The hallmark of a good onion pakoda or khekda bhaji in Marathi, is that it should be crispy on the outside, but soft within. The trick here is to use the right amount of besan (or chickpea flour) – just enough to cover your onions but not smother them with it.


Prepartion Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins
Ingredients: Method:
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp basen (chickpea flour)
  • 3-4 chillies, chopped

  • chopped coriander & curry leaves (optional)

  • 1 tsp cumin coriander powder (dhana jeera powder)

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • salt to taste

Mix the onions & basen: 

  • in a large bowl add the onions
  • crush all the sliced onions using a spoon or by hand
  • add salt, mix well & let it rest for 5-10 mins
  • adding salt, will  make the onions sweat & release moisture

  • after 5-10 mins, if the onions are still dry drizzle little water

  • preferabelly don’t add water if onions have become enough moist

  • add chopped coriander & chillies (optional: add curry leaves )

  • add cumin coriander & turmeric powder

  • add some basen, (chickpea flour) & mix well

  • as you mix, keep adding small quantities of basen till the time all the onions are lightly coated with it. adding basen in samll quantities will ensure that right amount of basen is only added
  • remember, avoid adding a lot of basen or water as this will not make the bhaji/pakodas crispy

  • meanwhile you can start heating the oil to fry the pakodas

Fry the bhaji/pakodas:

  • the final consistency of the onions & basen should allow you to make small lumps of the mixture to fry.  
  • avoid making big lump, it will ensure that they are cooked properly 
  • if you do not get such a consistency, either the water content is more of there is less of basen to hold the lump of the onions together
  • in both the cases adding a small amount of basen should do the trick
  • gently slide these pokada lumps in the hot oil which is heated on a medium heat, and let them fry from one side 
  • once they start changing colour, flip them and fry completely from other as well
  • they will take 5-7 mins to be fried from each side on a medium heat
  • once fried, drain the excess oil by holding them tilted in the spoon against the wall of the vessel
  • and take it out on a tissue layed on a plate. the tissue will again soak up the excess oil
  • fry all the pokodas and serve them hot
Tip: if we break the bhaji/pokodas, they should be crispy from the top and lightly moist from within

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