Onion Pakoras (Indian Onion Fritters)

An absolutely smashing Indian version of onion fritters; these remind me of onion rings and are made with toasted chickpea flour and an array of spices…beyond delicious!

Onion Pakoras - Indian Onion Fritters accompanied by a Sweet Chili Sauce

Did you miss me? Please say yes…I’ve been absent for a bit and it’s always nice to have someone notice! Oh I threw in a cocktail from another year but it’s been about two weeks and no food, no new cocktails, nope. Barb has been a slacker for sure. These Onion Pakoras (Indian Onion Fritters) are a nice entry back; I could literally eat the whole batch. Maybe I will; it’s 8:20pm and I’ve not eaten dinner yet…yes, I absolutely will!

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If you’ve read this blog long enough you might notice a pattern and that pattern is predicted by Spring! I hate to admit it but I can’t do it all and this Spring ALL was a lot.

Perennial garden with stone border.

In short order I have had air conditioning installed (and not turned it on yet…see why I hesitated?), my deck stained, and a beautiful border put around my yard instead of that awful metal edging, Isn’t it beautiful? I simply LOVE it! That’s all in conjunction with my standard spring stuff which is filling up that perennial bed and another one in back with more plants and of course re-arranging some I’ve put in before…that NEVER ends.

Onion Pakoras - Indian Onion Fritters Served with a Sweet Chili Sauce

So what brought me back? Well, Progressive Eats. My pal Ansh decided on an Indian theme, which is not that much of a stretch for her because she is Indian, but for most of the rest of us, it’s always a discovery into new foods and new spices and new and exciting flavors.

I have to be honest, I almost bailed.  Because on top of everything else, I volunteered to help a neighbor I did not know with her two dogs while they’re gone for ten days. She had asked for help in our neighborhood Facebook group, she clearly had a real need and I thought…two little dogs? I can do that. And then I discovered that Spot’s owners were going to be gone the same week and well, Spot is my boy, no way was he going to a facility; I would just have to manage three little dogs. No biggie right?

And they are really not that much except the unknowns. One of the two new little guys is a Cairn Terrier. Much like a dog I once owned, a Schnauzer, they are vocal little pups and I’m certainly grateful that I am now protected from every movement on our street. And every ding of my phone. And every dog who barks in the neighborhood. When Bonnie finally crashes at night; I’m ready. Her buddy Shorty sort of follows suit but he doesn’t measure up at all; Bonnie is the champ of protection.

And poor Spot, wondering WTF; where do I fit in now? Today is his first day with the other two…they seem to be working it out after a bit of awkwardness; evidenced in pupworld by some growling and posturing. None of them are mean or would bite and the hierarchy appears to be set; the girl rules. As it should be. 🙂

Onion Pakoras - Indian Onion Fritters Served as Street Food In India in a brown wrapper.

Anyway all of that to just let you know I might be a bit busy so I looked for something easy and tasty and wow…did I ever find it. These are SO simple although fair warning; grinding up toasted chickpeas in a food processor is not a quick task…those are very hard little suckers! You can substitute flour but you would miss a much nuttier flavor so I think it was worth the constant processor noise; not sure the dogs would agree…they’re not getting any reward for tolerating it and I am! If you have more time than I did; you can order it already ground from Amazon.

I was remiss in not removing one from my homemade wrapper so you could see what the individual fritters look like. The onions are sliced into about 1-2 inch pieces so they are very irregular little circles. I used my largest cookie scooper to form them; so each fritter is about 3 inches in diameter with lots of onion piece tendrils; not unlike fried hash browns. But there the similarity stops.

These remind me of onion rings but are so much better. The toasted, nutty chickpea flour combined with garlic and garam masala and cumin and cilantro…just a great blend of spices. So yummy…I’m struggling to finish writing this without taking a break and heading to the kitchen!

When I was researching this dish, I found lots of different versions with an equal amount of different spices used. I sort of threw together my favorites. There were also lots of different dipping sauces for them. I love them with just a teeny sprinkle of salt so honestly didn’t have the time or desire to create some of the sauces I saw including coconut and tamarind…maybe next time.

I simply used a staple in my fridge, Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce. It was perfect and a much needed easy component. I use this sauce a lot. Scrambled eggs, french fries, fried wontons…maybe nothing Indian until today but I didn’t let that stop me; so I made this a more international recipe in the end; that’s all good right? 🙂

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Onion Pakoras are an Indian fritter served with a Sweet Chili Sauce

I mentioned it was Progressive Eats time so I hope you’ll enjoy all the fabulous dishes from my friends too…something for everyone!

