Ullipaya Pakodi (Onion Pakora)

Ullipaya Pakodi (Onion Pakora)

I don’t think I have mentioned this before but I’m not a fan of fried food. But when I’m in India it seems like that’s the only thing I eat. Both my mom and mother in law cook all these delicious recipes that are mostly fried. I don’t say no at all, despite complaining, ‘awww man I’m going to get so fat.’ And it is usually true. I put on several pounds after my visit to India. I love everything about the way they cook their dishes. My mother in law without doubt makes THE BEST fried food in the world. Mom still makes good, but again fried food is sort of banned in our house. Since dad had a cardiac arrest in 2003 we gave up on oily foods. Mom still doesn’t make if we aren’t there. Mom used to make TONS of snacks for Deepavali and we used to gorge on them, but after that we gave up on it. And the weird part is we don’t miss them. I miss helping mom make them.

This recipe isn’t an exact reproduction of what my mother in law makes. I add a few ingredients that I’ve noticed my North Indian friends add. It doesn’t change the taste too much, since I don’t add a lot of it. Sometimes my mother in law adds soda uppu or baking soda to make them fluffier than usual. But I don’t add this as I feel it causes indigestion for me. It works out in cakes just not in pakoras. If you want to add you surely can, but I would stay away. I make a few at a time, since they start to get very heavy. Chickpea flour feels very heavy and they are fried. If I usually have leftover pakoras I make it into kadhi pakora which usually works out great.


Onions – 2 medium

Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt – As needed (1 tablespoon)

Asafoetida – a pinch (optional)

Jeera (cumin) powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander Powder – 1 teaspoon

Vaamu (Ajwain) – 1/ teaspoon

Rice Flour – 4 tablespoons

Besan (Chickpea flour) – 3/4 cup

Curry Leaves – 4 (optional)

Kashmiri Red Chili Powder – 1 tablespoon

Chat Masala – To sprinkle 1 teaspoon

Oil – For Deep Frying

How to Make

Step 1: Julienne onions or chop them as thin as possible and add them into a bowl.

Step 2: Add turmeric, salt, asafoetida, Jeera powder, coriander powder, ajwain, rice flour, chickpea flour and chopped or whole curry leaves.

Step 3: Using your hands try to mix all these ingredients well. Onion contains water, so the water comes out little by little.

Step 4: Keep this aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile add oil in a deep bottomed pan and heat it up enough for deep frying.

Step 5: As the oil is getting hot, mix the onions again. If it isn’t forming little balls to put into the oil, add a few tablespoons of water. If it’s too runny add some chickpea flour. Add the red chili powder and mix well.

Step 6: As the oil gets hot, with your hand or a spoon, drop a few balls (usually 5-6, depending on the size of your pan) of the dough into the oil carefully. Avoid getting water close to the oil as it will splutter onto you.

Step 7: Once one side gets a little less doughy, flip it and fry the other sized . Keep frying until they are golden brown from all sides.

Step 8: Sprinkle some chat masala and serve with mint coriander chutney for a dip (or ketchup like I did).


1. You can add coriander leaves, some aamchur powder, and some ginger garlic paste to the onions.

2. You can use any oil you want, I used canola or vegetable oil. I feel olive oil gets absorbed too much by the pakoras.

3. You can add green chilies instead of red chili powder.

4. You can skip adding the spices and just eat them plain, they are still delicious.

5. I used Maggi Hot and Sweet sauce as a side.

6. Rice flour crisps up the pakoras a little, you can skip adding rice flour and add baking soda instead. Baking soda tends to give a little gastric issues so I opt for rice flour.

♥️ Mahi

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