Mamta's Kitchen

Onion Bhaji or Pakora - 1, Mamta's

Pyaz Pakore

Mamta Gupta

Onion pakoras are one of my favourite vegetable pakoras. I prefer them simple and without too many spices. You can make them spicy if you prefer, look under optional ingredients. They taste best when served piping hot, straight from the frying pan/karahi.

Whenever I make any kind of pakoras, I always make a few chilli pakoras. Slice the top off each chilli before frying in batter. Otherwise, chillies explode as the pressure builds inside them and can splash hot oil all over you. Serves 4-6

Also see Chat Selection.


  • 250 gm. gram flour/chickpea four/besan

  • 3-4 medium onions peeled and sliced into thin rounds/discs.

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. chilli powder

  • 1/2 tsp. carom seeds or ajwain (use cumin seeds if you don't have carom seeds)

  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped finely. Omit if you like the pakoras to be mild.

  • Water to make batter

  • Oil for deep frying

  • Optional ingredients

  • You can add a little Garam Masala to the batter.

  • You can replace half the salt with Kala namak (black rock salt), which gives a nice taste to the pakoras.

  • You can add a teaspoon of Amachoor (dry mango powder) to your batter.

  • For an even more spicy taste, add 2 tbsp. Chat Masala, but then reduce salt accordingly. Most people use ready made chat masala these days.

  • You can add 1 tablespoon of dry or 1 cup finely chopped fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves to the batter for a different flavour and taste.


  1. Place sifted (to remove lumps) chickpea flour, salt, chilli powder and carom seeds in a bowl, add water slowly and make a batter. You have to beat it well, to make the pakoras lighter. I often use an electric whisk. It is the correct consistency when you are able to lift blobs of this batter, without it dripping all over.

  2. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  3. Add baking powder just before you start making pakoras and mix well.

  4. Heat oil in a wok. The oil is correct temperature when a test pakora dropped in it sizzles and rises to the top of the oil quickly. The oil should not be smoking hot. Pakoras are crisper, when cooked in medium hot oil. Oil should not be too cold either, or your pakoras will not be crisp and will be too oily.

  5. Dip onion slices, one at a time, in the batter, coat on both sides and gently slide into the hot oil. Wait until they sizzle to the surface and then turn them over frequently, until evenly golden brown and crisp on all sides.

  6. Take out on an absorbent kitchen paper.


  • Bhaji means different things to different people. In the part of India, it mean a dry (without gravy) vegetable dish where I come from, made in a karahi or wok.

  • Sometimes 'Onion Bhaji' is pronounced as Bar-jee or Bhar-jee in UK, but usually they are known as bhajis.

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