Well, it is Summer Vacations, the Holy Month of Ramadan so I thought what better an occasion to post a quick and easy Evening Snack or Tea Time Snack Recipe, Onion Pakoda. Onion Pakoda is a crowd favourite Snack or Appetizer. Be it kids or adults, eating hot pakodas straight out of the frying pan is something we all enjoy!
Before you ask me, NO – These Pakodas are NOT FRIED. They are made with ridiculously tiny amount of oil in an Air Fryer. Happy? Read further.
Advantages of Air Fryer Onion Pakodas – A No Fry Tea Time Snack Recipe
- No standing in front of the hot stove especially during summers
- No messy kitchen and oily stove top to clean
- GUILT FREE, LOW OIL SNACKS!
Air Fryer was a smart purchase I made last year and I have been making good use of the appliance ever since I bought it. Some of the recipes using Air Fryer that you may like to try at home are – Air Fryer Purple Yam Chips, Air Fryer Raw Jackfruit Cutlet and Air Fryer Za’atar Roasted Potatoes.
The Air Fryer Onion Pakoda recipe is ideal for weight watchers, health conscious and in general people who are looking for low oil snacks to satisfy the occasional cravings.
What is a Pakoda or Pakora?
Pakodas or Pakoras are deep fried fritters made with Besan or Gram Flour. It is a popular Indian Street Food Snack and also a fast food snack. A delicious, tempting Snack or Appetizer which is served with a cup of strong Masala Chai.
Pakoda or Pakora is derived from Sanskrit word “Pakvavata” where “pakva” means cooked and “vata” means a small lump. Lumps of batter is deep fried in oil and cooked, served piping hot with Coriander Chutney or tomato ketchup.
Onion Pakoda and It’s Variations
- Pakodas are made with a variety of vegetables like eggplant or baingan, potato, green chillies, capsicum or shimla mirch, Spinach and paneer or cottage cheese too.
- They are generally sliced, finely chopped or cut lengthwise and dipped in a batter of gram flour and select spices.
- It is then fried in hot oil or in this case Air Fried and served piping hot with a sprinkle of Chaat Masala powder and chutneys like Tamarind, Coriander and Garlic.
- Out of the Pakoda varieties, Onion Pakodas are absolutely the best and most loved by all. The crunchy exterior with bursts of crispy onion slices and green chillies when dipped into chutney, complete Food Porn!
- Onion Pakodas in Maharashtra are called as Kanda Bhajji. Down South, it is popular by the name of Onion Bajji or Vengayam Bajji.
How to Make Crispy Onion Pakoda in Air Fryer Just Like the Deep Fried Ones?
- Pre-heat your Air Fryer for 10 minutes before placing the pakodas for frying.
- Do not make a wet batter. The batter should be thick and sticky enough to coat the onions but dry enough not to ruin the air fryer mesh and make it stick.
- Rice Flour – For the Extra crispy texture just like Store Bought ones or Fried pakodas.
- Do not crowd the Air fryer mesh by placing a lot of pakodas for frying at once.
- Air Fryer Snacks are best when served piping hot. You can add the leftover pakoras to Kadhi and enjoy the next day as Lunch.
- Cold or Leftover Pakodas can be reheated in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes with a light brush of oil. It would be crunchy and crispy again.
Onion Pakodas takes me back to my school days. Iftaar evenings with my best friend of 20 years at her home. The snacks were freshly made by her mom. After offering Namaz or Prayers, we would all indulge together, happily. Her mother had an extremely large heart and I still remember that she would always make me Vegetable Biryani (even though I was the only vegetarian) for Eid, without fail.
The Gram Flour or Besan Flour used for the recipe is from SunReap Brand, a Kolkata based company. I have tried and tested this recipe for the brand. The Brand sells locally milled flours and is engaged in export of food grains. The Brand’s USP is the freshness of the flour.
Let us now look at the easy recipe with step by step photos of making this delicious guilt free, non fried snack, Air Fryer Onion Pakoda at home.
Recipe for Air Fryer Onion Pakoda
- 2 cups Sunreap Besan or Gram Flour (1 cup is 200 ml measurement)
- 1 cup sliced onions
- ½ tsp Ajwain or Carom Seeds
- ¼ tsp Hing or Asafoetida
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/8th Cup Rice Flour
- ½ cup water for the batter
- 1 tsp Oil + Few spoons to brush the pakoras for frying
- Chopped Coriander Leaves as required
- Chopped Green chillies as required
- Salt to taste
Preheat the Air fryer at 200 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
In the meanwhile, take a bowl, add all the above ingredients such as flour, spices, coriander leaves, chillies, salt and mix everything well.
Now add the water slowly and mix well until it forms a thick and sticky batter.
Add 1 tsp of oil to this batter and mix well. This leads to crispy pakoras like the fried ones.
Once the air fryer has been preheated, take small portions of the batter and place them on the Air fryer mesh.
Brush the pakoras lightly with oil.
Air fry them at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.
Flip the pakoras and lightly brush some oil, repeat the process for 7 minutes.
You will find the edges crispy and the pakoras cooked well.
Remove and serve hot.
Repeat the process with the rest of the batter until you have a bowlful of pakoras to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.
- Adding rice flour brings out the crunchy bits to the batter. Do not skip this.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket especially when making pakoras. They tend to stick to each other. Patience is the key for guilt free snacks.
- The recipe is Vegan but not gluten free as it contains asafetida which cannot be skipped when using Besan flour. Hing leads to good digestion, especially spicy and heavy foods. I have also added Ajwain or Carom seeds for the same reason.
- Air Fried goodies are best served piping hot. Leftovers can be dipped in kadhi and enjoyed too – guilt free!
- I do not prefer the use of aluminium foil in cooking so I have made the batter slightly thick and not runny which drips and sticks to the mesh.
Air Fryer Onion Pakoda (No Fry Tea Time Snack)
- 2 cups Gram Flour or Besan 1 cup is 200 ml measurement
- 1 cup Sliced Onions I have used Red Onions
- 1/2 tsp Ajwain or Carom Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Hing or Asafoetida (skip this for gluten free recipe)
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder or Laal Mirch Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder or Haldi Powder
- 1/8 cup Rice Flour
- 1/2 cup Water for the batter
- 1 tsp Oil + As Required to Brush over the Pakodas in Air Fryer (it took me only 2 tblsp of oil for entire batch)
- Chopped Coriander Leaves as required
- Chopped Green Chillies as required
- salt to taste
- Preheat the Air fryer at 200 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes
- In the meanwhile, take a bowl, add all the above ingredients such as flour, spices, coriander leaves, chillies, saltand mix everything well.
- Now add the water slowly and mix well until it forms a thick and sticky batter.
- Add 1 tsp of oil to this batter and mix well. This leads to crispy pakoras like the fried ones.
- Once the air fryer has been preheated, take small portions of the batter and place them on the Air fryer mesh.
- Brush the pakoras lightly with oil.
- Air fry them at 200 degrees for 10 minutes
- Flip the pakoras and lightly brush some oil, repeat the process for 7 minutes.
- You will find the edges crispy and the pakoras cooked well.
- Remove and serve hot.
- Repeat the process with the rest of the batter until you have a bowlful of pakoras to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee
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