Onion Fritters / pakoras (paleo, AIP, vegan, gluten free)

Onion Pakora || Onion Fritters (Gluten Free, Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

 Onion Pakora (paleo, AIP)  Nothing like warm crispy Pakoras(also called as pakodas or bhajias) and hot seaming chai on a rainy, gloomy day! It is funny that today as I sit down to write this recipe post, it is actually a very rainy day and it has been raining cats and dogs non stop for 8 hours since morning! That is highly unusual – I mean rains in the middle of winter!  Anyways, what a pity that I don’t have any pakoras left 🙁

Pakoras are another thing that just went away from my life when I started on my AIP diet. All grains and legumes had to go and pakoras being made from besan or chickpea flour just had to go away sadly. Most of our social gatherings with friends and family feature some kind of appetizer using chickpea flour or legumes – either pakoras or vadas etc. But I gallantly stayed away from them. Never as much as looked at them!  But in my mind I had been dreaming of making a paleo version of pakoras from a long time.  And finally a couple months ago I first experimented using cassava flour.  That by in itself tasted good but did not give me the crispness that I was looking for. And so finally two more failed experiments later, I reached success!  Water Chestnut flour (Singoda atta) to the rescue!  Water Chest nut flour has that nutty flavor and also gives that crispy texture when fried. So a combination of the two flours finally gave me what I was looking for! I later learnt from a friend that during Indian religious festivals when women observe ‘fasting’, pakoras are made using this singoda flour 🙂 Our ancestors sure knew how to eat healthy!

Oh boy these pakoras were so good – they taste fabulous by themselves (because of the seasonings and spices) that you really don’t need any kind of chutney or dipping sauce. But if you are making the strict AIP version without the spices and if you have time, you could rustle up this quick cilantro and mint chutney to go with them.  One word of advice though : Make a double batch since these are all going to go before you have time to plate them 🙂

Btw, do you think these pakoras would be great for the Super Bowl weekend? I definitely think so but I am also not sharing my ‘pakora platter’ with anyone else 🙂

Onion Pakora || Onion Fritters (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)
Recipe type: Appetizers
Cuisine: Modern Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
Crispy onion fritters that are deliciously spiced and are gluten free, grain free and legume free!
For the Pakoras:
For the cilantro chutney:
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut or fresh grated coconut
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small serrano chilli (optional, omit for AIP)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup hot water
For the pakoras:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the onions, the flours and all the spices. Use your hands to crush the onions into the flour and spice mixture. Do this for a couple mins until the flour gets a bit wet from the juices released from the onions. Now slowly add the water bit by bit till you get a sticky dough. (It should not be too watery it should be just sticky - see picture below; you may not need to use the entire quantity of water)
  2. In a deep skillet or kadai (a wok shaped pan) heat the oil or ghee for deep frying. Heat for 4 to 5 mins until very hot. Turn heat between medium and low setting. Now make small balls out of the dough mixture and add into the hot oil (You could also use a spoon to do this)
  3. Fry the pakoras in batches on medium heat for about 2-3 mins and then flip them over and fry for another 1-2 mins until brown and crispy (take care not to burn them). Transfer to a dish lined with paper towel to catch the extra oil. Serve pakoras warm with cilantro mint chutney.
For the chutney:
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor/blender jar and blend till fine consistency is achieved.
It is important to achieve the right texture for the pakora batter (mixture). It should be thick where you can see individual onion slices and that is what makes a crispy pakora.
I prefer to fry in small batches at a time which allows you to use less quantity of oil for frying

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