Onion & Cabbage Pakora

Onion & Cabbage Pakora – a popular street style tea time snack. These delectable pakoras are more like fritters that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Every crunchy bite of these pakoras have a hint of aromatic flavour from the addition of herbs. Sit back, relax and savour these palatable & crunchy bites with a cup of tea / coffee on the side.

This recipe can be customized according to your preference with or without cabbage. You can add other thinly sliced vegetables of your choice to make mixed vegetable pakoras.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serving : 2


  • Besan flour / gram flour / kadalai maavu – 2 cups
  • Onion – 1 to 1 1/2 cups (thinly sliced lengthwise)
  • Cabbage – 1 cup ( thinly sliced lengthwise)
  • Ginger – 1 piece
  • Garlic – 3 pods
  • Green Chilli – 2
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hing / Asafoetida – 1/4 th teaspoon
  • Ajwain / Carom seeds (optional) – 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Coriander leaves – few
  • Mint leaves (optional) – few
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – to deep fry

Step by Step Instructions:

  • Slicing / chopping the vegetables & herbs – Slit the onion and cabbage into thin slices lengthwise. Slice the onion and cabbage as thin as possible as this will give a crunchy texture. Crush the ginger and garlic and finely chop the green chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves and mint leaves. Addition of herbs give a aromatic flavour to the pakoras. If you do not prefer herbs, then skip adding them.
  • Meanwhile, heat enough oil in a kadai / pan for deep frying the pakoras.
  • In a wide mouthed bowl, add the chopped onion and cabbage slices, crushed ginger and garlic, finely chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and curry leaves.
  • Addition of spices – Add 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon ajwain seeds/ carom seeds (optional) and 1/4 th teaspoon hing. Feel free to skip ajwain seeds if you do not prefer but addition of ajwain seeds aids in digestion.
  • Add salt and mix well.
  • Resting the batter – Mix thoroughly well and cover with a lid. Keep this onion, cabbage and spice mixture aside for 10 to 15 minutes. The onions will ooze out some moisture during this resting period which is almost enough to bind all the ingredients.
  • Besan flour – Add 2 cups besan flour / gram flour to the bowl containing other ingredients. Using fingers, mix the ingredients well so that the vegetables are coated well with the besan flour.
  • Adding hot oil to the dough / batter (optional) – Add 1 tablespoon of warm oil (from the kadai/pan) to the bowl. Adding hot oil will give a nice crispy texture to the pakoras when deep fried.
  • Mixing the batter/ dough – The moisture in the onion is almost enough to bind all the ingredients together. Sprinkle just few drops of water so that all the ingredients can bind together. Mix well. If you prefer crispy pakoras, then do not add extra water to the dough /batter. If it is too dry, sprinkle just few drops. If you like softer pakoras, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. I prefer medium crunch pakoras with soft texture on the inside. So I have just sprinkled few drops of water to bind the ingredients. Consistency of the dough / batter should be tight and not runny.
  • Temperature of the oil – The temperature of the oil should be perfectly right to make crisp pakoras. The oil should neither be too hot nor too cold. If the oil is too hot, then the outside of the pakoras might get cooked sooner than the cabbage and the onion and this might yield partly uncooked pakoras. If the oil is not warm enough, then the pakoras might absorb more oil and this might result in too oily and greasy pakoras.
  • Deep frying the pakoras – When the oil is warm enough, take a portion of the batter using your hands and drop bite size portion of the dough gently into the oil. Keep dropping the bite size portions until you have space in the pan. Pakoras are generally uneven in shape. Do not shape the pakoras unless you wish to. Cook the pakoras in medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes. When you see slight golden edges, flip the pakoras for uniform cooking. Flip every now and then so that all the sides and edges of the pakoras are cooked uniformly. When you see uniform golden colour, remove the pakoras using a ladle with holes to drain the oil. Place the fried pakoras on kitchen paper towels so that the excess oil is absorbed.
  • Serve these delicious & crunchy pakoras along with tea / coffee.


  • There are different variations of this popular street style snack. For a super crisp version of the pakoras, add 1 tablespoon rice flour along with besan flour while making the batter.
  • You can make these pakoras with or without the herbs. If you prefer, you can try with Italian herbs as well.

Check out my other starters / appetizers :


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