South Indian Onion Pakodas

“These crispy, spicy fritters are eaten as a snack in south India rather than as an appetizer. It is served with coffee or tea. These are generally made as small pieces and fried so that the fried surface area is more. They taste best when made with onions that have a lower water content such as red onion.”
4 cups

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Sift the flours together.
  2. Rice flour is available in most asian grocery stores.
  3. Using all chick-pea flour will make the pakodas a little less crisp.
  4. Rub a little salt into the chopped onions.
  5. This is to bring out the natural juices from the onions so that we can add less water later.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil to about 350 degrees.
  7. To the onions, add the two flours, chili powder, grated ginger, green chillies, baking soda, curry leaves and salt to taste.
  8. Remove 3 tbsp of the hot oil and add to the mixture.
  9. Mix well.
  10. The mixture will be slightly dry at this stage.
  11. Divide the mixture into several portions.
  12. To one portion, sprinkle a little water.
  13. Mix well.
  14. The mixture should just hold together when pressed.
  15. Please do not add too much water in which case the product will be like the pakoras that we can find in most Indian restaurants (not a bad thing really).
  16. Adding water to individual portions is mainly to keep the baking soda active when the mixture is fried.
  17. You can also test for spicyness and salt after frying a small portion and make adjustments to the other portions, if needed.
  18. Take the mixture and make into small balls or any shape really and drop into the hot oil.
  19. Some mixture can also be sort of crumbled into the oil to get crispy bits of fried onion, chillies and curry leaves.
  20. The key is to make small bits and pieces rather than a few large fritters.
  21. Fry until golden brown.
  22. The crumbled bits may be done earlier than bigger bites.
  23. Drain on paper towels.
  24. Repeat for the remaining portions of the raw mixture.
  25. Store in an air-tight container.
  26. Variations: Finely chopped mint and cilantro can be added to the mixture.
  27. Or the quantity of onion can be reduced and whole cashew nuts can be added.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a