Crispy Onion Pakoras or Bhajis are the ultimate Indian snack. Vegan, gluten-free, made with besan (chickpea flour) and ready in 10 minutes. A perfect snack for any time of the day!

How To Make Crispy Onion Pakoras In A Pan Without Deep Frying

Onion Pakoras or Bhajis are a famous deep-fried Indian snack of onion slices soaked in a besan (chickpea flour) batter and fried in a pot of hot oil till they are golden and crispy. Although, nothing beats the traditional deep-fried version; it isn't the healthiest to deep fry as we all know. Besides, I don't agree with the effort and wastage involved in dedicating a pot full of oil to deep fry a snack. So, I have created a pan-fried version of it! The same delicious, authentic taste of a Crispy Onion Pakora - just pan-fried and ready in minutes whenever the craving strikes.

The onion to batter ratio is very important when you are making pakoras. You want lots of onion and less batter! This wonderfully strange combination creates a perfect snack - the onion gets crispy and fried on the surface while the onion inside the pakora gets tender and sweet making the pakora juicy.

Ajwain seeds are known for their digestive properties. they reduce gas and bloating and are often used in Indian snacks. The Crispy Onion Pan Pakoras are essential fritters but with a twist. They can be served with a quick green coriander and mint chutney or your favourite hot sauce. Perfect with cups of chai when it rains in the afternoon.

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Crispy Onion Pan Pakoras - Cook Republic


5 from 4 votes
Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Author: Sneh
Course // Appetizer, Light Meal, Snack
Cuisine // Gluten Free, Indian, Meat-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 pieces


  • 1 cup (130 g) besan
  • ½ cup water + 1 tablespoon
  • 2 (150 g) red onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain, carom seeds
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Oil to pan fry


  • Add besan and half cup water to a medium bowl. Mix well with a balloon whisk to form a smooth, loose, sticky batter. Add onion, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, salt, sugar, ajwain and baking powder. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add an extra tablespoon of water to loosen the batter just before frying.
  • Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add a spoonful of the batter in a circular shape and flatten to a thin 1cm thickness. When bubbles start to form along the edges of the batter, flip gently with a metal spatula and cook the other side for a minute or two until golden, browning and cooked through the middle. Flip once more to cook the first side for a further few seconds until crisp. Repeat with the remaining batter. (I pan fry 3 pakoras at once in half a tablespoon of oil).
  • Remove on to a serving plate and serve hot with a green chutney or hot sauce.


Onion - 150g is the approximate weight of the onion slices (not the whole onion). You will need 2 small-medium red onions for this recipe.
Cutting Onion – Peel and cut each onion in half. Slice the half into thin half-moon slices. Using your fingers separate the cut slices to get thin onion strands. These will add texture and get crispy when you pan fry.
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