Crispy and golden onion pakora made in an
What is onion pakora?
Hot onion pakoras and a cup of masala chai is the first thing that comes to mind for most Indians when it rains. We can call pakoras India's favorite tea-time snack, which every household in India has enjoyed for generations. Also called bhajiya or bhajji, there are many varieties of pakodas, and this onion pakoda is one of the most popular. Some other popular ones are paneer pakora and chicken pakora.
Onion bhajiya is simple and easy to make and can be done in no time. While the most common way of making them is by deep frying them, this
Why you will love this recipe?
- This air fryer onion pakora recipe is easy to make and gets done in 20 minutes.
- It is healthier than regular pakoras as it does not involve deep frying.
- They are crunchy, crispy, and oh-so-delicious. Enjoy crispy onion bajji on its own, or serve it with mint chutney, sweet tamarind chutney, apple chutney, tomato ketchup, or your favorite dips.
Onions: Use thin slices of red onions for the best-tasting pakoda. Brown onions, white onions, and yellow onion slices can also work.
Flour: Besan is mainly used to make pakoras. It is also called chickpea flour or gram flour. A small amount of rice flour is also added to make it crispy. Both these flours are gluten-free.
Oil: We will need 2 tablespoon oil in the batter and more oil to brush on the pakora. I have used olive oil. However, vegetable oil or any cooking oil can be used.
Water: We will need water to make the batter. Two things to remember here are to use cold water (not room temperature) and add water gradually.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Onion pakora is the most popular variety; however, there are many variations across the Indian subcontinent. Here are some variations to this
Spinach pakoras: Add finely chopped spinach to this recipe to make palak pakora.
Vegetable pakora: Add veggies like cabbage, potato, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli to make veggie pakora. Finely chop the veggies before using them.
Bhindi pakora: This lesser-known variation is made using okra and does not have onion or garlic. These okra fritters are one of the best ways to enjoy the flavor and texture of okra.
Bread pakoras: Also called bread bajji, it is a popular Indian street food where slices of white bread are stuffed with a spicy potato filling, dipped in chickpea flour, and deep-fried.
Mirchi pakora: Mirchi means chili, and this variety of pakoda is made using banana chili dipped in chickpea flour and deep fried.
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, add the onion slices, green chilli, cilantro, and salt. Mix well and squeeze the mixture so that the onion releases moisture (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Add the besan flour, rice flour, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, and hot oil. Give it a good mix. Slowly add one tablespoon of cold water at a time and bring it together to form a thick and sticky batter. You will not need more than ¼ cup of water (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Take small portions of the batter (around two tablespoons) and place it in the basket. Place more pakora batter in a single layer, making sure they do not touch each other (image 5).
Step 4: Air fry at 350 F (180 C) for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye after the 7-minute mark. Spray oil on the top. Then, increase the temperature to 400 F (200 C) and air fry for another 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown (image 6).
Before adding water, mix the onion and salt well. This will help the onions to release moisture.
It is important to add water gradually. The batter must be thick and come together easily. Thin or runny batter will make the bhajiya soggy and also difficult to air fry. Also, do not mix the batter too much. Mix just until it comes together.
Place the bhaiyas in a single layer without overcrowding the
Other common spices used in making crispy onion pakoda are garam masala, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, carom seeds, fennel seeds, and curry leaves. These ingredients are added to the gram flour batter.
PRO-TIP: Use cold water to mix the batter. This will give the pakodas a crispy texture.
Pakora or bhajiya can turn soggy if the batter has too much moisture. Make sure you add water to the batter gradually so that the batter is thick and comes together easily.
Air fryer onion bhajis can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Leftover pakora can also be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
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Air Fryer Onion Pakora (Onion Bhajiya)
- Thinly slice the red onions. Finely chop the chilies (deseed them if you prefer less hot).
- In a small pan, take one tablespoon of olive oil. Heat it and set it aside.
Making the batter:
- In a large bowl, add the sliced onions, green chili, cilantro, and salt. Mix well and squeeze the mixture so that the onion releases moisture.
- To this, add the besan, rice flour, chili powder, and ground cumin. Do not add any water at this stage.
- Add the hot oil and mix using a spoon. Once the oil cools down, mix using your hands.
- Slowly add one tablespoon of water at a time and bring the batter together. You will need around ¼ cup of water. Also, make sure the water is cold (and not room temperature) to get crispy pakoras.
Air fry the pakora:
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 F (200 C) for 5 minutes. Spray the air fryer basket with oil.
- Take some bhajiya batter (around 2 tablespoons) and place it in the basket. Place more pakora batter in a single layer, making sure they do not touch each other.
- Air fry at 350 F (180 C) for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye after 7 minutes mark.
- Spray oil on the top. Then, increase the temperature to 400 F (200 C) and air fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully take the parokras out and sprinkle chaat masala.
- Serve hot with green chutney or ketchup.