Indian Vegetable Pakora — The Balaboosta Chef

How to make Onion and Mint Pakoda

Onion and mint pakoda is a popular snack in Indian cuisine, known for its crispy texture and flavorful combination of spices and herbs. It is made by slicing onions into thin rings or chopping them into small pieces and mixing them with fresh mint leaves, which are known for their cool and refreshing taste. This mixture is seasoned with various spices such as turmeric, chili powder, and cumin, adding warmth and complexity to the flavor profile. Additionally, gram flour, also known as besan, acts as the main binding and coating ingredient that, when combined with water, creates a thick batter to envelop the onion and mint mixture.

The preparation process involves combining all the ingredients to form a batter, then carefully dropping spoonfuls of the mixture into hot oil for deep frying. The fritters are fried until they turn a golden brown color, indicating a crispy exterior while still retaining the moisture and juiciness of the onions on the inside. These pakodas are traditionally accompanied by chutneys or ketchup, providing an acidic or sweet counterpoint to the savory and spicy snack. Typically enjoyed during monsoon and winter seasons, onion and mint pakodas are also a fixture at various gatherings and celebrations, embodying the heartiness of Indian street food culture. This snack captures the essence of how simple ingredients like onions and herbs can be transformed into a delightful treat through the use of spices and deep-frying technique endemic to Indian culinary practices.

Onion and Mint Pakoda Recipe

Indian Vegetable Pakora — The Balaboosta Chef

Onion and Mint Pakoda

Like bajji, pakoda, or pakora, is a popular South Indian street food. You can add veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage, onion, spinach, or nuts to make mixed vegetable pakoda. I keep my version simple with just onion and mint.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people
Calories 858 kcal


  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 large skillet


  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 20 fresh mint leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • 11/2 cups vegetable or corn oil


  • In a large bowl, sift the chickpea flour and rice flour. Stir in the salt, chile powder, baking soda, turmeric, mint, and onion. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • A little at a time, stir in the water until a thick, dry dough forms. The dough should not be too moist or watery.
  • Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil to between 350°F and 375°F. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping 1 teaspoon of batter into the hot oil. If it sizzles and floats, without sinking, the oil is ready for frying.
  • Working in batches of 4 or 5, pinch off small portions (about 11⁄2 tablespoons) of dough and slowly drop them into the hot oil. Fry for 30 to 45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, slowly flip the pakodas and fry for 30 seconds more. Continue flipping and frying until the bubbling sound stops. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to the paper towel–lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining dough.


If using additional vegetables (see headnote) that are high in water content,
reduce the amount of water used to make the batter. You can also include fennel powder to add flavor.
Keyword chickpea flour, red chile powder, rice flour

Cooking Tips about Onion and Mint Pakoda

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  • Slice onions thinly: For a crispy pakoda, make sure to slice the onions thinly. This ensures they will cook quickly and evenly, resulting in a nice crunch.
  • Chop mint leaves finely: To distribute the fresh flavor of mint throughout the pakodas, chop the mint leaves finely before mixing them with the onions.
  • Dry Ingredients First: Mix all dry ingredients including spices and gram flour together first. This ensures even distribution of spices when the wet components are added.
  • Use cold water for the batter: When preparing the batter, use cold water which helps in keeping the pakodas crispier when fried.
  • Consistency of batter: The batter should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thin, the pakodas can become oily; if it’s too thick, they may not cook through properly.
  • Rest the batter: Letting the batter rest for about 10-15 minutes before frying can make a difference in texture, allowing the flavors to meld and the gram flour to absorb the moisture evenly.
  • Heat the oil properly: Before you begin frying, ensure the oil is at the right temperature, around 350°F (175°C). You can test this by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil. If it sizzles and comes up quickly, the oil is ready.
  • Fry in batches: Do not overcrowd the pan as this can lower the oil’s temperature and lead to soggy pakodas. Fry the pakodas in batches to maintain the oil temperature.
  • Do not over-stir: Once you’ve dropped the pakodas into the oil, give them a moment before stirring. Over-stirring can cause them to break apart.
  • Drain excess oil: After frying, place the pakodas on a paper towel-lined plate or a wire rack to drain any excess oil and keep them crispy.

