Ulli Vada/ Pakvada/ Pakoda

Some days are such that a hundred things come running in your mind. Some words, some gestures, some sighs... Some incidents are there, which even though you would love it to be sidelined into the wild recesses of your mind, still comes back to bring a mixture of smiles and tears. I guess with time, things will heal and matters will get better. Till then, I guess I just move on considering it as a part of the plan of Almighty... :)

Rain or no, the craving for fried stuff can knock in almost immediately. There are times when I go back from office determined to make something for chai and my B almost gets knocked down by my enthusiasm. "OK, now what's wrong with thaatha today??" Hehe... Sometimes I fry to get rid of my devils as well - I love to call it "deep fry therapy"!!! One thing I love among my deep fries is the simple pakoda, or "pakvada" or "ulli vada" as we Malayalees love to call it due to the loads of onions that go into it... Earlier I have shared a recipe for chicken pakoda, which is a family favorite. So taking out the chicken and making it really simple... here's the sumptuous chai treat, any time, any day...

Pakvada/ Pakoda
Serves 4


1 large or 2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup besan (gram) flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
A pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
5-6 curry leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
Water to bind
Deep fry therapy... :)
Oil for deep frying


Mix ingredient from onion to salt in a bowl. Slowly add water and make the batter. The batter should be really thick, with the besan just covering the onion.

Heat oil in a deep kadai. Once hot, lower the flame to medium-low. Fry spoonfuls of the mixture on both the sides till golden brown. Drain on kitchen towels. Serve warm with ketchup or eat as is!


1. You can replace red chilli flakes with one green chilli, chopped thinly.
2. The batter should be really thick, otherwise the pakodas will drink a lot of oil.
3. I've seen my umma add a pinch of baking soda to give it a puffiness, you may add if you want, but I prefer not to.
4. You can even add some all-purpose flour in place of the besan for some crunchiness.
5. You can add in mint and coriander if you love its flavors - basically the variations are endless...

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