Onion Pakoda/Pakora – Step by Step

‘Karukk morukk’ is how we Tamilians describe the sound that you will hear when you bite into these crispy, crunchy, deep fried and flavourful morsels of onion pakoda coated in warm spices and gram flour!


There’s a reason why rain and onion pakoda (also bajji) are a match made in heaven. Biting into a pakoda – a delightfully hot, crunchy and flavourful outer coating that gives in to a sweet caramelised onion – what else can you call it but bliss (especially on cold, gloomy or rainy days!) ?? Perfect for teatime on any day even if there’s no rain (and even better if there’s a cricket match on TV!), these are really quick to put together and can easily be made in bulk for any number of guests.


Read on for the recipe!


  • 2 large onions, peeled, halved and sliced into thick semicircles
  • 1/2 cup gram flour
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp jeera (cumin)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp rice flour



  1. Peel, have and slice the onions into thick semicircles. Take a wide bowl, and mix the chopped onions with salt. Leave them alone for 10 minutes.The salt will draw out water from the onions and soften them.
  2. Now add the gram flour, rice flour and all spices to these onions. Mix well with clean fingers.
  3. The mixture needs to be crumbly and separate (udhiri-udhiri), not like a dough at all. Each onion must have a light coating of the spiced flour.
  4. When you take some mixture into your palm, it should not clump together and remain loose, like shown in the picture.
  5. Make sure all spices are evenly distributed in your pakoda mixture. Check for salt.
  6. Heat oil in a kadai on medium flame. Once oil is hot enough, fry your pakodas on medium flame until golden brown and crunchy. Drain into a kitchen towel, and serve hot.

You could serve the pakodas with green chutney (mint-coriander chutney) and tamarind chutney,  OR be like me and just eat it with ketchup 😀 😀

Try it!


  1. If you find that the mixture is too dry and not coating the onions, just sprinkle water little by little until the coating is wet enough to stick to the onions. Do not splash or pour water into the mixture, you’ll end up with onion bajji 😀
  2. I find that onion pakoda is a fantastic side dish for rasam rice, sambar rice and even curd rice – maybe I’m weird like that! Why don’t you try it once? 😉

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