Serving suggestions about Onion and Mint Pakoda

Onion pakoda recipe, with mint leaves - Raks Kitchen

  • Pair with Chutney: Serve the pakodas with a side of tangy green chutney made of mint and coriander or a sweet tamarind chutney for a classic Indian street food experience.
  • Include Ketchup or Mayonnaise: For those who prefer a more western dip, tomato ketchup or a spiced mayonnaise can also complement the snacks.
  • With Masala Chai: Enjoy onion and mint pakodas as an evening snack with a cup of hot masala chai, especially during cooler weather or the monsoon season, which is traditional in India.
  • Accompany with Salad: A simple salad with sliced onions, cucumbers, and carrots dressed with lemon juice and a sprinkle of chaat masala can serve as a refreshing side to the pakodas.
  • As part of a Platter: Create a mixed snack platter with other varieties of pakodas or Indian snacks like samosas or paneer sticks for a diverse taste experience.
  • Offer Raita: A cool yogurt-based raita with cucumber or boondi (fried gram flour balls) could provide a creamy and cool contrast to the spices of the pakodas.
  • Sprinkle Chaat Masala: Right after frying, sprinkle some chaat masala on top of the hot pakodas for an additional hit of tangy and spicy flavor.
  • Wrap in Roti or Paratha: Wrap the pakodas in a warm roti or paratha with some chutney and fresh veggies to make a quick and filling roll.
  • Use in Sandwiches: Pakodas can be placed between slices of bread or in a burger bun, along with some lettuce and chutney, to make a delicious and unconventional sandwich.
  • Enjoy with Pickles: Serving the pakodas with a side of Indian pickles (achaar) can add a burst of intense flavors that match well with the crispy fritters.

Top 5 FAQs about Onion and Mint Pakoda

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  • What kind of onions are best for making pakodas? For making onion and mint pakodas, any variety of onions can be used; however, red or yellow onions are preferred due to their balance of sweetness and pungency. It’s important to slice them thinly for a crispy texture in the final dish.
  • Can I make onion and mint pakodas ahead of time? Onion and mint pakodas are best enjoyed freshly fried to maintain their crispiness. While you can prepare the batter ahead of time and refrigerate it, it is not recommended to fry the pakodas in advance as they may lose their crunchiness over time.
  • Is there a vegan alternative to using gram flour in the batter? Gram flour, made from ground chickpeas, is already vegan-friendly. It acts as a key binding and coating ingredient, and no alternative is needed for a vegan diet. However, for those with chickpea allergies, alternatives like rice flour or a mix of cornstarch and all-purpose flour might work, but this will alter the flavor and texture.
  • How can I prevent the pakodas from becoming too oily? To prevent the pakodas from absorbing too much oil, ensure that the batter is of the right thickness and that the oil is heated to about 350°F (175°C) before frying. Additionally, avoid overcrowding the pan and drain the pakodas on paper towels after frying.
  • Are there any alternatives to deep frying if I want to make a healthier version? Yes, for a healthier alternative, you can bake the pakodas in an oven preheated to around 375°F (190°C) until they are crispy and golden. You could also use an air fryer, which requires minimal oil, to achieve a similar texture. Keep in mind that while these methods are healthier, they might not replicate the traditional texture and taste of deep-fried pakodas exactly.

Onion and mint pakodas are a delectable snack that truly capture the flavors and textures emblematic of Indian cuisine. Their crispiness, paired with the potent flavors of onions and the refreshing qualities of mint, combined with aromatic spices, make for an irresistible treat. These fritters are not only a delight during the cooler monsoon and winter seasons but also serve as a favored snack at various social gatherings, celebrating the vibrant street food culture of India.


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