Onion bajji’s are a favourite snack with chai all over India. If you have had a chance to attend any evening gathering that takes place among Indian communities anywhere in the world, you may have noticed these being served. You can never go wrong serving onion bajji’s. They turn yummy & go well with all kinds of dips.I like them just as is. The ingredients are very easily available & always present in most pantries.
Piyav is onion in Konkani, Kanda is onion in Marathi, Eerulli is onion in Kannada & likewise Pakoda’s in Konkani are called Bajo & Bajji is a word used in Kannada. Well does it matter what they are called as long as you can make these yummy pakoda’s.. ?? 😉
The joy of having some hot onion pakoda’s with hot chai during the rains cannot be described in words. Ask most Indians what they would crave for the most when it rains.. the answer would be ” Pakoda & chai”…
There are many ways of preparing these pakoda’s. Some make it with just the basic ingredients – Gram flour, salt, red chilli powder & cut onions. I have my way, I add garlic, cumin, a pinch of asafoetida & coriander leaves along with the basic ingredients I mentioned above. I love the flavour imparted by these additional ingredients I use. You may also add some chopped mint leaves. I did not add mint leaves as I was serving these pakoda’s with Coriander, mint chutney.
Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Onion – 1 large, cut lengthwise & then cut into 2, separate pieces from each layer as keep aside
Garlic – 1 large clove
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Gram flour/besan – 3/4 cup
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp or more depending on how hot the chilli powder you use is
Coriander leaves – 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
Oil – enough to deep fry the pakoda’s
Salt to taste
Mince the garlic & the cumin seeds together using a pestle. Keep aside.
Add all the onion strands to a mixing bowl. Add salt, the garlic & cumin mince, red chilli powder, asafoetida & chopped coriander leaves & mix well. Keep this aside for 2-3 minutes. The onions let out some water.
Add about 50 ml water to the bowl/mortar you used to mince garlic & cumin. We will use this aromatic water to coat the gram flour with the onions.
Sift the gram flour if it has too many lumps. Now add about 1/2 cup of gram flour to the onion mixture. Mix well.
Meanwhile begin to heat oil required to deep fry the pakoda’s.
While the oil is heating up. Add the aromatic water little by little to the onion mixture. The batter mix should neither be too dry nor too watery. The onion strands should be coated well & you should be able to able to hold about 15 strands together firmly to form small fritters.
Check if the oil is heated well enough. Make sure the heat is set to medium. Drop these pakoda’s one by one into the hot oil carefully. If the strands remain together you have achieved the correct consistency with the batter. If they begin to move away then the batter is too runny or dry. Fix this by adding more onion or more water. Do not crowd the vessel. let there be space for the oil to move around & cook the pakoda’s. I was able to fry about
16 pakoda’s in total (8 in each batch) from the batter I prepared.
Once the pakoda’s are light brown on the bottom side turn them over & fry the other side. Take them out of the oil when they turn golden brown on both sides. Transfer them on to a kitchen paper towel & drain out the excess oil.
You can spinkle of chaat masala on top if you wish to.
Serve hot with some green chutney by the side or with your favourite dip.
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