Ulli Pakvada ~ Malabar Onion Pakodas

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… πŸ™‚


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…


Updated on July 13 – I had a little conversation with my umma a couple of days ago and realised “Ulli Vada” and “Ulli Pakoda” were different. What I have posted her is pakvada whereas ulli vada is made with a batter of plain flour and rice flour! I never realised or knew about it. InShaAllah, will make and post Ulli Vada as one of my later posts…


Deep fry therapy… πŸ™‚




Ulli Pakvada ~ Malabar Onion Pakodas

Course Snacks
Cuisine Malabar
Author Rafeeda


  • 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
  • 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!


You can replace red chilli flakes with one green chilli, chopped thinly.
The batter should be really thick, otherwise the pakodas will drink a lot of oil.
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.
You can even add some all-purpose flour in place of the besan for some crunchiness.
You can add in mint and coriander if you love its flavors - basically the variations are endless...

Join the Conversation

  1. raville thanne kothippikkalle.. ulli pakoda looks nice.

    1. Thank you so much Lisha….

  2. yumm lovely pakoda, love them piping hot with chutney

    1. Thank you so much Nammi…

  3. A cup of hot tea and ulli pakoda…vere enthu venam. Simply love it and if its raining out ,then nothing more to add…relishh

    1. Thank you so much Priya…

  4. Can have this right now!

    1. Thank you so much Beulah…

  5. Ulli vada looks so crunchy and yum. With a cup of chai wat else we want !!!

    1. Thank you so much Eliza…

  6. Crispy and inviting vada. Look very tempting.

    1. Thank you so much Jaspinder…

  7. Comforting evening snack .Looks so wonderful

    1. Thank you so much Sathya…

  8. Ippo oru cup chaya and pakoda kittiyal nananyirunnu πŸ™ yummy pakvada πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Prathibha… πŸ™‚

  9. Now I need this now with my tea..so tempting!

    1. Thank you so much Priya…

  10. yummy and perfect tea time snack……… Itz tempting me like anything……. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much Remya… πŸ™‚

  11. Would be perfect with some tea, love it!

    1. Thank you so much Sona…

  12. This was one of my favorite snacks in the hostel canteen..tempting

    1. Thank you so much Kaveri…

  13. Weather is too chilled, a prefect crispy pakodas to enjoy without any guilt..

    1. Thank you so much Priyaakka…

  14. Yummy, my favorite too!! I too indulge in deep fry therapy (& chocolate therapy) sometimes πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you so much Pankthi… πŸ™‚

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