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Kurkurit Kanda Bhaji also known as Onion Pakoda / Onion Fritters is a fried crispy and spicy Indian snack made using sliced onions that are covered with besan (gram flour) along with herbs and spices and deep-fried till golden brown. This is a vegan and gluten-free recipe.
Monsoon is just around the corner! A perfect excuse to indulge in a deep-fried snack! isn’t it? In India, onion fritters are a much-loved snack during monsoon served with spicy coriander mint chutney or tomato ketchup along with a hot cup of ginger tea or coffee.
These are known by several names depending upon region to the region such as Kanda bhaji, pyaz ke pakode, onion pakoda, kanda bhajiya, onion bhaji to name a few. This Onion fritters can be made in a jiffy with basic minimal ingredients that are easily available in your home. No fancy ingredients are required!
Not only during monsoon, but these fritters are also commonly prepared for evening snacks or as a side dish during meals. Each household has its unique version of making these fritters.
These onion fritters are delicious in taste and very addictive. Onion pakoda are crowd-pleasers. In the evening you will find a long queue in front of food carts selling these tasty, hot and crispy fritters along with fried salted chillies and dry or wet chutney.
Making onion fritters does not take a lot of time, this recipe can be done within 30 minutes. These onion fritters when fried to golden brown turn crispy from the outside and soft on the inside. These pakoda makes the best appetizer for Birthday parties, get-together or to entertain your guest when they drop by unannounced.
This recipe is so easy and versatile that you can easily tweak it according to your taste buds and still can’t go wrong with it. You may add finely chopped ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, curry powder, garam masala powder to name a few. But the original recipe doesn’t require so many spices and herbs. The main ingredient is Onion here, hence the flavour of onion should dominate other herbs and spices.
In India, you will find varieties of fritters (pakoda) that are made out of vegetables, lentils, legumes, dairy products and bakery products such as cabbage fritters, rice fritters, spinach, cauliflower, sweet corn kernels, potatoes, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), bread to name a few.
To make these onion fritters, there are two important things to remember.
1. Cut onion into thin slices. If onion slices are thick, they will not cook properly and will result in soggy fritters instead of coming out crisp.
2. Do not add water to the gram flour batter. Onion contains lots of water, the addition of water will make the fritters soft which is not what we are looking for. To make crispy fritters you will have to use water that will be released by the onions themselves.
To make these onion fritters you can use any variety of onions. Red, white, or yellow as per your choice.
To make this delicious onion pakoda, thinly sliced onions are covered with gram flour and rice flour along with some spices and herbs such as cilantro, carrom seeds, coriander seeds to name a few.
Gram flour (besan) is hard to digest hence we use carrom seeds or asafoetida (hing) which helps digest the flour easily and help avoid bloating. The addition of cilantro enhances the taste of this pakoda (fritters). Many use green chillies in the batter for the spice but I normally use red chilli powder which gives it a nice deep reddish-brown colour.
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Let’s see how to make this easy and quick crispy crunchy Onion Fritters / Onion Pakoda / Kanda Bhaji with simple basic ingredients in your home kitchen.
Serves: 4 Persons
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4-6 minutes per batch
Cooking level: Easy
Taste: Mildly Spicy
- 2 cups Onions Thinly Sliced
- 1 cup Gram Flour (Besan)
- 1 tablespoon Rice Flour (Chawal ka aata)
- 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder or Whole Coriander Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Carrom Seeds (Ajwain)
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 2 teaspoon Red Chilly Powder (or as per your preference)
- 1/4th cup Coriander leaves (Cilantro) finely chopped
- A pinch of Sugar
- Salt to taste
- Oil to fry
To make Onion fritters, let’s make the batter.
In a bowl, take the thinly sliced onion and add 1/2 (half) teaspoon salt. Mix salt well with onions and while doing so lightly crush the onions by hands or by a spoon.
Keep this mixture aside for about 15 minutes. Adding salt to onions makes the onions release their water which we will use to make the batter. We will not add any excess water for making the dough.
Now let’s start adding spices and herbs one by one before we add the gram flour (besan) and rice flour.
Let’s start by adding, turmeric powder, coriander powder, carrom seeds, finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves), a teaspoon of sugar and red chilli powder.
Now add gram flour (besan) and 2 teaspoon rice flour.
Here you need to eyeball the quantity of gram flour as we are not going to use any water. Add gramflour till you get a soft dough-like consistency. In case if you feel the dough has become very hard then sprinkle little water but otherwise try to avoid it as much as possible.
At this moment, check for seasoning. We added salt to onions but not to the batter. Hence if required add salt as per taste.
The addition of rice flour will help in making these onion fritters crisp and crunchy. In case you don’t have or rather don’t want to add rice flour then add 1 tablespoon of hot oil in the batter, this also makes the pakoda (fritters) crispy.
Keep oil to heat. Make sure that the temperature of the oil should not be too high nor too low. If it is too low, fritters will absorb too much oil while frying and make the pakoda soggy.
Now, drop small portions of the onion batter into the hot oil and deep fry till golden brown on medium flame.
Onion Fritters / Kurkurit Kanda Bhaji / Onion Pakoda is ready.
Serve with coriander mint chutney or ketchup along with a cup of tea or coffee.
If you want, as in many households, a pinch of chaat masala or raw mango powder is sprinkled over the fritters (pakoda) to give it a nice tangy zing. It’s absolutely optional though.
To make sure if the oil is hot enough for frying, drop a small onion batter in the oil, if it starts to sizzle immediately without burning the edges then you have the right temperature to fry the pakoda. If the pakoda doesn’t sizzle then the oil is too cold and if the pakoda burns immediately then the oil is way too hot.
I have specified the measurement of gram flour (besan) here, but as I said, you will need to eyeball the quantity as per the water released by onions.