Onion Pakora

Related event: Bangladesh Cooking Lesson

Onion Pakora

Adapted by Chef Christina Reimer
Cuisine Bangladesh
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 cups gram flour chickpea Flour, known as besan or Gram
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida*
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp each fennel, cumin, onion seeds
  • 2 large onions finely sliced
  • 1 to 2 small green chillis finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 1/4 cup to more cold water to mix
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying


  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, chilli, turmeric, baking powder, asafoetida and salt to taste.
  • Add the seeds, onion, green chillies, fresh cilantro and toss together well.
  • Very gradually mix in enough cold water to make a thick batter surrounding all the ingredients.
  • Heat enough oil in a wok (karahi) for deep-frying.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown. Leave enough space to turn the pakoras.
  • Drain well on paper towels and serve hot with the mint chutney for dipping.


*Asafeotida known as food of gods, stinking gum, devils dung.  It has a pungent smell when raw, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent of leeks.  Asafeotida is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment and in pickles.  Asafoetida is so strong that it must be stored in an airtight container, otherwise the smell will contaminate other spices stored nearby.  However, its smell and flavor become much milder and more pleasant upon heating in oil or ghee.
This recipe was adapted from an Indian cookbook  by Shehzad Husain and Rafi Fernandez, published in 2002.