Homemade Onion Bajji or Pakoras Recipe- Chickpea Flour Based Onion Rings- Vegan and Grain Free

I was debating what to make for lunch today, but was considering making something from India, since Indian food is cheap and healthy, and its easy to find gluten free Indian dishes. I went outside for a few minutes, and saw my neighbor, M., who was born and raised in Bombai. We started talking about Indian cooking and Indian recipes, and then she came over and taught me how to make these chickpea flour based onion rings. She called them bajji, but they seemed very similar to pakoras, which is chickpea flour batter fried veggies. Google told me that bajji and pakoras are the same thing- just different names from northern or southern parts of India.

This recipe is easy to make, very flavorful, protein packed, and cheap as well. It's also vegan and gluten free and grain free, so perfect for all sorts of special diets. If you want to keep the costs down, you can use wheat flour in place of the chickpea flour, but of course, then it won't be gluten free/grain free, and won't be as high in protein. If you're looking for a cheaper source of chickpea flour, you can generally buy it cheaper at Asian stores.

You can make these just as patties, not as rings, but I decided to make it into rings. If you don't care, you can just mince up the onions with everything else and make it into patties.

Homemade Onion Bajji or Pakoras Recipe- Chickpea Flour Based Onion Rings- Vegan and Grain Free

3 large onions
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup chickpea flour (or wheat flour)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
Oil for frying (I used palm, feel free to use whichever oil you prefer)

1. Slice onions into thick rings. Separate them (other than the very middle, which you can keep together.)

2. Put salt and spices on the onions. Knead them in.

3. Heat up the oil until its hot.

4. Mix the chickpea flour with the water until you have a paste- not runny, but not too thick. If using wheat flour, add as much water as you need to get a paste.

5. Dip the onions rings in the batter to coat.

6. Fry until browned on one side, then turn over and fry on the other.


Variations- you can also make these with thinly sliced potatoes instead of the onion rings. Just be sure to dry the potatoes off first before dipping in the batter. You can also use other vegetables in place of the onions or potatoes.

Ever make homemade onion rings? What do you put in yours? Does this look like a recipe you'd want to try out?
If you're Indian or a fan of Indian foods- do you call this bajji or pakoras?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Hey, forgive me if you've covered this before, but do you make your own chickpea flour? I'd like try out chickpea flour recipes, but while I can find chickpeas relatively easily, the flour is hard to find. If so, do you have a post about how you make it?

    1. I use my grain grinder to grind chickpea flour. http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2013/04/is-grinding-flour-cheaper-once-you.html

      Unfortunately, you can't do this without a grain grinder. Chickpeas are too hard to be able to grind in a food processor or coffee grinder. :(

  2. I love bhaji/pakora, both from indian restaurants and making my own. Local indian restaurants call it bhaji when made with onions (chopped up) and shaped in a rounded ball and pakora when made with other vegetables and flattened slightly. I tend to follow them in naming. I've never tried just dipping vegetables slices in the batter though.

    My city has had an influx of immigrants from that part of the world over the past few years, and suddenly ingredients like chickpea flour are much easier to find, even in mainstream grocery stores, which makes me happy.

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