Yields

25

Cooking Time

30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200 g onions (sliced)
  • 10 g green chillies (chopped)
  • 5 g salt
  • 10 g sugar
  • 30 g besan (gram flour)
  • 30 g maida (plain flour)
  • 10 g rice flour
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • oil for frying

Peyaji—because who doesn't like fried onions? Even within India there are lots of variations of onion pakoras. They all follow a similar set of ingredients, but the beauty lies in the small deviations. The basic Bengali peyaji (also called Peyaju in Bangladesh) is made with just five ingredients—onions, green chillies, besan, salt, and sugar. But the trick to great peyaji, like any fried dish, is in controlling the moisture. The drier the batter, the crispier the peyaji. Substituting part of the gram flour with rice flour and regular flour also helps keep the peyaji crisp longer. So when the clouds rumble, make some peyaji. It is quick, easy and delicious.

Method

  1. Peel, wash and slice the onions.
  2. Chop the green chillies. Don't chop too fine.
  3. In a mixing bowl place the onions and chillies. Sprinkle salt and sugar. Scrunch up onions and mix well. Let this sit for five minutes. The salt and the sugar will draw moisture out from the onions.
  4. Meanwhile, set a korai or wok to heat. Add vegetable oil for frying and let it come up to medium hot (180º C).
  5. After five minutes add besan (gram-flour), rice flour and plain flour to the bowl. Mix into a tight batter. You won't need any additional water. If the mixture appears to be too dry, just let it sit for a few more minutes. Don't mix thoroughly until you are ready to fry. The batter will become too loose and your peyaji won't be very crispy.
  6. Take about 20 gram of the batter and form into a thin flat patty with your fingers (watch the video to see how). Drop this gently into the hot oil. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  7. Fry on low flame and turn every 30 seconds for even cooking. Peyaji can go from beautifully brown to burnt and bitter in no time.
  8. Drain and reserve in a jhuri (wicker basket) or a colander to let the steam escape. Sprinkle with black salt and serve immediately with muri (puffed rice) and tea. Peyaji does not stay crispy for very long. Consume within 30 minutes of frying.

Equipment

  • Knife or bnoti
  • Chopping board
  • Mixing bowl
  • Korai or wok
  • Perforated spoon or jhharjhri hata
  • Jhuri or colander

Steel perforated spoon

Victorinox 7 inch santoku chef's knife

Steel mixing bowl

9 inch

Appliances

  • Stove