Onion Fritters/Onion Pakoras

Ever since I started blogging some years ago, I’ve mentioned here and there how I refuse to deep-fry anything at home due to Akshaya having asthma. The smoke resulting from deep-frying, usually triggers an attack in her. However since Akshaya left public school in June of 2019, she has stopped taking her daily pill of Singulair, and has only used her puffers once in November. This is a kid that used to use puffers daily from September through the end of May since having started kindergarten. Even then she ended up in the hospital needing a nebulizer and prednisone to manage symptoms quite often, missing a lot of school days. I’m so thankful for the improvement in her health.

After about 5/6 years of not deep-frying anything with Akshaya in the home, I opened up all my doors and windows and took a bit of a risk. I made these onion fritters/onion pakodas (thinly sliced onions tossed in chickpea flour, spices, and herbs); something my kids used to enjoy very occasionally from an Indian store before COVID-19 happened. I served it alongside ketchup, at the request of Vishnu who has been going through a ketchup phase, and some masala tea. It made me so happy to see Akshaya unbothered by my cooking and just well and happy. I probably won’t deep-fry often but it feels good knowing that we can satisfy our cravings for many of the Tamil/Indian fried foods we love, once in awhile.

These onion fritters are so easy to make and once you get the hang of these you can add other vegetables such as fresh spinach and thinly sliced eggplant to make vegetable pakoras.

Onion Pakora RECIPE


  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced and strands seperated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 strand worth curry leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chickpea (besan) flour
  • enough warm water to make a paste (3-4 Tbsp.)
  • oil of choice for deep-frying


1. In a large bowl, combine the sliced onions, cumin seeds, turmeric, dried chilli flakes, garam masala, garlic, chopped coriander, curry leaves, salt, and chickpea flour. Make sure that the onion slices are adequately covered.

2. Slowly add the water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture starts to clump together and all the flour is incorporated. You may not need all the water as the mixture should not be wet.

3. Heat some oil for deep-frying, on medium-heat. Once the oil is ready, use a spoon to carefully drop spoonfuls of the pakora mixture into the oil. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Once cooked for two minutes and thoroughly browned, flip over and let cook for another two minutes.

4. Once fried, let the pakoras sit on a plate covered in paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Serve hot.


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