When we were in India a few years ago, we lived next to a recreation club that had one of my favourite poolside cafes. They served some of the best comfort food you could ever ask for, and every single thing on the menu was lip-smacking good! The Iced Cappuccino and crispy Onion Pakoda was one of my favourite combos to indulge in after a long leisurely swim.
We would often begin our weekends at the club. After spending over an hour in the pool, the three of us would drag our tired and shrivelled bodies into the cafe and order ourselves a big brunch. And Onion Pakoda would always be included. Our empty plates and full bellies signified that we were ready to get along with our day – after a quick nap, of course!
Until these past few months, where we’ve been huddled together at home, I rarely ever made Onion Pakoda at home – choosing mostly to buy them from the nearest Indian take-out joint by our house.
It’s crazy though, since they don’t even taste half as good as the ones made at home. And not to mention much quicker than waiting for them to be delivered! But now, since we’ve limited how often, what and where we order take-out from, I’ve taken to frying a batch of pakodas in my own kitchen every time even a slight craving hits anyone of us. And this, my friends, is something I’m starting to get used to!
Onion Pakoda or Indian-style Onion Fritters, if you seriously think about it, is a very humble dish – all you really need are onions, some chickpea flour, a couple of seasonings and oil.
Easy-peasy, and pantry cooking at its best! It’s amazing how when these simple everyday ingredients come together, they turn into something so wonderful that you’d find it really hard – actually impossible, to stop yourself from eating just one. You don’t believe me? Go ahead then and give it a try, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Onion Pakoda (Indian-style Onion Fritters)
- 2 cup thinly sliced onions
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp chaat masala
- salt to taste
- 1 cup chickpea flour, also known as besan
- water as needed
- light cooking oil for deep frying
- Mix everything except the water and oil in a large bowl until well incorporated. Slowly add in water to form a thick, sticky batter. You want the onions, spices and chickpea flour to be able to come together without being runny.
- Heat enough oil in a deep wok for deep frying. Gently add in small dollops of the batter, not more than a tablespoon, to make the fritters. Try and not crowd the wok by adding too many at a time.
- Deep fry for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, turning them over to ensure that they brown and cook on all sides. Once the fritters are golden brown and crisp, remove them on paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Serve hot with coffee or tea!
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