you can try are:
If you are looking for recipes for Ramadan, all the Ramadan recipes on my blog can be found HERE. Keep checking back regularly as I plan to add more recipes soon. Click HERE for my Ramadan meal planner and sample menu guideline for iftar, sehri and dinner.
Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below!
- ½ cup besan / chickpea flour
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon)
- ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds crushed (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon pomegranate seeds anaar dana (optional)
- 2 medium onion sliced
- ½ cup coriander leaves chopped
- 2 green chili sliced (seeds removed)
- Water to make the batter
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda optional
- Oil for frying
Place the besan / chickpea flour in a bowl. Add red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and coriander seeds or pomegranate seeds if using. Mix well with a fork.
Add water (1/4 cup at a time) to create a batter, and add baking soda. Set it aside for 30 minutes.
Add onion, coriander leaves and green chilies. Mix well adding more besan / chickpea flour or water as required. Consistency should be such that the batter can be dropped into spoonfuls in the hot oil.
Heat oil in a wok or karahi. A frying pan can be used but make sure it is deep otherwise the pakoras will be flat and not fluffy.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter in the hot oil, and fry till golden brown on both sides.
If you prefer even crispier pakoras, reduce the amount of water used in the batter. The batter should just barely coat the vegetables, and deep fry till golden and crispy.
If making a variety of vegetable pakoras one by one, it’s always a good idea to make a base batter in one bowl on the thicker side, and then mix the vegetables with a few tablespoons of the batter in another bowl. That way you can adjust the batter if it gets too thick or too thin, and if any batter is remaining it can be stored in the fridge to use the next day. In Ramadan, I would make a base batter and then use it over 2 - 3 days.
If you are making a variety of pakoras it’s best to end with the onion pakoras or mixed vegetables one in the end. That way all the batter gets used up with none of it being wasted.
Spices used can vary based on personal preference; most common are coriander, red chili powder and turmeric but pomegranate seeds and coriander seeds can be used to add a bit of tartness. Red chili flakes can be used for extra heat.