Kanda Bhaji | Crispy Onion Pakoda | Onion Fritters

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Kanda bhaji also known as pyaz ke pakode & onion fritters is a fried crispy and spicy Indian snack made with thinly sliced onions that are covered with besan (gram flour) along with herbs and spices. This is a vegan and beginner-friendly recipe.

Onion fritters / kanda bhaji are mostly prepared for evening snacks or as a side dish during meals.

Every household has its unique version of making these fritters. These are best served with fried chillies or with tangy tamarind chutney along with spicy green chutney.

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.

These can be made in a jiffy with basic minimal ingredients that are easily available in your home. These onion fritters taste delicious and are super addictive.

Onion pakodas are crowd-pleasers. In the evening you will find a long queue in front of food carts selling these tasty, hot and crispy pakodas / bhaji along with fried salted chillies and dry or wet chutney.

Making onion pakoda / fritters does not take a lot of time, this recipe can be done within 30 minutes.

When fried to a golden brown, this kanda bhaji turns crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

These pakodas 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.

Many times, instead of making regular onion pakoda / fritters, I like to add finely chopped ginger, green chillies, and curry leaves along with garam masala powder. A little twist to regular flavours.

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 pakoda, matki pakoda (sprouts fritters), rice fritters, sweet corn pakoda, bread pakoda, spinach, cauliflower, potatoes, paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and many more.

Pakodas are super easy, quick & simple to make. Sometimes instead of having it as a snack during tea time, we love to have them as a side dish with regular meals.

To make this super simple recipe, all you need is to mix everything together and deep fry. These turn out super crispy & delicious, believe me, you are not going to stop at just one.

Kids love to have this crispy onion pakoda along with tomato ketchup or imli ki chutney (sweet tamarind chutney). Actually, these are so flavourful by themselves that you do not need any dip along with them.

When I have friends coming over I often tend to make these instead of any other pakodas and serve them with adrak ki chai (ginger tea).

I haven’t used garlic or ginger in this recipe, but if you want you made add those. It will enhance the taste. But the original recipe of onion pakoda does not contain garlic or ginger.

What is pakoda?

Pakoda in English translates to fritters. These are deep-fried dumplings made with gram flour (besan) along with veggies or meat.

Pakoda also called pakoras is a popular Indian street food snack relished with tomato ketchup or chutneys like tangy tamarind chutney and spicy green chutney.

These pakodas go best with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Other variations

You can tweak the traditional onion pakodas and add veggies to it like finely chopped potatoes, spinach, fenugreek, capsicum and even use spring onion.

Some important tips to remember while making this corn pakoda / fritters

To get crispy onion pakoda, make sure that you cut the onion slices very thin.

Always fry these pakodas / fritters on medium flame. If the flame is too low, the pakoda tends to absorb a lot of oil and instead of getting crispy, they become soggy.

I have used rice flour here to make this pakoda extra crisp. In case you do not have rice flour, you may use cornflour or skip them altogether and use only besan (gram flour).

FAQs

Can we bake this onion pakoda?

Yes, you can bake the pakoda.

Preheat oven for 5 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius.
Place a small bite size portion of the batter on the parchment paper.
Bake for 20 minutes. Halfway through, lightly brush the pakodas with oil.

Can we store the onion pakoda batter?

Yes, you can store the extra batter in a closed container in the refrigerator. It will remain good for 2-3 days. But I would highly recommend not storing it for more than a day.

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Ingredients required to make kanda bhaji / Onion Pakoda

Onions: I have used 2 cups of thinly sliced onions.

Flours: To make this onion pakoda, I used besan (gram flour) and rice flour. Rice flour helps make this pakoda extra crisp.

Spices & Herbs: I have added whole coriander seeds, ajwain seeds (carom seeds), red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and finely chopped coriander leaves.

Seasonings: I seasoned the pakoda batter with salt and a pinch of sugar.

Water: I ended up using less than 1/4th cup of water just to moisten the batter a bit.

Oil: We will require oil to deep fry these kanda bhaji / onion pakoda.

How to make kanda bhaji / pyaz ke pakoda?

  • Let’s start by making 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 hand 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, carrom seeds, turmeric powder, coriander powder, finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves), a teaspoon of sugar and red chilli powder.
Besan (Gram Flour) is easily available at amazon.com
  • Here you need to eyeball the quantity of gram flour as we are not going to use any water.
  • Add gram flour till you get a soft dough-like consistency. In case 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 the 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 to 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 or 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.

Air Fryer Method

  • Pre-heat the air fryer for 10 minutes to 400°F.
  • Spray the air fryer with little oil.
  • Take a dollop of the onion pakoda batter and place it in the air fryer basket. Do not overcrowd. Apply or spray some oil on top of the pakodas too.
  • Air fry at 350°F for 14-15 minutes. Flip them in between.
  • Once cooked and golden brown, take it out on a plate.
  • Air fryer onion pakoda is ready. Serve them hot.
  • You can reheat the leftover pakodas in the air fryer for about 5 minutes. Just brush them lightly with oil while reheating.

Important Tip:

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.

Note:

Many times, instead of adding coriander powder I add whole coriander seeds to the batter. This gives a nice flavour and texture to this kanda bhaji.

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.

Spices and flours mentioned in the recipe are easily available at any Indian grocery store and also on amazon.in & amazon.com.

Links for spices & herbs on amazon.com

Carrom Seeds
Besan (Gram Flour)
Rice Flour
Chaat Masala
Raw Mango Powder ( Amchur Powder)

Detailed Recipe

Kanda Bhaji | Pyaz Ke Pakode | Onion Fritters (Vegan)

Anjali P
Kanda bhaji also known as pyaz ke pakode & onion fritters is a fried crispy and spicy Indian snack. This is an easy-to-make beginner-friendly vegan recipe best accompanied by hot ginger tea (adkar chai).
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Cups Thinly Sliced Onions
  • 1 Cup Besan (Gram Flour)
  • 1 tbsp Chawal Ka Atta (Rice Flour)
  • 2 tsp Whole Coriander Seeds OR Coriander Poweder
  • 1 tsp Ajwain (Carrom Seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1-2 tsp Red Chilly Powder
  • 1/4th Cup Coriander Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry

Instructions
 

Deep Fry Method

  • 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.
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, carrom seeds, finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves), a teaspoon of sugar and red chilli powder.
  • Add gram flour (besan) and 2 teaspoon rice flour.Mix well.
  • Heat Oil, 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.

Air Fryer Method

  • Pre-heat air fryer for 10 minutes to 400°F. Spray the air-fryer with little oil.
  • Take a dollop of the onion pakoda batter and place it in the air fryer basket. Do not overcrowd. Apply or spray some oil on top of the pakodas too.
  • Air fry at 350°F for 14-15 minutes. Flip them in between.
  • Once cooked and golden brown, take out on a plate.
  • Air fryer onion pakoda are ready. Serve them hot.
  • You may serve this as it is with coriander or tamarin chutney or you may sprinkle some chaat masala or raw mango powder for extra zing.
  • You can reheat the leftover pakodas in air fryer for about 5 mintues. Just brush them ligthly with oil while reheatting.

Notes

Many times, instead of adding coriander powder I add whole coriander seeds to the batter. This gives a nice flavour and texture to this kanda bhaji.
 
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.
 
Important Tip:
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.
 
Keyword Indian snacks, kanda bhaji, kanda pakoda, onion fritters, pakode recipe, popular indian street food, pyaz ke pakode, vegan recipes

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