Onion Fritters/Pakoda (Piyava Bajo)

Onion Fritters/Pakoda (Piyava Bajo)

Onion fritters are crispy, spicy & delish. These crunchy gram flour based, deep fried pakodas are a perfect tea time snack. I love these fritters as is. They also go well with all kinds of dips and coconut chutneys too. 

It is pure joy to have these hot onion pakodas with a cup of hot tea/coffee when it rains. Ask most Indians what they crave for when it rains and their answer would be hot pakodas & a cup of tea/coffee. 

These pakoras/bhajia are prepared basically with onions and gram flour. A very quick, easy recipe with very few ingredients involved. Getting the batter right is the only tricky part. Once you get the batter right, it's an easy, quick to make, delectable snack. 

Onion pakoras/bhajias are called as piyava bajo in Konkani and eerulli baje/bajji’s in Kannada. They are a favourite tea time snack all over Karnataka. Piyav means onions in Konkani, bajo means anything deep fried in Konkani. 


3 big onions
1 cup gram flour
3-4 green chillies
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Preparation Method:

There are many ways of preparing these pakoda’s. Most make it with just the basic ingredients – gram flour, salt, red chilli powder or green chillies & sliced onions.

Preparing the batter:

1. Chop onions into thin slices. Separate all the onion strands and add them into a mixing bowl

2. Add in chopped green chillies, gram flour, salt to the onion strands in the bowl & mix well.

3. Keep them aside for 2-3 minutes. Onions when combined with salt, gives out some water that helps in their binding with gram flour. 

4. Do not add any water to the batter. The mositure given out by onions is enough for binding the ingredients together. 

5. Onion strands should be well coated with the flour & you should be able to hold about 15 strands of onions together to form small fritters. 

5. The batter (onion mixture) should neither be too dry nor too watery. If the batter's watery then they'll disintegrate as soon as they are in oil. If it has little too much mositure, then they also absorb oil on deep frying and get very oily and soggy. 

If the mixture is too dry them sprinkle some drops of water so as to get a sticky onion mixture. 

6. Heat up oil for deep frying the pakodas.

7. Once the oil is rolling hot set the heat to medium. This'll ensure that the fritters cook through uniformly. If the flame's high the outer parts of the fritters will fry up faster and the inner parts will remain raw. If you fry the fritters for longer so as to fry the inner regions as well, the outer regions will fry in excess and begin to burn. So, set the heat to medium.

8. Drop around 10 strands of onions together into the hot oil carefully. If the strands remain together you have achieved the correct consistency with the batter. If they begin to move away then the batter is too runny. 

9. Fix this by adding more onion or more gram flour according to how watery your batter is. 

10. If it's still runny, you can add 2-3 tablespoons of semolina/rava to it. It also adds a nice crunch to the bhajias/pakoras.

You can also add 2-3 tablespoons of rice flour to the batter for extra crispiness.

11. Fry rest of the batter. Do not crowd the oil. Let there be space for oil to move around & cook the pakodas.

12. Once the pakodas are light brown on the bottom side turn them over & fry them on the other side.

13. Take them out of the oil when they turn golden brown uniformly on all sides. 

14. Transfer them onto a kitchen paper towel to drain out excess oil.

Serving Suggestions:

1. Serve hot fritters as-is with a cup of tea/coffee.

2. You can also serve these fritters with a spicy coconut chutney or with a green chutney (corainder and mint chutney) or with your favourite dip.

P.S: These fritters could lose their crunch with time. So, do empty them as early as possible. They also tend to get soggy and oily with time. So, they are best had while hot and as soon as they cool down. 

Find more Udupi, Mangalorean tea time snack recipes here.

Tags: piyava bajo, fritters, pakoda, pakora, tea time snack, deep fried, udupi cuisine, udupi food, recipes, bajji, rainy season, Konkani food, Mangalore food, Udupi cuisine, Konkani cuisine, Konkani recipe, Udupi Mangalore street food.