Step-by-step recipe for Crispy Onion Bhaji, Indian Kanda Bhaji Recipe. Onion Bhaji is fried onion fritters. These crispy fritters are made mainly from onion and gram flour (besan).
This street food is very popular in Maharashtra. There are many ways to prepare them. Here is my mom’s recipe, which she has been making for many decades.
Kanda Bhaji is quick and easy to prepare. It takes less than 30 minutes. Bhaji is also known for making pakoras in North India and bajji (South India).
Indians love pakoras so we see many varieties of Pakoda. This recipe only uses two ingredients to make the batter. However, you can make onion fritters from different parts of India using a variety of recipes.
Some variations of Onion Bhaji
- North Indian Style: Classic Onion Pakoda
- Vengaya Bajji (South Indian style)
- Ulli Vada – Kerala style
- South Indian Crispy Onion Bhaji Fritters
Rice flour, curry leaves and other ingredients are added to South Indian-style onion fritters. Some places in Mumbai offer green chillies, coriander leaves, or crushed coriander seed additions to their fritters.
Kanda Bhaji usually has a crisper texture than other types of onion pakoda. This is because the ratio of gram flour and onions is lower. Kanda Bhaji also goes by the name Khekda Bhaji due to its similarity to crabs.
Kanda Bhaji is crispy, but you will still get a soft, sweet taste from the onions. These fritters taste great even though they don’t have any spices. Sometimes, simple recipes bring out the best flavor.
Kanda Bhaji can be served as a teatime snack with hot masala chai. This snack can also be made at home.
Kanda Bhaji can be served with spicy green chutney, tomato ketchup, and a few fried green chilies.
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How to make Onion Bhaji
- Place 1 large onion in a bowl and slice it thinly. One cup should yield 1 cup of thinly-sliced onions.
- To the sliced onions, add 1/2 cup of gram flour (besan).
- You can add 1 teaspoon salt, or as much as you like. Although you can add less salt to these pakoras, they taste best when they are slightly salty. You can also add 2 teaspoons of coarsely ground coriander seeds to make a Mumbai-style version. In a mortar-pestle, crush the coriander seeds.
- This mixture can be made with 1 teaspoon oil. This oil helps make these pakoras crispy and reduces oil absorption while you fry the bhajis.
- Mix everything well with your hands. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 5-6 minutes to let the onion moisture evaporate. The mixture should not be too dry or moist. If the mixture appears too dry, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of flour/besan. Allow to cool for at least a few minutes.
- For deep-frying, heat oil in a kadai (or a deep skillet).
- Crispy bhaji is best fried in hot oil. A small test could be done by adding a little batter to the oil. Add a few spoonfuls of batter to the hot oil and see if it rises steadily. The bhajis should be fried on medium heat to ensure even frying.
- Flip the bhajis once one side has been cooked to a light golden color. Fry a few kanda-bhajis at once.
- Turn them a few more times and fry until they are crisp and golden.
- Place the kanda-bhajis on a plate and remove with a spoon. In the same manner, fry the remaining onion bhajis.
- Kanda Bhaji can be served hot with mint chutney, mint coriander or tomato ketchup. To fry the green chilies, cut them in half. To make sure they turn a golden brown, fry them in the same oil until they are cooked. Place them on absorbent napkins. Mix well with a pinch of salt.
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Maharashtrian Kanda Bhaji | Onion Bhaji
Kanda Bhaji is a crisp, crunchy fritter made with onions and gram flour. Popular street food from Maharashtra.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- ½ cup of flour (gram flour or chickpea flour)
- 1 tsp of oil for bhaji batter mix
- 1 tsp of salt
- Oil for deep-frying
Making Onion bhaji batter
- Place the chopped onions in a bowl.
- To the sliced onions, add 1/2 cup besan (gram flour).
- Add 1 tsp of salt or as needed
- Next, add 1 tsp of oil. Although you can add less salt to these pakoras, they taste best when they are slightly salty.
- Mix the oil, besan and salt together with the onions using your fingers. Let the mixture rest for at least 5-6 minutes to let the onion moisture evaporate. You can add 1 to 2 teaspoons of flour to make the mixture more moist.
Frying Onion bhaji
- For deep frying, heat oil in a pan.
- Make sure the oil is hot for crispy bhajis. A small test could be done by adding a little batter to the oil. If the oil rises quickly and smoothly, add a few spoonfuls of the batter. Otherwise, the kanda Bhajis won’t brown evenly.
- Flip the bhajis while they are frying. Use a slotted spoon to flip them. Fry a few bhajis at once.
- Toast them until they are golden brown and crisp.
- Place the onion bhaji on a slotted spoon.
- Continue to fry the onion bhaji in the same manner.
- Hot with spicy green chutney, fried green chilies or tomato ketchup
- On a medium flame, fry the kanda-bhajis. The bhajis can absorb too much oil and become soggy if the oil isn’t hot enough. They will brown quickly on the top if fried in hot oil, leaving the onions raw inside.
- As the onions have released their juices, there is no need for you to add water to the pakora batter.