Oil Free Onion Pakoras

by Jill Dalton

Pakoras (also known as bhaji) are one of my favorite appetizers to order when we go to an Indian restaurant. They are essentially battered, chopped vegetables that are deep fried. I wanted to have these at home more regularly so I adapted a recipe without using the deep frying method. These oil-free onion pakoras brown beautifully in my waffle iron so now I can have them any day of the week dipped in the delicious tamarind sauce.

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Oil-Free Onion Pakoras

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 3.9/5
( 11 voted )


2 onions, sliced very thin

1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or canned green chilis
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup water

Tamarind Sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
3 dates
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup water


  1. Preheat waffle iron to hottest setting.
  2. Mix batter ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in onions. It is easiest to mix thoroughly with your hands.
  4. Glob mixture in little piles onto heated waffle iron.
  5. Let cook for 2-3 rounds so that they will come out without sticking.
  6. Mix all tamarind sauce ingredients in a blender.
  7. Serve pakoras with the tamarind dipping sauce.
  8. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.
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Carrie March 6, 2021 - 5:22 pm

Using a unusual ingredient as this tamarind makes it impossible for me who lives in a small town and try not too order from the internet….

Jill Dalton March 7, 2021 - 9:04 am

You can just dip them in another sauce like a salad dressing. This one is really delicious with it.

Olivia March 11, 2021 - 3:05 am

I just made a sauce out of plain yogurt, lemon juice, and sea salt. You can adjust the spices too if you’re like my husband and don’t like cinnamon and cardamom (from the gram masala) in savory foods. I’ve made them a couple times and I’m pretty sure you could just do chickpea flour, water, and salt and they’d still come out well.

Cidi March 7, 2021 - 5:08 pm

these looks very tasty, I wonder if they work in air fryer. I wanted to ask you where you got those bowls from? They are so cute!

Jill Dalton March 8, 2021 - 9:44 am

They do work in the air fryer but they did stick a bit. Here is a link to the bowls =)

Jennifer Quinn March 8, 2021 - 2:12 am

I just picked up tamarind paste on a whim at the grocery store this week… and here your recipe includes it! What a wonderful coincidence!!!

Ellie Kennard March 18, 2021 - 11:24 am

Hi Jill
Would you mind giving a better idea of the amount of onions? The recipe says 2, but the video says 5 cups. Weight?

Jill Dalton March 19, 2021 - 11:07 am

About 9 ounces / 250 grams

Linda E Salitrynski March 15, 2021 - 10:06 am

What brand of waffle maker do you have? Thanks.

Jill Dalton March 16, 2021 - 11:24 am

This is the one I have

Bujji April 1, 2021 - 12:37 am

Thank you Jill for this wonderful recipe. Just made it for dinner. Was a hit with the family. Since it was for dinner I added generous amounts of shredded cabbage too. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you for your efforts!!

Olivia Russell April 1, 2021 - 1:58 pm

Hi there! These look amazing and I can’t wait to make them. I can’t get tamarind puree or garam masala here in Greece but I’ll find substitutes! As I don’t have a waffle iron, can I just put them in the oven? Thank you 🙂

Jill Dalton April 1, 2021 - 7:03 pm


Laura S Hershey May 23, 2021 - 5:48 pm

Jill, Aluminum is the easy peasy way to get rid of onion smell. I just rub my hands on my faucet but I also have an aluminum ‘soap’ bar. You’ll be so amazed!


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