Most of us are familiar with onion bhaji – big balls of gram flour with onions and spices deep fried and served as a starter in most Indian restaurants.
Onion bhaji, as we know it is a tad dense and compact, whereas onion pakoras, which is how we would prepare them at home are lighter, fluffier, and for me, far superior in taste and texture to the onion bhaji we inevitably order when out for a curry night!
Feel free to add green peppers, cooked peas, or even cooked chopped green beans to this mixture with the onions. Alternatively, dip thin slices of uncooked potatoes, spinach, kale or thinly sliced aubergine in the batter and fry until golden and the vegetables cooked through – this would be the Asian alternative to Japanese tempuras, but spicier!
1 cup gram flour (basan) available at all Asian stores and good supermarkets
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon chilli powder or flakes (optional)
¼ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, chopped
Few chopped fresh coriander leaves
Oil to fry
- Mix all the dry ingredients with some water, starting with a little and then adding more, to make a thickish batter – it should slip off the spoon easily
- Add the chopped onions and fresh coriander
- Heat some oil in a small wok – about half inch of oil if you prefer not to deep fry – as you can see below, mine are not deep fried
- Drop dessert spoonfuls of batter in the hot oil and fry on each side for about 2 minutes on low/medium heat until golden!