Progressive Eats

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is an Indian Picnic, and our host is Ansh who blogs at SpiceRoots.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious Indian Picnic inspired dishes!

An Indian Picnic



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Onion Pakoras are an Indian fritter served with a Sweet Chili Sauce

Onion Pakoras (Indian Onion Fritters)

Creative Culinary
Onion Pakoras are fried onion fritters with Indian spices and topped with a sweet chili sauce.
5 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Course Appetizers
Servings 2 dozen


For the Chickpea Flour (Besan)

  • Any quantity of dried chickpeas (I did an entire small package so I can make this again but you just need to make enough for 10 Tbsp.

For the Onion Pakoras

  • 4 medium onions sliced then quarter the slices
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 10 Tbsp besan flour roasted chickpea flour
  • 2 ½ Tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp water


  • To Make Toasted Chickpea Flour
  • Toast the chickpeas in the oven on 350 degrees for about 7-8 minutes until a warm brown. Remove them from the oven and cool completely.
  • Place the dried chickpeas in a food processor, working in batches if you are making a large quantity. Cover and process on high speed for two or three minutes until a powdery flour forms. Cover the top of the feed tube so that chickpea flour doesn't waft out while the machine is running.
  • Sift the mixture into a bowl to separate the fine flour from the hard bits of chickpeas that did not process. I just pitch any small bits that didn't process but you can use a spice grinder if you want to grind those too.
  • When all of the chickpeas have been ground into flour, sift again to remove and discard any remaining pieces of chickpeas that did not process.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry place.
  • To Make the Onion Pakoras
  • In a bowl, put all the ingredients except the water. Mix well with a large spoon and then squeeze the onions with your hands which helps to release their juices. This helps form a batter. Keep aside for 5 minutes.
  • Add a little water, from 1-2 Tablespoons, just enough so you can form small fritters (the size of a golf ball). Mix well. Place scoops into the hot oil and press gently to flatten slightly.
  • Deep fry them in vegetable oil at 350°F until cooked through and golden brown; flipping gently if needed. Put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.
  • Serve with or without sauce.


Nutrition Facts
Onion Pakoras (Indian Onion Fritters)
Serving Size
1 grams
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. When spring rolls around, I have to put the brakes on all things blogging too otherwise the yardwork just will not get done! I’m an onion lover to begin so these DO look beyond delicious! I need to give these a try!

    1. Plus don’t we need real life to sometimes pull us around a bit? I’ve found the breaks help me stay enthused about the job. I’ll always love to cook and photograph but the business of blogging is something I need space from occasionally.

      I’ll be honest, when I moved here I thought I was done; ready for just maintanence. I was wrong. I could not handle how dry, barren, and ugly someone else idea of ‘landscaping’ was. Lots in this neighborhood are OK with it; my little yard looks like an oasis in the desert! 🙂

  2. Indian food is on the top of my favorite cuisines, and your onion pakoras look super tasty! Now that I’m home from Peru, I hope to give them a try. YUM! P.S. Your garden is looking gorgeous, and I know how much time goes into keeping it that beautiful <3

    1. I am learning to enjoy making it too; once I got beyond the mystery (and it’s mostly spices) I’ve found it easy and of course, so delicious!

      And thanks…labor of love for sure and HOPING I’m now close to maintenance after I plant a few more things. It’s a tiny yard; there is only so much I can smush in there! :0

  3. Barb, Toasting and grinding your own chickpea flour might be a bit above and beyond, but if you’re offering tastes, I’m definitely standing in line. These look simply addicting. I can’t imagine a more wonderful way to enjoy onions. Bravo!

    1. They were really wonderful…love the spicy nuttiness from the ingredients; I fear now plain old onion rings will be so boring! 🙂

    1. When I found you can buy the ground chickpea flour I know I’ll make them again! With that they would be easier and so flavorful too. You do have to eat them in one sitting just so you know. 🙂

  4. You can buy the besan flour on Amazon, also Bob’s Red Mill sells Garbanzo flour. Is the problem that these are not toasted? I wonder if you could toast the flour in the oven till lightly brown. Do you thinbk that would work? Thanks!

    1. I toasted them because I could Nancy but not sure you have to but sure why not or even in a skillet and keep stirring til toasted slightly? Thanks for the tip, I’ve added a link to Amazon for people who want to buy it pre-ground. Might be me next time. 🙂

  5. Oh, my, these fritters look fabulous! I could make them my dinner, too!! I love that your chaos includes puppies and gardening—You definitely deserved a break from blogging!

    1. I was so exhausted that today I am accomplishing little of anything; the pups are good with me not rushing around working I do know that!

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